While only a few passages before this one we saw Hannah weeping in the temple, a short while later we find her praying this prayer of thanks to the Lord. He had given her a son. Between, she took the child, Samuel,to Eli the priest, saying,
I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.
Her prayer in whole might remind us of Mary’s prayer, the Magnificat, which was given many years later. What similarities do we see if we look closely? What do these women teach us through their prayers? We might see that God fulfills his promises, and we might note both women’s emphasis on God’s strength and his lifting up the lowest in society.
Hannah’s Prayer (1 Samuel: 1-10)
My heart rejoices in the Lord;
in the Lord my horn is lifted high.
My mouth boasts over my enemies,
for I delight in your deliverance.
There is no one holy like the Lord;
there is no one besides you;
there is no Rock like our God.
Do not keep talking so proudly
or let your mouth speak such arrogance,
for the Lord is a God who knows,
and by him deeds are weighed.
“The bows of the warriors are broken,
but those who stumbled are armed with strength.
Those who were full hire themselves out for food,
but those who were hungry are hungry no more.
She who was barren has borne seven children,
but she who has had many sons pines away.
The Lord brings death and makes alive;
he brings down to the grave and raises up.
The Lord sends poverty and wealth;
he humbles and he exalts.
He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
he seats them with princes
and has them inherit a throne of honor.
For the foundations of the earth are the Lord’s;
on them he has set the world.
He will guard the feet of his faithful servants,
but the wicked will be silenced in the place of darkness.
It is not by strength that one prevails;
those who oppose the Lord will be broken.
The Most High will thunder from heaven;
the Lord will judge the ends of the earth.
He will give strength to his king
and exalt the horn of his anointed.
As you go through your day today, carry Hannah’s prayer with you.
A Collect for Hannah and Mary
Lord, you teach us through the prayers of your servants Hannah and Mary that those who humble themselves before you will be redeemed. Keep those who place their trust in your deliverance and your plans. Grant this for the sake of your son, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.