There was however one problem: Hannah had no children. For a women to be barren (childless) during this time, was looked upon as punishment and it is in this setting that we introduce Hannah: A mother who was persecuted, who prayed, who promised and who was persuaded.
Being childless was a burden for Hannah. While at the temple, she expressed to Eli that she was a women of “sorrowful spirit.” (1:15) The sorrow that Hannah experienced was brought on not only because she had no children but also because she was persecuted. 1 Samuel 1:6 says that her rivals “provoked her severely, to make her miserable, because the Lord had closed her womb.” What an emotional ride this wife was on! What would be her response to this unwanted barrenness and the needless ridicule? She prayed.
Hannah did not let her gloomy circumstances cause her to act in an unacceptable manner. But she did what everyone should do in times of distress: Pray. The Psalmist uttered, “In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, and my cry came before Him, even to His ears (18:6). Though Hannah wept with anguish, she understood like the Psalmist who to turn to (1:10).
Hannah’s prayer was one that included a promise to God. She said, “O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head” (1:11). The promise to give her son to the Lord all the days of his life is a promise that all mothers and potential mothers should make. What better way to raise a child and to give him/her a blessed life, than to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).
Did this barren, sorrowful wife allow her situation to continue to tear her down? No! Hannah found strength and comfort in prayer and the words of Eli. After praying, her actions show that she was persuaded that God, if He so chose to, could fix her condition. In 1 Samuel 1:18, Eli told her to go in peace and the Lord would grant her the request. This verse further says that she ate and was NO LONGER SAD. Hannah trusted God. She was persuaded that God could carry all of her burdens. She was right! Psalms 37:5 pronounces, “Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.” Again in Psalms 55:22 we find, “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.”
Though Hannah was met with many discouragements, she truly was a women of God. She promised to commit her son to the Lord’s way and prayer was the answer to her suffering and persecution. In all of this, she was persuaded that the God she served was able. What about you!