1 & 2 Samuel: Day 1

The Birth of Samuel

by

Today's Text: 1 Samuel 1:1-2:36, Jeremiah 7:12-14, Luke 1:46-55

Scripture Reading: 1 Samuel 1:1-2:36, Jeremiah 7:12-14, Luke 1:46-55

I listen to film soundtracks while I work because they somehow help me feel connected to the world of words where I spend my days. The sweeping scores are fuel for my fingers on the keyboard, providing a level of focus and intensity I’m not sure I could achieve in silence.

In the same way that music brings words to life on my computer screen, the books of 1 & 2 Samuel lend new vibrancy to my reading of Scripture. These ancient words were breathed out by God and remain “living and active” (Hebrews 4:12). Even so, I forget. I can read the words yet fail to see the story.

This is the story of an eternal King and His eternal kingdom. The epic battles and legendary tales found in 1 & 2 Samuel wake me up to a reality that’s as true for me as it was for David: our God reigns.

The books of 1 & 2 Samuel tell the stories of Samuel, Saul, and David—three broken heroes used by God to establish a kingdom for His people. Samuel was the revered last judge, Saul the impressive first king of Israel, and David the flawed poet-warrior. But beyond the page-turning adventure of kings and battles and political gamesmanship, these books tell the story of a greater King. The life of David, his defeat of Goliath, and the epic victories of his mighty men all point to the coming of Christ—the true and forever-reigning King.

And where does it all begin? With the desperate prayers of a heartbroken woman named Hannah.

“Deeply hurt, Hannah prayed to the Lord and wept with many tears. Making a vow, she pleaded, ‘Lord of Armies, if you will take notice of your servant’s affliction, remember and not forget me, and give your servant a son, I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life…’” (1 Samuel 1:10-11).

I read Hannah’s story and I see myself—not because our struggle is the same, but because our hearts are. Like Hannah, I long for what this imperfect life on earth does not give. Like Hannah, I want to be known and remembered by my God. And while all my prayers to Him are not answered with a “yes,” they are heard and I am known. I am remembered. Just like Hannah.

“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” (1 Samuel 2:1).

First Samuel begins with a beautiful picture of a heart bowed in earnest before the Lord of all creation, asking for what only He can give. And while all the stories in this study will not be quite so tender, they all point to the same reality. The Lord of Hannah—and Samuel, and Saul, and David, and Israel—is the Lord of you and me. He reigns throughout all generations.

I pray our five weeks in 1 & 2 Samuel bring this truth to life for us as we read, ushering us into the knowledge of the truer kingdom and truest King. In Jesus, God has given us the only King who can satisfy our desire for protection, provision, and peace—a King whose throne cannot be defeated.

Our King and His kingdom are forever. Thanks be to God.

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  • I am so happy that I found She Reads The Truth…..Through Him I will survive.

  • Marie Young

    I was watching King Arthur ironically before I opened up this bible plan. I thought about the movie when I was reading 1 & 2 Samuel. Both about kingdoms & both about how before they became kings, they were underdogs.

  • Thanks be to God for awesome devos like this one! Starting my first day of junior year in high school in a few days. I was a bit apprehensive about how God was going to use my group of christian friends and myself to spread His word. I am standing strong in the truth that His will will be done. After all Samuel, Saul, and David were, “- three broken heroes used by God to establish a kingdom for His people.” #SHEREADSTRUTH

  • I’m a little behind because I just got my book in the mail today since I ordered it late.
    Man, I love the Old Testament. There are so many great truths!
    What stood out to me the most was 1Sam 2:35. I want to be completely filled with the Spirit so that I will know what is in God’s heart and mind!! 1 Cor 2:11-12.

  • AnnaGrace

    Please pray for me today. I have an extremely important job interview today and I deal with horrible anxiety. This study was so good. The Lord hears my prayers and is with me.

    • Shelby

      Praying for you! You will do great, remember to “worry not about your life” (Matthew 6:25)

  • My first thought was, “Whoa! Two whole chapters?! That’s a lot!”

    The last year of my life has been hectic. My husband and I abruptly moved from DE to SC to care for my grandparents. It was a mad rush down here because everything was a tragedy. I felt similar to how Rachael felt once how she just couldn’t open her Bible.

    And so I didn’t…for months. I went from reading 10 chapters a day to barely scraping a devotional in. I’ve prayed that the Lord would place a hunger and thirst in my heart again for His Truth. Slowly, I’ve come back to pouring over Scripture every morning, and I felt the Lord’s faithfulness today when I saw the reading was 2 entire chapters of an Old Testament book–I was so happy! So excited to sit and linger and meditate over His Word.

