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.
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).
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.