As you prepare to read God’s Word today, think of any confusion or heartbreak in your life and ask him for encouragement.
Read: 1 Samuel 1:1-20
 There was a certain man from Ramathaim, a Zuphite from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite.  He had two wives; one was called Hannah and the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none.  Year after year this man went up from his town to worship and sacrifice to the LORD Almighty at Shiloh, where Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were priests of the LORD. Whenever the day came for Elkanah to sacrifice, he would give portions of the meat to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters.  But to Hannah he gave a double portion because he loved her, and the LORD had closed her womb.  And because the LORD had closed her womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her.  This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the LORD, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat.  Elkanah her husband would say to her, “Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don’t you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?”  Once when they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hannah stood up. Now Eli the priest was sitting on a chair by the doorpost of the LORD’s temple.  In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the LORD.  And she made a vow, saying, “O LORD Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.”  As she kept on praying to the LORD, Eli observed her mouth.  Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk  and said to her, “How long will you keep on getting drunk? Get rid of your wine.”  “Not so, my lord,” Hannah replied, “I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the LORD.  Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.”  Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.” She said, “May your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast.  Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the LORD and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah lay with Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her.  So in the course of time Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, “Because I asked the LORD for him.”
Reflect: What do you notice here about Hannah’s praying?
The annual trip to the tabernacle in Shiloh, about 20 miles north of Jerusalem, had become a nightmare for Hannah (2,6,7). Elkanah’s two wives normally lived in separate tents, but during this time they were together. Peninnah’s sadistic behavior caused Hannah deep grief (6). Note how often this happened (7). Do you know someone who enjoys bullying those less fortunate than themselves? Is there any way you can help?
One year, Hannah fled to the tabernacle to pray. There she made a desperate vow to the Lord (11). Eli noticed the distraught woman. Her lips moved as she sobbed but because he couldn’t hear her words he jumped to the wrong conclusion. How easy it is to pass judgment on someone without knowing all the facts.
Hannah received Eli’s words with joy (17,18). Not long after her return home she conceived, and nine months later, baby Samuel (his name means “God has heard”) was born. God had heard her prayers and healed her heartbreak.
Is there a heartache or a broken relationship in your life? Don’t be afraid to bring the situation to the Lord.
Lord, thank You that You do hear and answer prayer. I want to trust all my hurts and disappointments to You.