Hannah in the Bible loved God with all her heart and soul. It is evident that God was the one whom her soul loved and she had full confidence in his ability to come through for her no matter what.
In the Bible, we learn a little about her. Not about her outward beauty (which wasn’t mentioned) but about the quiet dignity she possessed. She was open-faced and honest in her emotions and saw God come through on her behalf over and over again.
Hannah shows us what true motherhood is all about by lovingly sacrificing what she asked God for. She shows Christian women all over the world that prayer and faith work because they did for her.
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What Does the Bible Say About Hannah?
The meaning of Hannah in the Bible is suitable for the character she displays. It means gracious, graciousness, or favor.
Hannah was the first wife of Elkanah and lived during the time that men were comfortably doing what they saw as right in their own eyes. There was little fear of God because polygamy abounded in the land. Elkanah, Hannah’s husband was undoubtedly a godly man because the Bible tells us that he would go to the temple yearly to worship the Lord. He was probably persuaded by Hannah to get another wife to continue his name. She had tried over and over again to conceive with no results.
Hannah was loved by her husband and tormented by his second wife, Peninnah because she couldn’t bear children. Although she appreciated the love shown to her by her husband, year after year her womb remained closed. Her husband’s second wife continued teasing caused her to cry day and night and refuse to eat.
Hannah was certainly depressed and miserable because she couldn’t produce an heir. Elkanah, Hannah’s husband was greatly distressed because he truly loved Hannah and felt he was much better to her than ten sons. However, Hannah knew that she wanted to have a child produced by their union. (1 Samuel 1:1-8)
What Did Hannah Pray for in the Bible?
Hannah came up with a plan that she would present to God this time around. Each year they would go to the temple and Hannah decided to pour out her heart to God. What’s amazing about Hannah was that she continued to trust in God and not be consumed by jealousy. Her husband’s second wife, however, clearly shows that she allowed the love her husband had for Hannah to make her jealous.
Although Hannah was barren, she prayed a specific prayer to God and trusted Him for the result. Hannah prayed for a son and promised God that he would be dedicated to him all his life. She also added with good faith that his hair would never be cut as a sign that he would be solely given for the Master’s use. What’s interesting about Hannah’s prayer is that as she knelt at the altar she was not audible. No one but God knew what she was praying for. Hannah’s speech was a matter of the heart as she poured out her sorrow and anguish before God. She found out that a true believer’s prayer is not one of boasting or pious sounding words but of faith. Hannah prayed as one that was well ahead of time, her entire body was so engrossed in approaching the throne of God that the Priest thought she had been drunk. After she expressed her desires and swore she had never been drunk, she left with Eli’s blessing and was never the same again. She was no longer sad, forlorn, or sorrowful. She entrusted her heart to God and believed that he was able to deliver what she had asked.
In the end, her prayer was answered because Samuel means, “asked of the Lord”. Hannah’s prayer is one that is a great example of how to ask God for anything. It was short, simple, and specific and enough to get God’s attention.
Do Your Own Bible Study of Hannah
If you would like to do your own in-depth study of Hannah, make sure to get the free Bible worksheets kits. Use the Character Study Kit to do your own study of any biblical character.
Lessons from Hannah in the Bible
What beautiful and inspiring lessons can we glean from Hannah? She was a woman tormented, sorrowful and childless yet with faith and trust she believed wholeheartedly in God.
Hannah a Woman of Prayer
Hannah talked with God all the time. When she prayed at the altar, that certainly was not her first time. She knew exactly what she wanted and prayed to God for the answer. She didn’t need anyone but God to know her requests and she prayed with specificity and made a vow to God. Hannah’s prayer is one to emulate and put to use. She embodies a true believer in God and teaches us to pray with grace.
Hannah’s Bold Faith
When Hannah finished praying to God, she left a different woman than she first came. She no longer cried day and night, she was not sorrowful and she was not jealous. Hannah boldly believed that God had answered her prayers and she started waiting for his fulfillment. No doubt she began to look forward to and enjoy the relations and love she received from her husband in preparation for God’s answer. Hannah teaches us to believe that God will answer our prayers when we ask. (James 4:3) She shows us how to have bold faith and wait patiently on God to come through because he will.
Hannah’s Sacrificial Love
What a mother! After everything Hannah went through, the years of waiting, the constant abuse and reminder that she was barren- when God came through for her she fulfilled her promise. Hannah nursed her son until he was weaned and gave him to the Lord. She was a woman of her word and like Jephthah of old, she kept her vow to the Lord.
What a sacrifice it must have been to give up her son but God rewarded her with five more children. (1 Samuel 2:26) Each year she would visit Samuel and even bring a coat for him. Her love for God was genuine and she proved it in giving back the son he had graciously blessed her with.
Hannah’s husband second wife didn’t make things easy for her. She constantly reminded her of her inability to bear children but Hannah never uttered one bad word to her. She could have prayed that God would send her some type of suffering but with humility, she bore the ridicule and even humbly answered Eli, the Priest when he accused her of being drunk.
Hannah teaches us that our main focus should always be on the Lord so we can treat and answer others graciously. She exhibited the same humility that Jesus showed when he lived among men. Hannah’s humility is also a great lesson in the way we respond to those who speak evil against us.
Hannah displayed a quiet humility that was deeply rooted in her love for God above everyone else. She teaches us about the power of intercession and the importance of taking our hurts to God. She was a true woman of God, gladly bearing her hurt and turning to the only one who could help. I can imagine the joyous occasion when she first found out she was with a child and how her heart leaped for joy. 1 Samuel 2 shows her thanksgiving and praise to God which is quite similar to the Marys’ exultation to God when she carried Jesus. May Hannah’s story encourage you to trust fully in God always.
Related Posts and Resources:
- Bible Studies for Women
- Praying Psalm 91 for Your Family
- Scripture Prayers for Your Children
- Lessons from Rebekah in the Bible
About the Author
Keneesha is a wife, mom, wife, teacher, blogger, and Biblical Counselor. She believes in the sufficiency of Scripture and its transforming power. She likes encouraging Christian women to grow spiritually through her words. You can read about being becoming a woman after God’s own heart and sign up for her free spiritual growth guide.