THE ABSURDITY AND RADICALITY OF HANNAH'S PRAYER | For Couples Seeking the Fruit of the Womb | A Prayer Reflection on 1 Samuel 1:1-11

Child of God have you been praying to God for the gift of a child? Have you been married for years and experiencing problems of childbearing or someone you know is having this problem, then begin to rejoice because this ministration will transform your life and the life of anyone you are praying for. Pause whatever you are doing right now and pay attention because every line of this ministration is filled with life transforming rhema from the Holy Spirit. Now read slowly to see what the Lord have for you: (1Sam. 1-11):
There was a certain man from Ramathaim...whose name was Elkanah son of Jeroham...He had two wives; one was called Hannah and the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none. Year after year this man went up from his town to worship and sacrifice to the Lord Almighty at Shiloh, where Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were priests of the Lord. Whenever the day came for Elkanah to sacrifice, he would give portions of the meat to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters. But to Hannah, he gave a double portion because he loved her, and the Lord had closed her womb. Because the Lord had closed Hannah’s womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the Lord, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat. Her husband Elkanah would say to her, “Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don’t you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?” Once when they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hannah stood up. Now Eli the priest was sitting on his chair by the doorpost of the Lord’s house. In her deep anguish, Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. And she made a VOW, saying, “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on 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, and no razor WILL EVER ever be used on his head.”

Child of God I know that you are aware of this story. It's a popular scripture verse cited to pray for and encourage couples waiting on the Lord for the gift of a child. But I want to bet you that you shall encounter this scripture in a way no preacher or man of God has made you encounter it. These ministrations are drawn from a deep mystical experience from God opening certain mysteries and calling you to pray. Now continue reading.

1. Knowing the Problem and Seeking the Solution
Hannah and Elkanah, her husband knows the exact cause of their problem of childlessness; at least it was established that Elkana had children from his other wife Penninah, hence the problem seems to be with Hannah.
The first step in seeking a solution to any problem is knowing the cause of that problem. The popular maxim: knowledge is power holds true in this situation. Infertility in marriages have different root causes that MUST be identified, differentiated, and treated separately where need be. The Bible in Matthew 19:11-12 give us insights on the causes of infertility in marriage when Jesus taught his disciples about marriage and divorce:

a. Natural Cause: some persons are not able to fecund naturally. Christ describes such persons as those who were "born eunuchs" (Matt.19:12). This is not through any faults of theirs but by accidents of nature or some natural deformation, like someone born blind. The bible says in the case of Hannah that "the Lord has made her barren." This meant that she was born that way, that God permitted it. This does not in any way diminish God as all good and loving or in any way related to any sin committed whether individual or communal, and should never be linked to the false teaching of the ancestral curse. [To Know the True Teaching on Ancestral Curses, Click here]
Rather God permits nature to take its causes, He permits these to happen so as to reveal the Glory of God (John 9:3).

b. Man-made cause: Some are made infertile by men. Jesus describes such persons as "eunuchs made by men". Man-made causes could either be Physically caused or Spiritually inflicted. It is spiritually inflicted when some evil persons project through devilish means some omen someone. I have met this instance during a deliverance session where the demon manifesting confessed it inflicted its victim with ovarian cysts so that she would not conceive. On the other hand, it is Physically caused when one chooses patterns of behavior and makes choices that prevent fertility. For instance, through the use of abortives, contraceptives, and mutilations that have now caused physical and grave damages to one's reproductive system. This could also be caused by sickness or some 'queer lifestyle' of being psychologically demoralized or fixated in some kind of "fear of having children". When this happens the body can reject or repel its reproductive abilities. 
[If you think your problem is Psychological or involves certain Fears, then Click here to begin your journey to liberation and deliverance from Fears]

c. Vows or Covenants: In some cases, infertility could be by caused by vows or covenants one had entered. Even though Jesus teaches that some persons choose to be "eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of God" (like Priests and religious brothers and sisters of the Catholic Church, who make promise and vows of Chaste celibacy- not to marry and bear children), however, the natural abilities to fecund are not withdrawn or do not cease. In this case, I am talking about evil. But in this case, I refer to cases of EVIL COVENANTS AND VOWS. In the cause of my ministry as a deliverance minister, I have met instances where problems of infertility are caused by blood covenants entered by persons in the past to marry each other, but ended up not marrying each other. Some persons as well have these issues because of some oaths or vows with a demon or marine spirit.
[If you perceive this as your situation you may need deliverance from these strongholds and liberation to break such evil oaths and Covenants, Click here to begin]

