Praying mothers are the backbone for their children and families. A prayerful Christian mother sets a great example to her children to follow God and influence others.
There are many mothers who prayed in the Bible but Hannah was one of the most prominent of them all. Ruth and Esther have entire books written about them but we find the story of Hannah in the Bible in 1 Samuel, yet her story is so inspiring.
Hannah was the mother of one of Israel’s greatest prophets, Samuel.
She was a barren woman and faced a lot of persecution from others because of it. She was married to a godly man but shared him with a second wife who had several children.
Hannah isn’t the first woman in the Bible to suffer infertility, apart from her, Sarah the wife of Abraham, then Rebekah the wife of Isaac, and Rachel the wife of Jacob also were barren for some time.
Yet Hannah’s response was different than theirs, she didn’t retaliate to Peninnah or Elkanah, but carried her pain to God, the only one who could alleviate it.
Hannah wanted a baby but couldn’t get pregnant and during those times, having children was termed as a success, favor, or status.
She used to visit the temple every year in Shiloh, along with her husband and his other wife. She would pray and weep there, but her prayers were not being answered.
“Year after year this man went up from his town to worship and sacrifice to the Lord Almighty at Shiloh, where Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were priests of the Lord. Whenever the day came for Elkanah to sacrifice, he would give portions of the meat to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters. But to Hannah he gave a double portion because he loved her, and the Lord had closed her womb. Because the Lord had closed Hannah’s womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the Lord, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat. Her husband Elkanah would say to her, “Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don’t you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?” (1 Samuel 1:3-8).
One day she went there filled with sorrow, she wept bitterly and the priest Eli saw her and thought she was drunk. When she told him her story, he blessed her saying “Go in peace, and may the God is Israel grant you what you have asked of him.” 1 Samuel 1:17
Hannah promised that if she had a son she would give him back to God. When Samuel was born, Hannah kept her promise and raised him to follow God and when he was very young, she presented him to Priest Eli to work under his direction in the temple.
Samuel’s ministry as a prophet of God was possible only because of Hannah’s continual prayers for him.