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Hannah's Prayer: 7 Important Lessons for Mothers

Young girl with long dark hair, long eye lashes wearing orange summer dress in a sunflower field smelling a sunflower

Mothers can learn much from the story of Hannah in the Bible, particularly her prayer...

I believe there are 7 important lessons that mothers can glean from Hannah's prayer.  

What was Hannah's Problem?

Hannah is most noted for her prayer of thanksgiving, but to understand that prayer, it is important to look first to her petition...

The story of Hannah is one that I have marveled at.   She remained barren for years and every year would go up to the House of the Lord where she would fervently pray for a child.  This time around, Eli the priest witnessed her praying and accused her of being drunk because her lips were moving while she prayed.  Hannah was not drunk, but was distressed in spirit as she prayed.  Eli inquired why she was praying.  Hannah explained that she was distraught about not being able to have a child.  Eli blessed her with these words...

“Go in peace; and may the God of Israel grant your petition that you have asked of Him.” She said, “Let your maidservant find favor in your sight.” So the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.

I love the image this conjures up in the mind, the picture of a woman who just a few moments ago was so distraught in agonizing prayer that a word from Eli beseeching the Lord to grant her petition caused her countenance to lift and her appetite to return.   You can almost sense her quiet, hopeful joy.

Lesson 1:

As mothers, we need friends, family and our church families to come along side of us in prayer.  Being a mom is a tough job, in any season really.  That's why it is so important to let our requests be made known to others so that they can pour words of life into us that point us to God's faithfulness and provision which will restore hope to our weary souls.

How did Hannah Pray?

When Hannah petitioned the Lord for a child this final time around, she invoked the Nazirite vow, and told God that if He blessed her with a son, she would dedicate him to the Lord's service and a razor would never touch his head.

To want a child so much, yet to be willing to dedicate that child for the Lord's service as soon as he was old enough can be hard to fathom.  She wouldn't experience the day to day joys of being a mother to the child she prayed for all those years...

And what is more amazing, when the day of her sacrifice came, she rejoiced in the Lord by praying the following prayer known as "Hannah's Prayer of Thanksgiving"...

Then Hannah prayed and said,

“My heart exults in the Lord;
My horn is exalted in the Lord,
My mouth speaks boldly against my enemies,
Because I rejoice in Your salvation.

“There is no one holy like the Lord,
Indeed, there is no one besides You,
Nor is there any rock like our God.

Boast no more so very proudly,
Do not let arrogance come out of your mouth;
For the Lord is a God of knowledge,
And with Him actions are weighed.

“The bows of the mighty are shattered,
But the feeble gird on strength.

“Those who were full hire themselves out for bread,
But those who were hungry cease to hunger.
Even the barren gives birth to seven,
But she who has many children languishes.

“The Lord kills and makes alive;
He brings down to Sheol and raises up.

“The Lord makes poor and rich;
He brings low, He also exalts.

“He raises the poor from the dust,
He lifts the needy from the ash heap
To make them sit with nobles,
And inherit a seat of honor;
For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s,
And He set the world on them.

“He keeps the feet of His godly ones,
But the wicked ones are silenced in darkness;
For not by might shall a man prevail.

“Those who contend with the Lord will be shattered;
Against them He will thunder in the heavens,
The Lord will judge the ends of the earth;
And He will give strength to His king,
And will exalt the horn of His anointed.”
1 Samuel 2 NASB

Lesson 2

As mothers, the most powerful tool in our possession is prayer - bold prayer for our children.  From the moment we conceive until our dying breath, praying for our children and their walk with the Lord is indeed Holy work with eternal dividends.

In that manner, we too are dedicating our children to the Lord, desiring to see them serve the Lord in whatever He calls them to do.

Remember to offer up praise and thanksgiving for who He is and all that He has done in and through your child.

What is the Significance of Hannah's Prayer?

To understand the significance of Hannah's prayer, we must appreciate the significance of her petition.

The very fact that Hannah went to the House of the Lord to ask God to give her a child despite her barrenness shows her trust in a God who can accomplish all things, and that nothing is too hard for Him.  Hannah's faith did not waiver.  In fact, this time around, she seemed more emboldened in her petition.

As we see above, Hannah's prayer is very similar to Mary's Magnificat.  Hannah is giving God glory for who He is and what He has done.  Her song of thanksgiving is so much more than praise for her son, but reads as a Psalm to exalt God, His attributes and His power.