2. Unity of Purpose in Seeking the Solution: 
Couples MUST be united in heart and mind as well in their soul which makes marriage a covenant order to seek the solution, otherwise, the progress will be little. The Bible tells us that Elkanah loved Hannah much, and gives her a "double portion" of the meat for the sacrificial offering. This should not be seen as partiality driven by human sentiments. No! Rather this act of Elkanah has deep spiritual meaning; remember the meat is not for her consumption but an offering to God. Hence Elkanah's act of Love is a prefiguration of what the Lord will reveal later through his prophet Isaiah when he says: "Since your shame was double and disgrace has been your lot, Double shall your portion of Blessing and everlasting joy". Both of them accepted their predicament as the will of God and continued to hope in prayers and thanksgiving to God. No wonder when the Lord starts opening the wombs of women who have waited long, the blessings come in doubles. I declare over your life now: as you read this portion with lively faith, May your healing, deliverance, and miracle start today, in Jesus' name. Amen.

3. Unbeatable and Unshakable Faith in God:
Your state of mind in moments of suffering determines how fast you shall receive help or not because we become what we think; we are products of our thoughts! If you see yourself as infertile or barren so it is! If you see your state as a passage to a greater experience so it shall be! If you see yourself as fruitful, and expectant so shall it be! When Jesus felt his moments of sorrows and agony he called it his "hour of Glory" and prayed for father to glorify your name (John 17:1). When the people said the little girl is dead, Jesus said "Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep." But they laughed at him (Matt 9:24 ); when a messenger brought the bad news to Jesus that Lazarus was dead, Jesus hesitated to go, and when he spoke up, he said to his Apostles "our friend Lazarus is asleep, I go to wake him out of sleep" (John 11:11).

Year after year, the Bible says Hannah sensed different voices, both good and bad or rebellious voices! Good and encouraging voices from her husband but mockery, insults, and rebellious voices from her mate Penninah. But the moment she sprang up, like a mother tiger and said enough is enough, and stuffed her ears from mockery and calumny, but called on the God who changes every situation to change her mourning and sorrows into dancing, and things changed! She did exactly what Jesus did in many instances above. She was determined never to cry anymore over the insults and deny herself food but to cry to the God of impossibilities. Like Christ will later do to Peter when he tried to remonstrate him with words of distractions She commanded all her insults, shame, and evil words to go behind her as if to say: "Get behind me satan...the words you speak are not from God" (Matt 16:23)

She remembered she serves a God that maketh every impossibility possible; a God who makes and keeps promises like He did in the cases of Sarah and Mother of Samson! A God who turns desert into a pool of water and dry land into flowing streams (Ps. 107:35) like He did in the case of Haggar. She cried to God to change her situation and the Lord confirmed it. 

These are not just motivational words child of God, you must act like this woman to change that situation for the scripture says blessed are you when people mock you and persecute glad for a great reward awaits you in heaven (Matt. 5:11).
You MUST expel evil words like demons because they are negative energies, and surely they must come through family and friends. This was how the Holy men of old preserved their hope and persevered in faith. The job also did this when the evil one sent his wife to tempt him to curse God (Job 2:10). Submit yourself to God now and begin to rebuke the devil and every evil word and it shall flee (James 4:7).

4. Hannah's Radical and Absurd Prayer
Why is her prayer radical you ask me? By radical I mean that her prayer was "groundbreaking" like a new discovery! By absurd, I mean her prayer was contrary to tradition or acceptable reasoning. But how is her prayer radical and absurd at the same time? Hannah prayed for what no man had ever asked; talk more of someone in her condition! And she acted in a way no woman of her time is permitted to act. 
She prayed for a son that she will dedicate FOREVER as a Nazirite which goes against the tradition. By law, all Nazirites (as well as all sons of Levi) begin their services in the temple at age 20 and retire at age 50. She also made this prayer a "Vow" of which women are not permitted to make vows except with the permission of their husbands. Have you seen it now? 

The major question that shall spur you to pray is: Why do you need a child? What kind of Child do you want? 

God does not want us to question Him or make particular requests about children for children are gifts. He wants us to always submit to His divine will (Isa. 45:10-11). However, through his Son Jesus our Lord and Saviour He gives us the opportunity to ask when he says "Until now you have not asked anything in my name, so ask and you will receive that your joy will be complete (John 16:24). 

TASK: Go before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and answer those questions and make a vow or covenant with Him.

This is the FIRST PART of this Prayer Reflection, Click here to proceed to the SECOND PART

©Fr. Simone Madu, OSJ

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