And Hannah prayed and said, “My heart exults in the Lord; my horn is exalted in the Lord. My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in your salvation.” (1 Samuel 2:1)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. I once heard a pastor say that God answers prayer in four ways: “Yes,” “No,” “Let’s do it my way,” “You’ve got to be kidding me!” Paul writes, “For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you … was not Yes and No, but in him it is always Yes” (2 Corinthians 1:19). God’s answer to prayer is always, “Yes.” It may not seem like it this side of heaven, because that “Yes” often includes “In God’s time, according to God’s way.”
Hannah had no children. She prayed to God for a son and in due time, God’s “Yes” was manifest. Hannah’s boy was Samuel, a great prophet and last judge in Israel. After Samuel was born, Hannah “lent him to the Lord” (1 Samuel 1:28) and sang a prayer, the opening verse of our text for today.
Does it sound familiar? Hannah’s song foreshadows another sung prayer we call the Magnificat, the Song of Mary in Luke 1. Both of these faithful women rejoiced in the promises of the Lord God that He would provide salvation for His people. For Hannah, it would be the life-long service of her boy child to minister to the people of God. For Mary, it would be the life-giving sacrifice of her boy child to save the world. Both of these faithful women believed the Word that God’s messenger delivered to them, no matter how unlikely it seemed that that Word could be fulfilled.
This, then, is what we learn from God’s Word via these faithful women: What God has spoken through His Word, He will bring to fulfillment. God promised Eve that a day would come when one of her sons would crush the works of the devil. God inspired Hannah’s son Samuel to prophesy that one of David’s sons would sit on God’s throne forever. Mary’s Son was the fulfillment of these promises. Jesus is the Son of David, the Christ, by whom the ancient serpent is crushed as Jesus dies on the Cross to forgive sin, all sin, your sin. In Holy Baptism, God has declared you His child, born not of a woman, but of the Spirit. When you pray to your Father in heaven, like Hannah, He will answer you with a resounding, “Yes,” according to His will. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
To Hannah, praying childless Before Your throne of grace, You gave a son and called him To serve before Your face. Grant us her perseverance; Lord, teach us how to pray And trust in Your deliv’rance When darkness hides our way. (“For All the Faithful Women” LSB 855, st.6)
-Rev. Daniel Voth, pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Grand Forks, ND.
Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch
Study Christ’s words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House.