I Samuel 1
From Hannah's Journal
I have been married for some time and havn't had any children. I would love to have a little boy or girl romping around. Someone to hold and take care of.
My husband, Elkanah didn't understand why I cried. He said, "I give you everything you need, doesn't that mean more than ten sons?"
He didn't hear the other women mocked me. "Hah, hah, you don't have a child and we do." He didn't watch them walked their children near me them lift their chins in pride.
Elkanah always gave me more gifts than anyone else. I knew he cared about me, but the gifts didn't take the sadness. I wanted to be a mom and I didn't want to listen to the women at the Temple.
The last time Elkanah and I visited the Temple, my heart ached so much I couldn't eat the meal served before we went inside the temple. He said, "Are you all right, Hannah?"
"Yes." I answered, but I really wasn't.
Once inside, Elkahan went to his part of the Temple and I walked to mine. A group of ladies stood in the middle. I found near a corner and away from them. Better to spend time alone with God then listen to them bragging and insulting.
I closed my eyes to pray but couldn't speak for a moment Tears fell down my cheeks. I took a deep breath and spoke to the God of Israel. "LORD Almighty, I am your servant, and my heart is broken with sadness. Please remember me, your humble servant and give me a son. When you do, I will give him back to you, LORD, for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.”
I sobbed so much I couldn't say another word out loud. The rest of my thoughts could only be spoken in my heart as I wept more. While I prayed someone placed a hand on my shoulders. I stopped to see who it was.
Eli, the priest frowned. "When are you going to stop drinking, woman? Put your wine away!"
At first his words hurt me. But then I realized he saw my lips move when I prayed a moment ago. "Oh, sir, I didn't drink wine. You saw me praying. My heart is troubled beyond what I can endure. It seemed best to go to the Almighty for help. Please don't think of me as a wicked woman. Truly I prayed because of my great trial."
He smiled and nodded. "Very well, go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant what you asked of Him."
I bowed to him. "Thank you. Thank you. May I find favor in your eyes."
I left the Temple area and walked to a water basin nearby, washed my face, and felt hungry. I ate my meal and felt--bubbly, sparkly, ready-to-jump-in-the-air-and-thank-God-from-the-top-of-my-lungs happy. I felt well enough to sing, dance, and talk. I didn't know which to do first.
God didn't call down from heaven and say, "Yes, Hannah, you will have a child." Nope. He didn't do that. The food didn't change anything because I have eaten before. Nope.
A short while later Elkanan came out of the Temple. He looked left and right until he saw me. "Hannah, there you are." He stepped closer then stopped. "Is that a smile I see on your face? You don't look pale, did you eat? Tell me what has happened?"
"Oh, Elkanan, I asked God for a child. And now, in my heart I know He will take care of me. I can't explain it, I just know." I couldn't help but twirl right there, in front of him.
He laughed. "Oh, Hannah. I'm so glad to see you happy again. I shall pray God will give us a child as well."
I think next year I will have a child. And when I do, I will keep my promise and give the child back to God to serve Him.
1. What made Hannah sad
2. Who teased her and why?
3. Where did Hannah and Elkanah go?
4. What did Hannah do there?
5. What was her prayer?
6. Think about the prayer, did she ask for herself, or for God?
7. Who saw her pray?
8. What blessing did he give her?
9. How did Hannah after she left the Temple?
10. What did you learn from this story?