    Thank you, SRT team! Thank you for being Jesus’s instruments for an answered prayer in my life.

    • Amanda

      It’s ironic how we go through seasons where we’d rather do anything else than read Scripture; but, then once we start, new life comes into us and we cannot stop.

    • Jayde

      Hello! I desperately need this same prayer. Through a series of events .. my best friend abandoning me, mom dying, boyfriend becoming abusive, Christian ministry circle becoming very manipulative and hurtful.. etc. etc. I have really put up a guard against Jesus. I keep praying that He would soften my heart towards him. I want Him to break my heart for what breaks His. I know what that is like because I have for majority of my life walked closely with the Lord. I know now I have wandered far and I don’t know how to get back. Please pray that my heart softens I am afraid to be like Pharoah!!

  • This study couldn’t have come at a better time. Since we moved in March, I have been struggling to get back into my routine of doing bible readings daily. In truth, I’ve barely done any. I haven’t prayed often either. But I’ve missed it. I worried that just starting anywhere would not be beneficial and would put me off.
    Two days ago, the Lord really convicted me to start up again. But I didn’t listen. I’m 40 weeks pregnant, due any day now, and the verse 1 Samuel 1:27 kept appearing, and prompting me to praise the Lord again for this new life. However, I didn’t know where it was from in scripture.
    This morning, I listened to the Lords prompting and conviction and turned to scripture for the first time in a while. And these are the verses I read (I wanted to start at the beginning of the series rather than on day 3).
    I don’t believe in using verse superstitiously, but I do believe the Lord has called me back to Him through this passage.
    I praise your Holy name, Lord, for Your compassions never fail, and you surround me with your love and peace!

  • Jennifer Peck

    “Hannah stood up.” (v.9) Hannah’s life was filled with pain, as she was unable to conceive children and then tormented by the other wife who had many. Year after year the family traveled to the temple for worship and sacrifice. This year was no different- or was it. The circumstances had not changed but something in Hannah’s heart changed. After they had finished eating and drinking- Hannah stood up. Verse 9 also records that the priest Eli took notice. Hannah stood and poured out her heart to the Lord. She wasn’t concerned with what anyone thought- to the point of being accused of drunkenness by Eli. She just kept on praying to the Lord. (v.12) What an incredible example of courage and persistence in prayer. Many of us have been stuck in circumstances that stay the same year after year. May we have the courage as Hannah did to stand up! Our circumstances may never change but we can. We can make a decision to turn toward the Lord, trusting Him and pouring out our hearts to Him.

    • Johanna Galyen

      I never, ever thought of it like that! Stand and fight! She was so sick and tired of what was, and decided no more. No more hiding and sheepish praying. No more silent tears. It was time to be honest to God, to the point that she didn’t care of what others thought.

      *Wow* thank you so much for pointing that out. What a special blessing to my heart today!

      • Jennifer Peck

        This was a new revelation for me as well. Love how fresh the Word of God is not matter how familiar the story.

  • One of the things that struck me in the first two chapters was the contrast between Hannah’s response to the Lord and the response of Eli’s sons … and God’s response to each of them. Hannah’s response was worship and giving her son to the Lord (physically allowing others to raise him!)—offering everything she had freely. Eli’s sons, on the other hand, “did not know the Lord” and “treated the offering of the Lord with contempt.” And the Lord’s response to them was just as stark. Hannah continued to be blessed (having more children), while Eli’s sons were rejected and cut off from the Lord. The thought that’s been running through my mind all day is, “Which of these two am I? Do I offer everything I have to the Lord? Or do I hold back? Do I give begrudgingly or freely? Are there ways in which I have treated the offering of the Lord with contempt? Am I a cheerful giver?”

    • Lana

      This is what struck me too. I looked at it as a direct contract between Hannah and Eli. Hannah honored God first. But 1 Samuel 2:28 says of Eli: but you have honored your sons more than me, by making yourselves fat with the best part of all of the offerings…

      God blessed both Hannah and Eli with children. What they did with those blessings directly impacted humanity. Like Nicole pointed out earlier in the comments, God gave to Hannah, and in return, Hannah gave back to God. She accepted the responsibility of her blessing by choosing to continue the cycle of love and generosity. Eli didn’t do that. And in that way, he didn’t set a good example for his kids. And there are consequences for that.

      These chapters were so rich. Really looking forward to this study.

  • I find myself in Hannah as she kneels before the Lord requesting a child. I see her knees trembling. I see her eyes weary, hands wrung with the pain of being empty. I hear her words whispering to her God as she boldly asks for the desires of her heart. I see the rejection this world has offered her and I know the acute feeling of being unheard. Hannah is me… As I look at our daughter Kylie, I see hope. I see God redeeming life over death and His hand guiding us along as each step seems blind and uncertain.

