“Be persistent in prayer, and keep alert as you pray, giving thanks to God” (Colossians 4:2)
The story of Hannah and the birth of her long overdue son, Samuel, who would go on to grow into a great prophet, is also a story of a woman who persisted with a conviction buried in her heart. We also see in her someone who never gave up on a promise, even as the years went by.
The story unfolds when we find that as the “Lord had closed Hannah’s womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the Lord, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat” (I Samuel 1:6-7). Under these circumstances, she might easily have given up.
But Hannah persisted. She even went on to make “a vow, saying, “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head” ( vv 11).
Hannah’s persistence would finally yield results, when one day, looking at her distraught state, “Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him” ( vv 17).
Hannah went on, not only to thank the Lord, but indeed fulfill her promise to God by dedicating the son she had longed for to the work of the Lord. Sometime later, having given birth, she caught up with Eli, and startled him, by saying, “Pardon me, my lord. As surely as you live, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the Lord. I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord” ( vv 26- 28).
From Hannah we see the importance of persisting with our prayer requests, against all odds. But also more, not just being thankful, but carrying on with the promises the Lord did put on our hearts, while passing through the tunnel.
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I rise to thank you for all that you have done in my life, but also pray that I remain faithful to the promises you have put in my heart, this I pray in Jesus’ name.
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“Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel” ( Zechariah 4:10).
The public life of King David is well known. However, there is an early aspect of his life quite hidden though we can get glimpse of it. The first time we get to know David he is a stay home kid while his big brothers are on to bigger stuff, like fighting with King Saul. “Jesse’s three oldest sons had followed Saul to the war: The firstborn was Eliab; the second, Abinadab; and the third, Shammah. David was the youngest. The three oldest followed Saul, but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s sheep at Bethlehem” ( I Samuel 27:13-14).
Left home alone perhaps it was a time for David to bond with the old man Jesse. Maybe he sometimes felt idle and ignored. But there was something maturing in his life for the life ahead. For in the meantime as he would later point to King Saul once an opportunity availed itself, God was ironing out his CV. When he offered to take on Goliath and Saul hesitated, he quickly shot back: “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine” (vv 35-37).
That’s the point. What had apparent been idle moments God was preparing David for the battles ahead? He would not only emerge out of the shadow as a great warrior but also a shepherd of his people ever relying on God.
Equally so, for all of us, there are moments that might appear idle and we feel frustrated as we see the days go by. Yet, in His gentle ways, God is preparing us for great days ahead.
Prayer today: Lord Father God, maker of heaven and earth, for those periods in life of apparent inactivity and maybe trials, help me appreciate them as the maturing me, for in due time and season all will bear fruit, this I pray in Jesus’ name!