In the first part of the reading we hear Hannah crying out to God for a child. Her petition is so intense that the priest Eli actually thinks she is drunk and admonishes her. When Hannah tells him she is speaking out to God in great anxiety and vexation, Eli blesses her. Hannah left the presence of the priest believing her prayer would be answered-that it was already answered! “Then the woman went to her quarters, ate and drank with her husband, and her countenance was sad no longer.” (verse 1:18)
The next time we see Hannah together with Elkanah at the temple, they come with the answer to her prayer, little Samuel. Hannah’s prayer this time is one of great rejoicing and thanksgiving for God’s gift. This time Hannah leaves her child at the temple with Eli.
We know the story, and we know Hannah and Elkanah return to the temple year after year to worship and to bring clothing and necessities for Samuel’s care. God honoured Hannah’s request, Hannah honours her promise to God, and Elkanah honours his wife’s decision.
Take a moment to think about prayer God has answered, and give thanks.
Thank you, Lord, for the many times you honour our prayer requests. Forgive us when we fail to give thanks. Amen. — REJ