Wednesday is for Prayer
Here’s a simple study on prayer from one of the great prayer warriors of the Bible–Hannah.
Hannah’s prayers are referenced in 1 Samuel 1:11 and 2:1-10 but 1 Sam. 1:12-13, 19 tells of other prayers she prayed.
The Story of a Hungry Heart,
Many people have written books on prayer. Many more people have read books on prayer. Still more talk about prayer. In the past few decades there have been prayer seminars, prayer conferences, nights of prayer, half days of prayer, days of prayer and even weeks of prayers. But, unfortunately, there have been very few people who really pray. As I have studied the Scripture I have come to the simple conclusion that people who pray, pray. It’s not a very novel or exciting truth, but it is a TRUTH nevertheless–Prayers are people who pray.
I have gleaned four principles on prayer from the first two chapters in 1 Samuel. Below, I have stated them as principles. Think of them as clues. Use them as a “map’ to make your own observations from the brief vignette of Hannah’s life in 1 Samuel 1 and 2. Write your observations down. I’ve included some “starter” questions to get you going–my way of priming the pump of your mind. Don’t be limited by them. Make up a few questions of your own. The objective is not to answer questions but to discern the meaning of the text. Enjoy your study of God’s two-edged sword.
After you have completed this study, you will have the basic outline for a four-point talk on prayer. Why not pray that God would give you an opportunity to teach it in the next two months?
Four principles on prayers and prāyers:
(What had happened in the past that might have been discouraging? What were Hannah’s circumstances like? … her home environment?)
Principle #2: Prāyers are not discouraged by the present.
(What was still happening that had “discouragement potential?” What kind of obstacles did she face in her attempts to believe God?)
Principle #3 Prāyers boldly believe God.
(Examine Hannah’s prayer. What is bold about it? What evidence is there that Hannah “meant business” with God? Make a list.)
Principle #4 Prāyers are faithful to their vows.
(What evidence is there that Hannah was faithful to her vows and that she prevailed in prayer?)
Are you a prāyer? Are you applying these principles in your life? Who are you going to teach these principles too? Who will hold you accountable? Be specific in your answer.
Write out your plan-of-attack: How are you going to build these principles into your life and ministry?
Take a Closer Look
Hannah is a great theologian! Examine Hannah’s prayer. Make a list of all the attributes of God which Hannah’s prayer makes reference too. This woman knew her God. Maybe that’s what it takes to become a prāyer.