  • Over the last couple of months, I’ve realized my prayer life is lacking. I struggle to stay focused and I struggle to pray in belief. I’ve also realized I do not sit in praise and thankfulness enough to my savior. I ask things of Him and then often forget to come before Him in praise and thankfulness when he answers my prayers or brings encouragement in my waiting.

    This morning the words of Hannah and Mary bring deep conviction to my heart but I also rejoice. I’m rejoicing because the Lord is using these passages to draw me to Him. I feel Him saying, “come before me. Give me your all. Focus your heart on me. Just as Hannah and Mary worshipped me in thanksgiving and praise, I want your praise my daughter.”

    Thank you Jesus for using the SRT community to bring conviction and encouragement to my soul!

  • The verse that stuck out to me most in this reading was 1 Samuel 1:27 which says, “I prayed for this boy, and since the Lord gave me what I asked him for, I now give the boy to the Lord. For as long as he lives, he is given to the Lord.” Hannah pours out her heart to the Lord, gives Him her grief and despair and He blesses her with a child! I love this verse because Hannah goes from being weak and overcome by emotion to strong and steadfast BECAUSE she was blessed by the Lord. And now that she has been blessed and shown generosity by the Lord SHE can now show that same generosity on earth through Him, “the Lord gave” Hannah what she needed to grow in her faith and now instead of her receiving blessings she says “I give.” How incredible is that progression in this one single verse?! “The Lord gave” so now “I give.” Thankful to follow a God who doesn’t ask us to give anything He hasn’t already poured into us FIRST. What a God we follow and my soul rejoices in Him!

  • ” And while all my prayers to Him are not answered with a “yes,” they are heard and I am known. I am remembered. Just like Hannah.” What a comfort it is to remember how heard, known, loved, and carried we are by our creator.

  • Rebekah DeLibro

    Love the story of Samuel and excited to be studying this! Hannah is someone I would have took compassion on, prayed for and been friends with. Hannah is much braver than me though. As I get older I pray for things but I think I hold back what God really wants me to say to Him. I feel like I’m all in and offer myself to Him to carry out His will, but do I really? Hannah promised her only son to serve the Lord, that’s all in for sure. I need to take my cues from Hannah and pray on a larger scale and not be afraid of what God may or may not do in my life. I feel like there are big things on the horizon for me but I’ll be honest, I scares me a lot. I need to remember that God’s if I trust Him will be my will as well. I pray we all find our convictions and prayers and that we not hold back in fear for what God may bless us with.

  • I am already so excited for this study. And so glad that this happens to be an area that I have been thinking about lately. I realized the other day that God won’t give me what I don’t ask for! So my prayers need to be bigger, and more descriptive of exactly what I’m wanting from our Father. Hannah is such a relatable woman this has given me so much comfort tonight. Praying for every amazing woman in this group!

  • ” And while all my prayers to Him are not answered with a “yes,” they are heard and I am known. I am remembered. Just like Hannah. ”

    This study comes in of the most perfect timing. Over the past three months I have begged God and prayed Hannah’s exact prayer for another baby after the loss of our sweet son. We can often forget that God hears us. He hears me and He hears YOU! It is the same God who parted the Red Sea to make a way, the same God in which the oceans obey, and the exact God who spoke creation to be. How easy we forget His power and might. That God who holds our hearts and hears our every word and tear and joy. He does not leave or forget His people. What a sweet reminder, sisters.

    • Kathryn MacLeod

      I prayed for a second child after my daughter died. God heard my cries. I am not sure why he answered in a different way. But. I trust in him.

  • ” And while all my prayers to Him are not answered with a “yes,” they are heard and I am known. I am remembered. Just like Hannah. ”

    This study comes in of the most perfect timing. Over the past three months I have begged God and prayed Hannah’s exact prayer for another baby after the loss of our sweet son. We can often forget that God hears us. He hears me and He hears YOU! It is the same God who parted the Red Sea to make a way, the same God in which the oceans obey, and the exact God who spoke creation to be. How easy we forget His power and might. That God olds our hearts and heard our every word and tear and joy. He does not leave or forget His people. What a sweet reminder, sisters.

  • aprilinsydney

    I remember that God remembers me by recalling the times I have prayed prayers of desperation, “pouring my heart before the LORD … praying from the depth of my anguish and resentment” and His response. He heard me and made a way.

