Just a few weeks before our first child was born in August 1990, I read from God’s Story of a remarkable woman named Hannah who longed for a child. It touched me so deeply that when Russell returned from a mission trip I asked him if we could name our daughter Hannah. We prayed that our baby girl would grow to be like the Hannah of the Bible who was dedicated, faithful and trusting.
The ancient Hannah poured out her request and her tears before the Lord. When a son, Samuel, was born to her and Elkanah, she followed through with her promise to give him back to the Lord. Samuel grew up in the Temple where he served under the leadership of a priest named Eli. Hannah’s prayer and praise to the Lord was a wonderful testimony of her faith. Each year she would make a new robe for her growing son and when they traveled to the Temple for worship she would give it to Samuel. Before they returned home, Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife and say, “May the Lord give you other children to take the place of this one she gave to the Lord.” God answered that prayer too and blessed the couple with five additional children! The Lord used Samuel, the first born, in a great way and he was the last and greatest of Israel’s judges, a mighty prophet, and he was chosen by God to anoint Israel’s first and second kings.
May we be like Hannah and never underestimate the power of prayer and then faithfully live and model a healthy spiritual life of thanksgiving.
P.S. Nearly twenty-five years after our Hannah was born, God blessed Hannah and and her husband Andrew with their firstborn son, Eamon Mark. What a joy he is to our family. May he grow to know and love the Lord, trusting in His faithfulness.