1 Samuel 1:27-28
“For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my petition that I made to him.
Therefore I have lent him to the LORD. As long as he lives, he is lent to the LORD.” And he worshiped the LORD there. “
Thoughts from Dayna Spaulding
Behind the Scenes
This is a beautiful story of faith and answered prayer. Hannah was one of two wives of Elkanah. The other wife had children, but Hannah did not. Hannah and Elkanah prayed to the Lord for children, and He remembered them.
Hannah made an oath to God that she would dedicate her son, Samuel, to Him that He may use her son however He desired. Can you imagine how difficult that would have been to follow through on? Here’s Hannah, living with another wife of her husband who had children while she was childless. She prayed for a child, and God answered her prayer. Can you imagine her joy as he began to grow within her? Can you imagine the excitement of bringing this child into the world to love and to raise to and to see grow to a mighty man?
And yet, she made an oath to give him back to God. When she had weaned him, she brought him back to the temple and gave him over to Eli to raise as a man of God. This child she had longed for, prayed for, and raised to weaning age was handed back to God as promised.
Make it Real
I have had a little glimpse of how Hannah longed for a child. After our first child was born, my husband went through cancer treatment. We were not sure if we would be able to have more children due to the trauma of the surgery and treatment. But I prayed. I longed. I thanked God for my daughter who God had already given us. And after many years, along came my son. I CAN NOT imagine bringing him to another person to raise when he was just about 2-3 years old. He was my precious son.
And yet…isn’t that exactly what we are called to do? Aren’t we supposed to raise our children, being stewards of their gifts and talents, and then give them back to God? They are His anyway. We are just trusted with the gift of stewarding and raising them. When they are infants, they need constant attention, and we must do everything for them. Then come the “terrible twos” where they are developing their personalities and gaining a little real-life experience. Moving us into the pre-teen years of hormones and extreme emotions. Then comes the really fun time of teenagers – where they know more than you and are happy to tell you every time they get a chance. Finally moving them into young adulthood where, for the first time, they are on their own.
And here is where it all comes together. We must finally let them go to be who they were created to be. We need to trust in God to bring them into the purpose He has designed them for. What can we do to prepare them? PRAY. I know, sounds cliché. This is a devotional from a church – you have to say “pray.” But please hear me out…
I recently read a book by Mark Batterson called Circle Maker. In it he calls us to pray “circles around our loved ones.” Now, the mechanics of this are not important. What’s important is to pray specifically and consistently. I began to pray for my daughter to find her worth in Christ, as she was very hung up in her degree title and what job she would be getting after graduation. She was very hard on herself to get the best grades and wrapped all of her worth up in those things. For my son, I prayed for him to have hope. There had been several suicides of people in his different circles, and it affected him greatly. He was starting to feel hopeless. Every morning for about 4 months, I got down on my face and “prayed circles around” their sense of worth and hope.
AND IT WORKED. Without going into too many details, I have seen very tangible evidence that my daughter is looking to other possibilities in her life and not so hard set on the “right” title and “perfect” job. My son has been more open and joyful and looking at different opportunities – where before he just wanted to be in his room by himself.
Prayer works! God has called us into relationship with Him, so He can help us steward our children. They were His before us; they will be His after us. How are you using your time you have with them now to focus your prayers, lift them up to God, and eventually let them go – trusting God with all they are.
End in Prayer
Thank you for the gift of my children. Thank you that specific, consistent prayer works. Thank you for partnering with us to raise children who will make their own path, their own way, their own mark. We pray that we can model Your love that will keep them in (or bring them back to) Your love.
In Jesus’ name,