    The first verse of the hymn “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” also reminds me to go to God in prayer rather than trying to solve everything on my own (typically my first response):

    “What a friend we have in Jesus/ All our sins and grief to bear!/ What a privilege to carry/ Everything to God in prayer!/ Oh what peace we often forfeit,/ Oh what needless pain we bear,/ All because we do not carry/ Everything to God in prayer.”

  • Johnna Hold

    I am so happy to being doing this study. I have felt the longing for something more in my life. I often look around at all the brokenness and feel so broken myself. I want to have a heart like Hannah. I want to pray with abandonment and live a life that is reflecting of that. I want to be a mom like Hannah. I often parent out of fear. I want to parent knowing that God loves them more than I do and they are HIS.

    • Christine

      This is beautiful! I’m not yet a parent, but this was the exact sentiment I had while reading Hannah’s story. Go and love knowing this truth!

    • Emily B.

      I need to remember the part about parenting, as well. I’m pregnant with our first, and fear has definitely gripped me a lot so far. But I know this baby belongs to God, and so I can be at peace.

  • I want so much to be like Hannah, taking my deepest longings to God in earnest prayer. I want so much to be like Mary, full of grace and rejoicing at whatever God’s plan for her was going to be. But then I wonder how I would react in their places. Would I trust God or become bitter and blame God? Could I hand back to God the child I had longed for? My son’s fiancée was diagnosed with cancer last year. For a long time, we did not know whether she would survive. She is recovering, praise God, but can never bear children and that has shattered one of their dreams. They have become so strong, so mature, through this and they have faith. She is only 25. I am 60 and I wonder when, God when – when will I reach that point where I trust like they do, like Hannah, like Mary? I think I have reached that place then it slips from my grasp and I climb the slope again. Today, it was the verses from Jeremiah that tore at my heart – at God’s sorrow when we slide back, turn away … his pain. This study has come at the right time for me, and reading the comments of others has strengthened me.

    • Kristin

      So well said, Frances! I feel just like you. Thankful your daughter-in-law is doing better. What great news for your family.

      • Taylor

        Frances, many prayers for your sweet daughter in law and son. They are truly inspiring! Your message brought tears to my eyes because it is what I thought the entire time I read today. Could I be that selfless and give my son back? If he or my daughter were to leave me now, would I trust it was because they are back with their Father – the Lord? Or would my selfish heart take over? The struggle is so real and my hope is we can all break free from it. Reading your comment and experience strengthens me! And you instilled in your son to trust in the Lord; I hope I can do the same!

  • Hannah’s honest prayer is a reminder for me to come before the Lord with an open and honest heart. He knows my circumstances, the calling He has for me, the challenges I face, the fear I wrestle with over and over. . . Thank You, Lord for the love and affection you have for your children. When we draw near to you, you draw near to us. You will provide peace when we seek you with open and honest hearts. Amen.

  • Sarah D.

    Excited for this study!! As I started to read 1 Samuel, it stood out that this book is much easier to understand compared to other books of the Bible. It’s like you’re reading an adventure novel or something! Except this is real. So amazing how we can find similarities between the people who lived in the BCs and us today, how they struggled too. I’ve been in those places like Hannah, when I’m crying and asking God why this is happening. But looking back on it, I can see His purpose was stamped ober it. And I’m so much stronger and closer to Jesus because of it. Thankful that I’m in this season now, growing in and clinging to the Lord, especially as I go into my first year of college. I have to give myself over to the Lord, just like Hannah gave Samuel. Take it all Lord. My life in Your Hands.

  • Never thought about the fact the story starts with Hannah’s desperate prayer to our God. This really touches me today. So excited to start this study as I love 1 and 2 Samuel and know as always I will gain new perspective on these books through the SRT study.

  • This reading today reminds me of a goal I’be been trying to muster up the courage to commit to: more prayer.prayer has always been a challenge for me. When I was younger I always felt as if I was talking to a wall. Now that I’m older, I feel pushed to pray more publicly and to not be afraid to ask others if they need prayer. Hannah’s beautiful praise to God reminds me just how powerful prayer can be. It doesn’t have to be something I am embarrassed about or nervous of doing in front of others, in fact it can be a way for me to intimately strengthen my relationship with Christ in a new way. I’d love if y’all wouldn’t mind praying for me as I start this new journey on learning to pray openly and unashamedly!

    • Nads

      Ha! And I have the opposite challenge…I feel the closest to God and the most sincere in my prayers when I do it in a group / with people around and out loud. I always feel silly praying out loud when I’m alone. I too feel strongly the call to spend more time in sincere prayer, alone with my Lord…and I’m failing miserably. I recently cried my way through “The War Room” yet again.

      Please pray for me.

