I will speak about a great woman from the bible called Hannah. Hannah promised God that if she was given a child, she would bring him up to be a godly man. She was known as a strong mother. From now on, we will learn three things from Hannah and what happened when she obeyed God.
We know that in our own lives we can be troubled or stressed with different struggles. However if we believe in Christ, we know that we should be able to depend on God. We know that we should pray to God for his guidance as Hannah did. Then he will answer our prayers. In the bible, we often hear of God answering peoples’ prayer. In the book of Mark, we are told that Simon Peter’s mother in law was sick in bed and people sent for Jesus. Then they waited until Jesus came and healed her. After this, all the sick and demon-possessed men came to Jesus. Jesus healed all of them. From this, we can learn that if we are sick or have problems we cannot solve, we need to ask God. We know that when we believe in Christ, we can depend upon God and pray to him for his guidance and support. Then we must wait until he will heal us and resolve our problems in his time and in his ways.
The second thing we know is that Hannah prayed to God in truth and with a specific need. Jesus says in Matthew 6:5, “when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites.” A hypocrite is a person who pretends to have certain beliefs, attitudes or feelings when they really do not. Hypocrites would pretend to pray. They were not genuine. However, Hannah’s prayer was genuine and truthful. She prayed in 1 Samuel 1:11: “And she made a vow, saying, 'O LORD Almighty, if you will only look upon 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.'" Her prayer was genuine and specific. Praying specifically is one of the ways to speak to God. We should pray to God specifically and in truth.
The third thing we learned from Hannah is that she kept her promise with God. 1 Samuel 1:20 says. “So in the course of time Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, 'Because I asked the LORD for him.'" Hannah prayed to God. God answered. Verse 26-28 says. “As surely as you live, my lord, 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.” Keeping her promise, Hannah gave her son to God.
What did you learn from the three points in my sermon today? I pray that you have learned from Hannah. She was troubled, but she obeyed and believed in God. She prayed to God in truth and in specifics. She finally kept her promise with God.
At the beginning of this year, you probably set your goals for this year. I hope that you have been able to accomplish your goals with the guidance of God. Also, I pray that God will be with you, guide you, and bless you this year.
Rev Dr Je Cheol Cook