Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Evening Sermon Notes -

Part II: Using God's CLEAR Parameters To Know HOW To Petition Him In Prayer
(1 Samuel 1:9-18)
  1. Introduction
    1. We believers often would like God to meet the petitions we ask of Him in prayer. Indeed, we are encouraged to pray, and that we often have not because we ask not, cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:17; James 4:2d.
    2. The event surrounding Hannah's petition for a son provides practical guidance in praying in God's will, praying so that God answers us. We view the prayer and its circumstances for that insight as follows:
  2. Using God's CLEAR Parameters To Know HOW To Petition Him In Prayer, 1 Samuel 1:9-18.
    1. When Hannah prayed earnestly out of great affliction for a male child, she was careful to utilize SCRIPTURAL PRECEDENTS for direction in couching her petition within God's will, 1 Sam. 1:9-11:
      1. Hannah prayed from a position of great personal need, weeping and in bitterness of spirit as a childless wife, so she would have wanted her prayer to be answered in God's AFFIRMATIVE, 1 Sam. 1:9-10.
      2. Accordingly, we note her prayer CLOSELY followed a SCRIPTURAL PRECEDENT as follows:
        1. Hannah asked God that if He would graciously give her as His handmaid a male son, she would give him back to the Lord to be a Nazarite for all the days of his life, 1 Sam. 1:11 with Num. 6:1-8.
        2. Now, she was praying as a childless wife, one who was notoriously barren, 1 Samuel 1:2, 5b.
        3. Hence, her prayer as a barren woman to have a child who would be a Nazarite throughout his life shows Hannah was thinking of the nearly identical situation of Samson's mother in Judges 13:2-5: (a) Before Samson's mother, Manoah's wife, bare Samson, she was barren, Judges 13:2b. (b) When the Lord appeared to he and told her of her birth to a son, the Lord claimed the child would be a Nazarite all of his life, Judges 13:4-5! (c) Hence, the barrenness of Manoah's wife had been an apparent motivating influence to lead the formerly barren woman to be willing to obey the Lord completely so she could have a child, and that meant raising him to be a lifelong Nazarite!
        4. Thus, Hannah had presumed her inexplicable barrenness might possibly have been represented in the case of Samson's mother, a woman who lived in the same dispensation and in a time close to herself, and so prayed in keeping with that precedent to be in God's will!
    2. When Hannah prayed to get an answer to her prayer, she paid close heed to GOD'S human messenger in the process as she knew God worked through them, 1 Samuel 1:12-18:
      1. Hannah knew the Lord had Biblically established Eli to the Israel's High Priest through the line of Aaron, the first High Priest, under the man of God in Moses, cf. 1 Sam. 1:9 with Ex. 28:1, 43.
      2. As such, when Eli noticed she was praying silently though moving her lips, and he assumed she was drunk so as to correct her, she responded respectfully and truthfully to tell him of her case, 1:12-16.
      3. When Eli realized his charge that Hannah was drunk was the opposite of her condition, and that she deeply desired God's answer to her prayer, he blessed her and urged that God grant her petition, 1:17.
      4. Hannah took Eli's blessing as God's assurance her prayer was answered, for Eli was the most likely human messenger she would have expected God to use to communicate to her. This is evidenced in Hannah's cessation of prayer, going her way, eating and being no more sad after Eli's blessing, 1:18.
Lesson: To get answers from God by praying within His WILL, (1) the believer should ALIGN his needs with SCRIPTURE'S REVELATION of God's WILL. This involves carefully noting the dispensational applicability involved (Samson's mother's lot under the Law with Hannah's similar lot) along with need similarity, etc. (2) He should follow God's guidance by noting how God Biblically works with him through means of those human beings over him in accord with Scripture's alignment (Hannah being under Eli's spiritual leadership, and hence his interactions with her for His guidance).

Application: God is a very PRACTICAL God, and so He does not play guessing games in regards to His will as He relates with us. Thus, to PRAY in God's WILL, (1) God wants us to ALIGN ourselves with what we OBVIOUSLY KNOW is His will from OBVIOUS SCRIPTURE PRECEDENTS, and that in keeping with the dispensational parameters involved. (2) He also wants us to be mindful of the WAY He DIRECTS our lot through MEANS of the HUMAN leaders BIBLICALLY placed OVER us!