      • Mari

        Nads, was going to go to bed right now I decided to check SRT once again. Hope your day was better. Just got done praying for you sister. By the way these last two days we also watched the war room.

  • Facing another challenging day today. Have to come face to face in a situation that I don’t want to be. I’m thankful for mediators. Please pray that I would be strong. Thank you

    • Lesley

      Praying for you, Mari, for strength and wisdom, and that you know God with you in the challenges you face today.

      • Mari

        Though its late, thank you Leslie. I know that the Lord was there strengthening me.

  • I am a middle school teacher and that means the school year is quickly approaching, which is like a mini New Years. I have a vision for this school year; one in which I learn to pray more like Hannah, pouring my heart out to the Lord, trusting that he will provide, yet still moving forward.

    I’ve followed along with SRT online, off and on for a couple of years now, and this is the first time I’ve actually purchased the book (or posted). I’m so excited to get out of my comfort zone by actually posting and reading and learning with others!

    • Hannah

      Praying for you India! I hope you have a great school year. May you be blessed with wisdom, discernment and favor as you work.

  • Prayers for your family, Faith.

  • Wildflower

    Just so happy to have Jesus to intercede. I still mess up a million times a day in a million different ways. But He’s still there.

  • Carrie Rogers

    My prayers are heard and I am known. Thank you Amanda!

  • Loved today’s reading. Remember- I am remembered! That is the line that kept running through my head. Off topic question: I have both books for this study , are they to be used in tandem? Sorry for the silly question.

    • Lauren Gloyne

      Hi Tina! Lauren here from the SRT Team. The Study Book corresponds to the SRT community study, and the Legacy Book corresponds to the HRT community studies. He Reads Truth started 1 & 2 Samuel today as well, and the daily commentary can be found on HeReadsTruth.com. The Scripture for each day is the same for both communities, so they can definitely be used in tandem. So grateful to have you reading along!

  • Tochi Heredia

    Day 1: the Birth of Samuel.

    Today I find myself reflected in the sons of Eli. How many times I know what the Lord wants for me, what I can do to please and worship him, but I end up doing exactly the opposite. I end up worshipping myself and sinning against my God.
    I am so grateful that I do have someone to intercede for me before God. The Son of David, the Eternal King, has claimed me for the Father.

    Lord, I have given you my life in response to Your mercy and faithfulness, the same way Hannah gave you her son. Help me to live a life of humble service to you. Keep me from being conceited like the sons of Eli, distorting Your Word to suit their selfish desires. Help me to follow the example of Your Son, Jesus. Amen.

  • I am already in love with this study. Hannah’s prayers resonate with my life and I’m sure they do with the lives of many. I’m working on my prayer life and today’s reading really blessed me!

  • Ashley BB

    The word that is screaming at me from the text this morning, is the word “tender”. How God not only sees and is with all of His people, but how He is ever so tender and loving with His daughters. His Word is littered with stories of faithful women who did incredible things for Him. Again and again He shows us that He indeed is sovereign over ALL circumstance. I know that many, many women (including myself) have found comfort and hope in His Word when facing infertility. Whether our prayers were answered or not, I know that our Father was tender and gentle with us every step of the way.

    It is tough work being a woman (how annoying does Peninnah sound?), but I believe that our Father loves, cherishes, values and protects us in the most tender and gentle way. Whatever struggle, disappointment, loss, challenge- ANYTHING that we face, we never ever have to face alone.

    I’m a worship girl, and throughout this reading the song, “You Don’t Miss a Thing” by Amanda Cook was playing over and over in my heart. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rzn2inZ3URE

    Whatever the condition of your heart, sweet friends our Abba is the One and ONLY Sovereign God and He sees you, He knows you, He hears You and He loves you fiercely and oh so tenderly.

  • Praying for you and your family, Faith!

  • I am so excited about this study. I am in a very broken place. My oldest son died by suicide three years ago (he was a very successful, brilliant young man and father of two girls he adored)! Since then, our family has splintered into a million tiny pieces! The siblings no longer speak, and all the little cousins don’t get to grow up together. Our hearts are broken and we are all grieving in different ways. I, like Hannah, am praying from the depth of anguish and resentment. Please lift us up if you feel led.

    • Susan Dexter

      Absolutely, know you are being prayed for!

    • Amanda

      Praying that the Lord will bring healing and abundant love to you and your family!!!

    • JB

      Lifting you up to the Father who can create something new and meaningful from the pieces. Dear God, please remember Faith and her family.

      • Momandorder

        So many prayers for you and your family Faith. My 27 yr old daughter died suddenly in April and her five brothers and myself and dad are still raw. Please pray with me as well the God calls my son’s to him.

