King Saul had just disobeyed the Lord (see “Partial Obedience” post) and God told Samuel that He was grieved over making Saul king. This news from the Lord upset Samuel. What did he do in his troubled state? He cried out to the Lord all night (1 Sam. 15:11). As we face challenges in life and ministry, may we be quick to pray and to commit our troubles to the One who can help us navigate through turbulent times.
One of the great privileges we have as leaders is to pray for those entrusted to our care. When the Israelites asked Samuel to pray for them, he responded, “Far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you” (1 Sam. 12:23). Leadership and prayer must go together.
Hannah knew what it was like to have someone hassle her (1 Samuel 1:1-8). The source of the ridicule was her husband’s other wife, Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none, so Penninah bugged her about it. In fact, whenever they went up to the house of the Lord, Hannah’s rival provoked her until she wept and would not eat. We know that Hannah’s husband, Elkanah, loved Hannah. Yet, I wonder why he didn’t step in and confront Penninah’s inappropriate behavior (Elkanah’s inaction is a good reminder that we need to support those who are being treated unfairly and to even attempt to make the situation better). Perhaps, you are in a work or school situation where someone is provoking you. Hannah ultimately took the matter to God in prayer and God responded. Obviously, we may need to take other steps, but prayer is always the best place to start and proceed.