Journey Through The Scriptures

The Life of Five Righteous Women

Lesson 6: God Answers Hannah's Prayer

(Scripture to Read: 1 Samuel 1:19–2:10)

Hannah had made an amazing vow to God if He would give her a son. She promised to give him back to God for lifelong service as a Nazirite (Samson was also a Nazirite, see Judges 13:1-5). God answered Hannah's prayer – and after weaning Samuel for about three years, this woman of great faith and prayer honored her vow. She brought her beloved son to the high priest, Eli, at Shiloh, and there presented Samuel to the Lord.

We might think that Hannah's heart was secretly broken as she parted from her small son at Shiloh. But Hannah understood a profound truth: that everything thing we have – our children, money, and possessions – come from God, and they are His. We are just the stewards or caretakers of God's gifts. Hannah's song of praise and exaltation speaks of the rejoicing in her heart that the child she had asked from the Lord could be given back to him. Hannah's song is one of the earliest poems in the Hebrew Bible, and shows that she believed God would use her son in a mighty way. The incredible life of Samuel proved Hannah to be right!

Study Questions

  1. How does the writer of 1 Samuel beautifully describe the way God answered Hannah's prayer for a son (the end of verse 19)?
  2. Samuel was about three years old when Hannah brought him to the Lord at Shiloh. Why do you think Eli readily accepted the task of caring for and teaching this young child?
  3. Who might have been the enemy Hannah referred to in verse one of her song? (Hint: read 1 Samuel 1:6.) Was Hannah being vindictive in praying this way?
  4. A "horn" (2:1) in Scripture was a symbol of invincible strength. Where did Hannah gain her strength?

Something to Think About

Hannah made a promise that she kept, even though it meant giving up her son. It is easy to make promises, but sometimes our good intentions can be forgotten in the crush of daily life.

Have you made some promises to your spouse, children, or friends that you need to keep? Put these at the top of your "To Do" list this week!