      • Momandorder

        So many prayers for you and your family Faith. My 27 yr old daughter died suddenly in April and her five brothers and myself and dad are still raw. Please pray with me as well that God calls my sons to him.

    • Cathy

      Faith – Praying that God comforts your broken heart and brings your family back together in amazing and miraculous ways!

    • Jalissa

      Absolutely! Lifting you up today, Faith. Praying that you feel the peace and hope of God, that family relationships are restored, and that God will draw your family near to him.

    • Mari

      Lifting you and your family in prayer. God is able!

    • churchmouse

      Oh Faith I’m so sorry. Will at your family to my prayer journal – praying that God will bring the healing and restoration you so desire.

    • Liz C

      Praying for you Faith and also for you Momandorder. Prayers that your families will be restored and will find peace and comfort in one another again soon.

    • Kara

      I am so incredibly sorry for your loss & what you have been through. Praying!!

  • Susan Dexter

    I am humbled by Hannah’s practice of prayer, her worship to God. I am on a journey to be more intentional, bold, specific and strategic in my prayer life and what an example to see that God does not mind our anguish and resentment, in fact He welcomes it ALL at His feet. I have been looking forward to this study for weeks now, and what a great start! Thank you, SRT!

  • Tricia C

    I am excited for this study! I’ve wanted to read the Samuels and now I’m doing it with such great insight from SRT. Thank you!

  • Courtney K.

    Convicted today about completely trusting in the Lord to follow through. I love that when Hannah finished weeping her heart out, she got up and continued to move forward, trusting that God would provide.

    I’m about to quit my full time job to go to grad school, and I am so stressed about the financial side of things. But Hannah’s trust in the Lord is something to be inspired by and to follow suit in. Please pray for me as I begin this journey!

    • Susan Dexter

      Praying for you as you embark on this new journey and chapter of life! He will go with you and provide all your needs! He is ever faithful. I truly know the stress of loans with just finishing up putting 4 kids through college and 1 now in grad school. Looking at those papers, is stressful, but I have too prayed over my need and my kids financial futures and for the first time in YEARS, I have a settled peace! I repeat, God is ever faithful!

    • Jenny

      Praying for you, Courtney! God is guiding you towards something else in life and when you feel the pull…trust and follow. I’m in a similar situation, looking for a completely different career that will serve others and the Lord…I feel the daily pull to go a different route. It takes strength, courage, and faith but it’s possible!

    • amylou

      Courtney, thank you for sharing your observation that Hannah got up and moved forward with her daily life, trusting in God for the best steps. In wake of my mom’s passing last week, I’m anxious to rearrange how I live my life but don’t know what that looks like yet (and of course, I want to know now…). Your observation makes Hannah’s story relatable to me today in that I need to keep taking steps forward and trust that the Lord will reveal His answers to my prayers in the right timing. Best wishes to you in grad school!

    • Ebun

      Hi Courtney. Praying for you as you embark on this journey. I had my graduation this summer for my Masters in Psychology programme and I too embarked on it with faith. I didn’t know how it’d get paid for but God put a peace I can’t explain in my heart regarding that. It was a hard faith walk for me cos a month to graduation I still didn’t know if or how it would get paid. BUT God was faithful. He won’t ever let His children down. Moreover, He won’t ever let His name be put to shame. He did it for me and I know without a shadow of doubt that He’ll do the same for you. Trust Him and “Hold on to faith”. He’ll come through for you.

  • Katalina

    I can’t wait to go deeper in this study! I relate so much to Hannah. I want to be remembered and blessed by God. But she is proof that God hears are hearts desires. When we call out to Him, He hears every word and counts every tear. We could never be ignored because He is always watching out for us. He gives us constant hope that there’s a greater power at work in our lives, even in the midst of grief or pain. What a wonderful God we have! ❤️

  • What a beautiful reminder that the all powerful God sees me and hears my prayers.

  • One thing that stood out to me is God being referred to the as the “Lord of Armies.” It was so humbling to read that and know that the Lord of Armies is for me! He is fighting for me and protecting me and anyone who is faithful to Him. I also love how Hannah calls God a rock. These names for God encourage me to remember that I can do nothing by my own strength but that I have a steadfast, solid, unwavering Father who loves me and takes care of me.

  • God is still the same and will always be…”his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.” Luke 1:50

  • TaraLynn

    One thing that struck me about today’s reading is that Hannah didn’t made a promise when she was desperate for a child that if the Lord would bless her, she would return the child to Him, and when she was blessed with Samuel, she followed through. How many of us would have wanted to hold onto him? I think of times that I have said things in the midst of troubles that if only God would deliver me I would do x, y or z, but then when things aren’t so desperate I forget the promises I made. In that regard I desire to be more like Hannah, I would like to be persistent in my prayers and consistent in my responses. That being said, I am looking forward to doing this study and hopefully getting to know the community as we study together. I need the accountability of others studying with me. Have a blessed day!

