Second Day of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
1 Samuel 1:12-20
As she continued praying before the Lord, Eli observed her mouth. Hannah was praying silently; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard; therefore, Eli thought she was drunk. So, Eli said to her, “How long will you make a drunken spectacle of yourself? Put away your wine.” But Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a woman deeply troubled; I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord. Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation all this time.” Then Eli answered, “Go in peace; the God of Israel grant the petition you have made to him.” And she said, “Let your servant find favour in your sight.” Then the woman went to her quarters, ate and drank with her husband, and her countenance was sad no longer.
The story of the birth of Samuel is a popular one and what is significant is that Hannah was barren. She was despised by Peninnah who was Elkanah’s younger wife for her condition of barrenness. This affected her very much and in today’s text, she engages in contemplative prayer that was mistaken for drunkenness by the priest-Eli. When Eli learned that she was not drunk but was in a serious petition prayer to God, he interceded for her wishes to be granted. In life we face challenges of different shapes and sizes and the question is where do we go when we are in such a situation? I know we are in a postmodern world where they are professionals in every sector of our life who are ready to offer services to help us to solve our challenges and problems, but they have limitations as well as human beings. This is where God remains God. Hannah could have tried other avenues but she ended realizing that the ultimate solution was in God. Let us remember that the ultimate solution to our problems and troubles remain in the hands of God. Amen
Lord, you called your people from slavery into freedom, Give us strength and courage to seek out those who are standing in need of justice. allow us to see this need and provide help, and through your Holy Spirit gather us into the one-fold of Jesus Christ, our Shepherd. Amen.