Like many of the influential women of the Bible, Hannah was barren. She promised God that if He were to grant her a son, she would dedicate him to God’s service. God recognized her sincere prayer and she gave birth to Samuel. As promised, when Samuel was weaned, she took him to the prophet Eli and dedicated Samuel to the Lord’s service (1 Samuel 1).
Could you do this? I ask you seriously, could you? Think of consecrating your first born child to God. That child would live away from you and be focused on a life of prayer. Now, consider making this decision if you had struggled to conceive. How could you know that more children would follow? What if this was your only chance at being a parent and now you were going to give him to God?
This was the extent of Hannah’s devotion to God. It also signifies a promise kept.
How many times you prayed “God, if you would just hear my prayer, I’ll never do … again.” “God, if you would grant me this one thing, I’ll be a better person.” If God answered that prayer in the way you wanted, did you keep that promise? Some of you may have. I’ll bet most of you did not. Be careful when you make promises, not just to God, but to everyone.
Empty promises hurt. They are the easy way out. An empty promise makes you sound good to the person at the time. But, it sure makes you look like a heel when you don’t come through.
Hannah fulfilled her promise to God and she was looked on with favor. The First Book of Samuel 2:21 states “Indeed the Lord visited Hannah, and she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. And the boy Samuel grew in the presence of the Lord.” God multiplied Hannah’s family because she prayed in earnest to the Lord and kept her promise to Him. Samuel became a great prophet and the last of the Hebrew Judges. He crowned King David.
Let’s all work to be mindful of the promises we make to God and others. Let us pray with a humble heart and be honest with what we say to God and what we ask of Him in prayer. When we pray honestly and with our whole heart, He rewards us beyond measure.
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