  • I see the God of the turn around in these chapters. The God of reversals. Praise the Lord!

  • Friends, would you say a prayer for me today? I’m taking a week of vacation to attempt writing my story of infertility and God’s provision and healing in my life. It’s been 10 years, I now have three healthy kids, and I think He wants me to write it for the girls who are now in the middle of it. In those years, I prayed many prayers “from the depth of anguish and resentment.” And God healed and filled me, even before He gave us a healthy baby. Please pray for clarity of thought and humility of purpose as I try to write it this week. Much love to you, ladies. (And much MUCH love to you “Hannahs” who are crying for a baby today).

    • churchmouse

      May He give you His words and His peace as you sit before Him. May God be glorified and your readers be encouraged by your offering.

    • IAB

      Praying for clarity and the Holy Spirit will speak through you – as you write and remember those years I pray you will remember the HOpe and have a renewed sense of the Lords presence.

    • Lynne

      Becky, I am praying for you as you share your story. I have several friends who were never blessed with children and, even though they are past the child-bearing years, their pain is still fresh! May God bless you richly!

    • Tonya

      I am a mother of a beautiful little girl, who is 5 and will start Kindergarten this month. Since having her I have had two losses and they are so heavy on my heart. I gave up praying for another child b/c I felt unheard after 3+ years; seeing countless friends and others struggling with infertility end up w/ their blessing. I have felt defeated and excluded. Hannah’s story speaks to me so much. She remained hopeful even through her pain and being tormented, she brought all of it before God. My goodness my faith has been small. Today I begin a prayer book and a renewing of my heart as I begin this study. I pray that God gives you wisdom to write what is on your heart and may He use you in a mighty way! I’m thankful for the encouragement I felt when I read your post.

  • Kelly R Smith

    I often try to find myself in Scripture. As I read, I ask myself, “How does this apply to me?” Which is all well and good–except, “This is the story of an eternal King and His eternal kingdom.”

    I remember a brief struggle with infertility and the way I wore the pages of 1 Samuel 1 and 2 out. I wanted to know that God *could* give me a child. I found some comfort there, but I missed the bigger story. The bigger story of this passage is the love, sovereignty, and faithfulness of God. He saw Hannah, and he sees me. (And now my prayed-for child is thirteen, and I am ever dependent on the Lord!)

    • churchmouse

      So true, Kelly. I have only to look at my journal of answered and unanswered prayers to know that He is sovereign. The answer and the timing is His decision, not mine. When I don’t push against His sovereignty, when I surrender my will to His, I have peace in the pondering and in the praying. Thanks for speaking this truth this morning. Always good to be reminded.

    • Kelsi

      This is the hope and encouragement I needed today, Kelly. We are in the midst of almost a year of trying for a child and I’m tired, exhausted and broken. The bigger story is getting me through. He sees me, I know. I need to give him it all and focus on the bigger story, and not just my wants. ❤️

      • Kelly R Smith

        Praying for you this morning, Kelsi!

      • Amber

        Kelsi, I know exactly how you feel. My husband and I just celebrated 10 years of marriage, and along with that came the reminder that we have been trying/hoping to start our family for the past 8 years. It can make me miserable to watch everybody else get the one thing that I want (especially now, because one of the girls I work with is pregnant- and this is the 5th time I will have to endure hearing our clients (I work in a salon, so all day we’re making conversation with people) congratulate someone on their pregnancy!), but I have to keep reminding myself that it will happen in Gods time, not mine. I read Caroline’s 60 day devotional, In Due Time- Hope and Encouragement in the Waiting, and it really helped me to stay focused on God instead of comparing myself to others. No matter the amount of time we spend waiting, our feelings are still the same. You are not alone in dealing with infertility.

  • 1 Samuel 1:16 “Don’t think of me as a wicked woman; I’ve been praying from the depth of my anguish and resentment.” This verse really struck me when I read it. Hannah’s heart must have been hurting so much to pray from “the depth of her anguish and resentment!” And God heard her! He heard her pain and he heard the resentment she had to towards Peninnah for having children when she could not. He heard all of the deep rooted sorrows in her prayers and He answered in ways she could have never have imagined. I think that’s why reading this verse brings me such sadness and such great hope at the same time. God is faithful, and He always hears, sees, and answers!

