How many of you believe and understand that God is aware of everything that is going on in your life? There is no problem or situation that God is not aware of. God can reach out to all our situations of life. There is no circumstance going on in your life that God is not able to deal with. The Bible says that God watches over the sparrow. We read it in Matthew 6:26 “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” Yes, God watches over you and me. Listen to this in Luke 12:7 “Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” It is not saying that your hairs on your head are counted; but it says it all is numbered. If they were counted he would know how many there were; but as they are numbered, He knows which one fell. Our God is so close to us that even before we ask Him for anything He is already come by, before you get down on your knees to pray, He is already listening to you. So whatever you need from the Lord, though He sits high above but He looks really low and He is watching over you.
One of the greatest things that I believe that God loves in people is a man’s brokenness. By brokenness, I mean a deep rooted contrite spirit that craves for more of God. The source of this brokenness must be caused by a man’s thirst for God. Many times we tend to put a brave front but have a broken and weak heart. True man is not the one who has the best car, high paying job or pumped up muscles. A true man is someone who will open up to God and know how little, weak and fragile he is without God. All through the Bible we see God getting attracted to the brokenness and helplessness of man. God loves using the weak to confront the strong. The Bible tells, he who watches over you will neither slumber nor sleep. He is in absolute control. We need to be in absolute surrender. The bible tells us that He knows us even before we were formed in our mother’s womb. That means God knew you before your father met your mother. He knows how old you are, He knows what happened to you, He knows who walked out of your life and left you, He knows who betrayed your trust, he knows who abused you, He knows who rejected you, He knows about your child/ren, and He knows about the condition of your family. But in Romans 8:28 we see this promise that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose. You may be listening to me this morning with a lot of hurt in your life, thinking about your past failures, you may have come to the margin of your life and say whatever I touch ends up in failures. You may be thinking, is there any way that I can get rid of this or come out of this? Can I get victory? Can my tears turn into joy; can my failures turn into happiness? You may be asking why I am going through this brokenness and pain. When you have suffered or are broken and hurt, it helps you relate to other people’s pain, brokenness and suffering.
I would like to take your attention to the book of 1 Samuel 1:10. “In bitterness of soul, Hannah wept much and prayed to the Lord.” We see here Hannah was deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly. The book of 1 Samuel is one of the famous books in the Old Testament. This book begins with the story of the man who gives his name to the book. The story is of a barren woman, Hannah, one of the two wives of a man named Elkanah. Hannah was the beloved wife of her husband, Elkanah, but because she was barren, he had taken a second wife – a practice that was never sanctioned by the Lord. This illegal relationship caused much bitterness, jealousy and heartache in the lives of all concerned. The other wife had borne Elkanah numerous children, and she teased and mocked Hannah in her barrenness. Elkanah was a Levite by lineage but Ephramite by residence. Often in those days (though it was never sanctioned by God), a man whose wife was infertile would take a second wife by whom he could bear children. (Gen 16:1-3)
Hannah’s prolonged barrenness on one occasion made her so distressed and in such deep pain that she cried out, in desperation, to the Lord for help. This happened during one of their visits to the tabernacle at Shiloh, and we read that: Hannah – greatly distressed, prayed to the LORD and wept bitterly. This was a cry of desperation from the heart of a hopeless and miserable woman who had no one to help her but the Lord. The grieving lady had no one who could offer her comfort and relief. The Lord Himself was the One Person who could provide all she needed. In the above passage we see the deep pain and brokenness of Hannah, which took her to another realm of praise. I would like to take your attention to four elements in the life of Hannah- namely Pain, Prayer, Promise and Praise.

