Hannah prayed for a child and God answered. He provided a son in Samuel. I find that I’m often quick to ask God for something, but not quite so diligent in offering praise when He answers (especially when the answer is not what I expect). Hannah not only prays, but also gives thanks to the Lord for His response to her prayers (1 Samuel 2:1-10).
MB Seminary provides leadership development and ministry training through MinistryLift so leaders and churches can increase their capacity to love God more deeply and serve others more effectively. MinistryLift builds capacity through workshops, training videos, and a variety of ministry resources. Learn more about MinistryLift here.
I’m not under any pretense that God always answers our prayers in the way we expect. His ways are higher than our ways. In 1 Samuel 1, we see a godly woman pouring out her heart to God for a child. Hannah was deeply distressed by her childless state. She prayed fervently and God heard her prayer. In this case, God granted her request in the form of a son. Hannah named this precious gift from the Lord, Samuel, which means, “Because I asked the Lord for him.” As we read in James 5:16, the prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.
Leaders must sometimes do the unexpected to get big or at least different results. In fact, the Lord will occasionally guide us to do something that seems crazy.
A number of Jesus’ disciples, some of them seasoned fishermen, had been fishing all night without success. Jesus comes along and tells these veterans of the sea to cast their nets on the right-hand side of the boat. Now, if I was one of those sleep-deprived, empty-netted disciples, I would have thought, “What difference would that make?” However, the disciples obeyed this stranger (they didn’t know it was their beloved Lord yet). The result – a net bursting with fish.
Sometimes, Jesus will ask us to do something unusual. Will we keep doing the same-old, same-old, producing the same results, or will we take a chance and obey?