  • churchmouse

    “The desperate prayers of a heart broken woman named……………….” Perhaps you, like me, could insert your own name. Perhaps you, like me, have long prayed for a certain situation and your prayer journal seems to be yellowing with the passage of time and no answer seems yet given. The longing of the heart seems to meet silence in every single prayer. Oh Hannah, how I can relate. But I see your faithfulness in year after year, going up to the Lord’s house and relentlessly laying your need before Him. Your persistence impresses me this morning. You prayed from the depth of “anguish and resentment.” Oh yes, Hannah, how I can relate. And I notice too that you persisted in worship. How difficult I know that is when you feel forgotten, overlooked and even abused. BUT, “the Lord remembered her.” I slowly leaf through my prayer journal this morning, taking extra time to note how many times I have been remembered. Remembered when I thought I had been forgotten. His peace settles over me. I turn again to the most current page and look at those heavy burdens and I say “He hears .” And so I wait for the good that is coming even though I do not yet see. May I wait patiently, expectantly and even peaceably because, as with Hannah, so with me – He will remember. I am encouraged. I pray on. I worship.

    • Brenna

      Beautifully said. Thank you for sharing this morning, churchmouse.

    • Terri

      Thank you for this, Churchmouse. Sometimes I forget just how many times I have been remembered.

    • Cecelia Enns Schulz

      I love this! Yes and amen. It reminds me of something I heard Bill Johnson say about peace – we can’t have the peace that surpasses understanding until we give up our right to understand. God is God and I am not. Oh, how I want to know the how’s and whys and when’s. I want to know how the hard things will be used for my good. But it’s when I let go of everything that I find peace. I wish it wasn’t so hard.

    • Karen From Virginia

      Thanks Churchmouse. “The God who sees”. It’s a lovely needed reminder that we are never alone and Jesus is with us in our suffering and difficulties.

  • “Like Hannah, I long for what this imperfect life on earth does not give. Like Hannah, I want to be known and remembered by my God.”
    I’m grateful for this reminder that God sees our longings, that it’s ok to have them and that they matter to him.
    I was struck by the different responses in the passage to Hannah’s longing for a child: Peninnah using it to taunt her and hurt her, and Elkanah trying to cheer her up but not showing much sensitivity. Once Eli takes the time to listen, he is the one who gets it right, understanding her pain and encouraging her in her request to God. Even before her prayer is answered, just the fact that someone understands and cares seems to help her a lot.
    It encourages me that it’s ok to be honest with God and bring our longings to him and also reminds me of the need to be sensitive to others whose longings may be different, to take time to listen and to care.

  • Marianne

    The responsibility and power of motherhood … I like the connection you drew between Samuel, King Saul, King David and the humble mother who dedicated the son of her heart to the Lord. What if she hadn´t done this? Of course God has ways to pursue His goals. But he used this mother´s prayers and dedication to bless the families of a priest, of two kings and a whole nation.
    Our first daughter married last week. And while I am conscious of my many weaknesses and failures, it struck me that even my humble prayers for her weren´t unanswered and God will use her and her newly found family for His glory. What a privilege to be part of God´s plan – even if it´s “only” praying for our kids and being willing to entrust them to the Lord´s care … Thx for the reminder! :)

    • AngelaRSpencer

      My son is one week old today, and I was also struck by the importance of being a godly mother! Hannah’s example of crying out to God when she was heartbroken and when she was rejoicing really hit me. This is something I need to focus on as we raise our son (and our daughter, who is 21 months old).

      • Beth M

        Yes, and everything that she had to teach him she only had till he was weaned to do it. That wasn’t much time, but she must have used her time very wisely.

  • I am very excited to begin this study! Who else agrees?

  • A truth I seem to need to be reminded of constantly at the moment: “In Jesus, God has given us the only King who can satisfy our desire for protection, provision, and peace—a King whose throne cannot be defeated.”
    I was talking to a friend about psalm 23 yesterday and how our Shepherd is the one who protects and provides for us. The problem is I look to other people to fulfil that role and they can never live up to it because they’re just sheep like me!
    Hoping that as I read through 1 Samuel and see kings triumph and fail I would have a bigger, more beautiful picture of the only King who can satisfy my deep desires and longings. A King who not only can do these things but delights in doing them.
    (Also, amazed at Hannah’s willingness to give the son she had been praying for so long to the Lord!)

  • Lisa Leese

    I am soooo excited for this study! I emailed a few years ago ans asked about having a study about king David and now you guys have answered that request! (Ok, probably not specifically for me but I’m ecstatic nonetheless) I love this story and can’t wait to dig deeper into the true meaning behind their lives, lessons, and battles.

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