Recently I have been reading in the book of 1 Samuel, and I have been captivated by the character Hannah. Hannah, the mother of Samuel is, in my opinion, an underrated character in the Bible. She appears in just a few short chapters and her son’s story far outweighs her, especially in regards to length, so she doesn’t get a lot of attention. However, we have in the first two chapters of 1 Samuel two prayers from Hannah that can serve as wonderful templates for our own prayer life.
When we first meet Hannah we learn that she has no children and that is causing great pain and hardship in her life. Each year when she goes to the city to worship and sacrifice she is deeply distressed. This is where she is when we are introduced, in a place of worship and in a state of devastating heartache. She goes to the Lord and pours out her heart, she is so intense in her prayers that the priest is concerned that she might be drunk. She shows such a boldness in how she prayers, laying out all her anxieties and pain to the Lord, completely open about how she feels.
However, we don’t sit in the pain of Hannah for long, because shortly after this prayer she has her first son Samuel. The next thing we hear from her is a beautiful prayer of praise and thanksgiving. This is the prayer that has held my attention over the past couple weeks. This prayer that is clearly a response of joy after having her son isn’t just focused on being thankful. In fact, her thankfulness is far from the main point of the prayer. Instead she focuses on praising God for who God is. Saying things like “there is no Holy One like the Lord, no one besides you” and “For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, and on them he has set the world.” In this prayer we see how Hannah views God, as creator, holy, mighty and loving.
This type of prayer, a prayer completely devoted to praising God for who God is, is one that I don’t pray nearly enough. I pray for guidance and wisdom, I offer prayers of thankfulness for the things in my life, I pray for my friends and family who are struggling, but rarely do I go to God just to say ‘wow there is no one like you’. I hope that as I continue to think on the prayers of Hannah my prayer life can begin to look more like hers. I hope that when things are hard I can be bold and honest before God, and that when things are good I can be exceedingly thankful. But more than that, I hope that in all circumstances I go to God to simply say “There is none like you, and you are awesome”!
There is no Holy One like the Lord, no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.
– 1 Samuel 2:2