Firstly, Hannah’s Pain –What was her pain? The Pain of barrenness V5. Hannah was a barren woman. In those days barrenness was considered as a curse from God. The woman who doesn’t bear a child was degraded in the society. Hannah knew about her problem. She knew that the Lord has closed her womb. But she never complained to the Almighty God. What was her other reasons for pain? Pain of provocation V 6,7, Pain of brokenness V 8,10, 16. She was totally broken. No word of comfort from others could heal her. Physiologists say that fear and despair is one of the major causing facts that lead people to commit suicide, push people into depression, and force people to revenge. There are many men and women of this modern world that have thrown away their life in the form of suicide. But if we really approach God with brokenness, He will never despise us. The Lord will accept a genuine broken person. He never leaves them. Hannah comes to the Lord’s feet with much pain. Yes, God wants her to be in pain for some time because He wants to teach her a big lesson. He wants to break her for a purpose. How do we know someone is in pain? Brokenness/pain robs the radiance from your face.Vs10, Pain robs the joy in your life.Vs8, and Pain robs your appetite. Vs8, Pain robs your peace Vs8.
Secondly, Hannah’s Prayer Vs9- She never gave up. She comes to the Lord with much faith. She had a mind to pray even in the midst of trouble. She prayed earnestly Vs.10.Hannah made her way to the temple to pour her troubles to the Lord. As she prayed, Eli the High Priest was observing and he judged the intensity of her emotion from her silent praying, and thought she was drunk. But she was serious in prayer. She knew that only God could help her to come out of this trouble. She prayed definitely Vs11, She prayed affirming Vs18, Have you noticed before prayers-she was down hearted Vs7, during prayer- she was in pain and anguish Vs10, 16, but after prayer she was radiant Vs.18.
Hannah knew that God alone, could supply the desires of her heart and she trusted Him to hear her request. The Lord did not answer her because of the beautiful words of her prayer. It was not the length or style of her prayer which moved the heart of the Lord. He responded to Hannah because she had a heart that trusted Him. And the Lord was able to understand her thoughts and know that her faith and trust in Him was honest and genuine.
Thirdly, Hannah’s Promise. We read that Hannah made a vow to God in her heart. What was her promise? “LORD of the Heavenly Armies, if you just look at the misery of your maid servant, remember me, and don’t forget your maid servant. If you give your maid servant a son, then I’ll give him to the LORD for all the days of his life. There are many biblical characters, like Hannah – e.g. David, Jonah, Jeremiah, Paul and many more, who having reached a point of desperation in their life, simply turned to the Lord for help and comfort. Each one discovered that His grace is sufficient in the lives of those who live by faith and reach out to Him for help, in times of trouble.
She took the responsibility of bringing the child to the Lord Vs11. She was faithful to her promise. She never thought that how could she give him for the Lord’s ministry if my son could become a prominent person in his career and life. There are many people who do the same thing. But when the child gets sick and about to die, people will make promise that Lord if you could give him back his life, I will give him for your ministry. But as the time passes they often forget their promises. Yes you may find such kind of people in the society. But here we see this poor woman Hannah was faithful to her promise to the Lord. Be careful when we make a promise to God. Hannah took the responsibility of bringing him to the Lord. She took the responsibility of leaving him there to serve the Lord (vs 2:11). The boy Samuel was in the temple with Eli to serve the Lord. He was a gift from God after earnest prayers and tears. She instilled his heart with the passion to serve the Lord. She took responsibility of visiting him and seeing him grow (vs 2:18). She often visited him and enquired about his spiritual growth. Even though she knew that he was under the training of priest Eli, she was there behind his spiritual growth.

Finally,Hannah’s Praise. Her praise was directed toward God (2:1-10)- Deliverer, Holy, protector, Omniscient, Blessed, strength. These are the words that she used to give praise to her redeemer. We praise God not for what we expect will happen in or around us, but we praise Him for what He is and where we are right now. Praise is not a bargaining position. We don’t say, “I will praise you so that you can bless me, Lord”. We may look at the circumstances surrounding us and think we have been standing still forever in one broken/painful spot. The more we are going closer to Him; the more circumstances seem to pile up. The turning point cannot come until we begin to praise God for our situation instead of crying to Him to take it all away. Praising God is an act of outward obedience.(1 Sam 3:19)
God has a purpose behind every problem. He uses circumstances to make our character. Jesus warned us that we would have problems in the world. Life is a series of problems. Every time we solve one, another is waiting to take its place. God uses problems to draw us close to Him. The Bible says: “the Lord is close to the broken hearted, He rescues those who are crushed/broken in spirit” God could have kept Joseph out of jail, kept Daniel out of the lion’s den, Kept Jeremiah from being tossed into a slimy pit, kept Paul from being shipwrecked three times, and kept the three Hebrew young men from being thrown into the blazing furnace- but He didn’t. He let those problems happen and every one of the persons was drawn closer to God as a result.
God knows what is best for us and has best interests at heart. If we are facing trouble right now, don’t ask why me? Instead ask, “What you want me to learn? Then trust God and keep on doing what is right. A Christian is not someone who sees difficulty in every opportunity. To the contrary, a Christian is one who sees an opportunity in every difficulty! This is not just a wishful thinking, because no matter what your problem is, God has a wonderful plan to turn it into a possibility. Problems are designed not to crush us, but to bring us close to Christ. Like Hannah, bring your brokenness, bring your prayers, keep your promise and give your praise to your Lord as your big prayers can turn your big problems into big possibilities.
God accomplishes his purposes through prayer. He doesn’t have to but he chooses to. He chooses to work in and through our prayers to accomplish His purposes for us. Sometimes that will mean miraculous answers to prayer on our behalf. Sometimes it won’t. It doesn’t matter. When we pray, we are participating with God to fulfill His purposes in our life and in the world. It doesn’t get much better than that. That’s how important prayer is: to us, to our loved ones and to God’s purposes in this world. We need to be praying people. If you have never been a praying person, let me encourage you to pray, to talk to God. Ask him to reveal himself to you. Confess your sin to him. Ask him for the faith to believe. Put your trust in Jesus, his Son, as your Savior.




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