My favorite mom in the Bible is written about in the early chapters of 1 Samuel. Her name is Hannah, and her story starts out in sadness but ends in celebration. In 1 Samuel 1, we read of how painful her early married life was. She was unable to bear children, which was a huge stigma in that culture. She was also belittled and ridiculed as a result. Yet, as we read further on, we see that this belittled woman was quite the prayer warrior. She prays one of the boldest prayers in Scripture in 1 Samuel 1:11:
“O Lord Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, . . .”
This was a bold prayer indeed. To ask God for a son and then promise to give him back to the Lord in His service emphasizes her faith in God. That faith was later rewarded. 1 Samuel 1:20 reads:
“So in the course of time Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, “Because I asked the Lord for Him.”
Wow! Hannah went from being a ridiculed woman to the mother of a son because God heard her faithful prayers. The name she gave her son bore this out. Samuel means, “Heard of God.” The Lord heard Hannah’s prayers offered in faith and blessed her with a son.
Then came the hard part for Hannah. After a time of raising him, she was faced with the choice of fulfilling her promise to God—or breaking it. With no guarantee of future children, Hannah didn’t waver in her promise. In a beautiful description, 1 Samuel 1:27-28 records:
“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.”
What an example for young Samuel! I have no doubt that Hannah’s faithfulness was a major influence on her son. God honored that faithfulness. He continued to reward Hannah after she kept her promise to Him by blessing her with more children. 1 Samuel 2:21 sums it up nicely:
“And the Lord was gracious to Hannah; she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord.”
Hannah’s decision to keep her promise to God had far-reaching consequences. For her boy, Samuel, would grow up to lead Israel through some turbulent times. He did so faithfully for His entire life. In so doing, he was a testament to his praying, faith-filled, promise-keeping mother.
This Sunday is Mother’s Day where we honor our moms. I’m thankful for moms who pray, who are faithful, and who set the example of how to live for their children. We don't know what their sons and daughters will be called to do as they grow older, but you can be sure that the influence of their godly mothers will play a large part.
Moms who raise champions for the Lord remind me of Hannah today. Most of all, they remind me that we worship a faithful, promise-keeping God—One who hears our prayers.
Because Hannah was “Heard of God,”