The Prayer of a Giver

1 Samuel 2:1-10

Hannah prayed: My heart rejoices in the LORD; my horn is lifted up by the LORD. My mouth boasts over my enemies, because I rejoice in Your salvation.  2 There is no one holy like the LORD. There is no one besides You! And there is no rock like our God. 3 Do not boast so proudly, or let arrogant words come out of your mouth, for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and actions are weighed by Him.  4 The bows of the warriors are broken, but the feeble are clothed with strength.  5 Those who are full hire themselves out for food, but those who are starving hunger no more. The barren woman gives birth to seven, but the woman with many sons pines away.  6 The LORD brings death and gives life; He sends some to Sheol, and He raises others up.  7 The LORD brings poverty and gives wealth; He humbles and He exalts.  8 He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the garbage pile. He seats them with noblemen and gives them a throne of honor. For the foundations of the earth are the LORD’s; He has set the world on them.  9 He guards the steps of His faithful ones, but the wicked are silenced in darkness, for a man does not prevail by his own strength.  10 Those who oppose the LORD will be shattered; He will thunder in the heavens against them. The LORD will judge the ends of the earth. He will give power to His king; He will lift up the horn of His anointed.

 

Sacrificial giving is tough. Few things in this world are more difficult than volunteering to step away from the protection and support of what we have earned or been given in order to serve God and give to others. How can we give cheerfully when it rips out our hearts to take away the safety net of our own family?

Through Hannah’s prayer of praise in I Samuel 2, we are able to see what empowered her to give the greatest sacrifice of all. She offered her own son to serve in the temple of Shiloh. Her strength to give her son in service was found in her own understanding and knowledge of God. Those who give sacrificially are those who focus on God and His acts for His people in their prayers.

Praise Him for His greatness

Hannah does not begin her prayer by rejoicing over what God has done for her or her people. She begins by exalting God for who He is in vs. 1-2. Your strength to give must be founded on the strength of your God to become a truly sacrificial giver. Those who see the holiness and dependability of God are willing to expose themselves to potential harm by giving. Their God is the rock who will never let them fall.

Praise Him for His works

The bulk of Hannah’s prayer (vs. 3-9) is focused on what God does for His people and has done for her. Specifically, she praises God for His sovereignty over man. The rich can’t get comfortable in his riches. The poor can’t despair in his poverty. We can’t assume things will remain as they are because in His sovereignty God can change anything in a moment. Joseph could go from a prisoner in Egypt to second in command of the country in a day. Job can lose all of life’s comforts in an hour. Therefore, it is foolish to desperately horde what we have been given. It is far better to give back to God and trust that He will secure His children in the end.

Praise Him for His plans

Finally, Hannah looked forward to God’s future plans for His people in vs. 10. She looks forward to the anointing of Israel’s king as she lives in a land desperate for godly leadership. Her nation would lack a king until late in her son’s life. Yet she anticipated that day when God would provide powerful leadership for His people. Today God’s children are to continue to look forward to His future plans when the Prince of Peace returns to this earth in glory and power.