Hannah is wholly devoted to God.

Lesson 3

It's okay to feel distraught over any aspect of motherhood, whether it be infertility like Hannah or dealing with a wayward child.  Feeling distressed does not mean we are without faith.  What's important to remember is to trust God in our distress, and take our concerns to the Lord in prayer.

The best way for moms to strengthen that trust, is to look for ways to praise God in the midst of  heartache or struggle.

We must also ask the Lord to show us in what ways we have grown;  what wisdom have we gained; and how are we stronger?  In so doing, we are recognizing God's work within us which will spur on praise and thanksgiving to the Lord.

Lesson 4

And remember to Praise God for all of His marvelous benefits and eternal glory.

As mothers, we can learn form Hannah that when we dedicate our lives totally to Him, whatever hard season we find ourselves in, there can still be praise on our lips.

What does the Story of Hannah Teach Us?

Hannah's story teaches lessons on how to be a mother after God's own heart.

Lesson 5

The most important thing a mother can do, is to first and foremost take care of her spiritual health.  When a mom is spiritually healthy, she will look at her role as a mother through the lens of eternity.  She will fully understand the Love that shines through God's Sovereignty, even in tough times, praising Him for all of His ways.

Lesson 6

As Christians, it is so important to recall God's faithfulness to strengthen our own faith.  It is equally important for mothers, who are in the front lines of battle so to speak, to fortify their faith by recalling God's faithfulness to them in the role of mother.

Lesson 7

Take time for yourself to be renewed.   Hannah had her time of refreshing when Eli reassured her in the Truth of what God would do...  She took time to eat again and her mood relaxed.  Just as Eli spoke words over Hannah, the Lord God will speak Words of Life over you when you open up your Bibles and meditate upon the Truths within.

May our mother's hearts be encouraged as we seek to live out these lessons learned from Hannah's Prayer.

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  1. Wow, Karen! You've really mined some gems for us, as moms, from Hannah's prayer and situation! I can't even imagine how much faith she must have had to forgo raising her son so that he could be exclusively used in God's service. Mind blowing! Thanks for these wise truths that encourage us to have her same faith and devotion to God in our parenting! Pinning!

    1. Hi Beth, You are very welcome!

      Thank you so much for pinning! I very much appreciate it!

      And thanks so much for stopping by! :-)

  2. This is very encouraging and a great reminder of the importance of us to pray for our children. I love that you mentioned that Hannah's prayer was similar to Mary's Magnificat prayer. They chose to praise God amidst uncertainties; what a timely lesson. I want to start to be more intentional about praying for my infant son daily and specifically. Thank you for this post!

    1. Hi Elena, That sounds like a wonderful spiritual discipline! A mother's prayer is so very special, and to do so in infancy is a beautiful discipline that will carry through to your son's adulthood and beyond. :-)

      You are very welcome!

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

  3. I was reading in 1 Samuel 1 and 2 just this morning! Thanks for sharing these 7 lessons.

    1. Hi Lisa, It looks like we are on the same track! ;-)

      You are very welcome!

      Thanks so much for stopping by.

  4. Oh, I love Hannah so much! I could relate to her pain for so many years, and I rejoice with her because God granted both of our requests for a precious child of our own. Thank you for this wonderful post, sweet friend. You are such a dear blessing to us all!

    1. Hi Cheryl, Indeed! I can certainly see where you can relate to Hannah! And now you have a Godly son who is in the midst of Godly pursuits. Oh how you have been blessed!

      You are very welcome! Thank you so much sweet friend, your words always touch and bless me.

      Sending you much love and gratitude.

  5. I'm a new reader, and want to thank you for these encouraging words. Especially for the reminder that feeling distressed does not mean we are without faith.
    Have a blessed day, Shirley

    1. Hi Shirley, Welcome! It means so much to have you stop by!

      Praising God that you found encouragement here.

      Thank you so much for visiting.

      Thank you and you as well. :-)

  6. I can't even imagine what it must have been like for Hannah. First to have a child, then to dedicate him and give him over to the Lord. But to rest in faithfully serving God and to know that she has served her perject job. What a wonderful blessing.

    1. Hi Wendy, Indeed!

      Thanks so much for stopping by. :-)

  7. I appreciate especially the privilege we hav to boldly approach the Lord in prayer for our children!

    1. Hi Amy, Amen!

      Thanks so much for stopping by. :-)


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