Exulting Prayer

1 Samuel #02: An exposition of 1 Samuel 2:1-10. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday evening, October 23, 2011.

Do you ever stop and evaluate your prayers?  I don’t mean that you record them and then grade them according to content and delivery.  I mean have you given thought to what you pray for and about?  Have you considered the aim of your prayers?  I’m often convicted by the prayers of others.  Their direction and their insight.  When I read the prayers of those who’ve gone before whether the prayers of the Puritans or the prayers of Scripture I find their focus often differs radically from mine.  My prayers seem so petty.  My concerns seem selfish.  My prayers are often “local.”  I said, “local” not “loco!”  My prayers often center on me and mine.  Of course it is not wrong to pray about personal needs and concerns.  In fact we are command to “cast our cares upon Him.”  We are to be anxious about nothing but in everything with prayer and supplication let our request be made known but, at some point, our praying has to move beyond the immediate to the eternal.  We must be more concerned about the great issues of the kingdom of God not just our little corner of the world.  I guess that’s why I find the first two chapters of 1 Samuel so interesting.  In these two chapters are two prayers.  Both prayed by Hannah.  Both sincere and directed toward God but very different.  This evening I want to focus on the second prayer, found in the opening verses of chapter 2.

Text: 1 Samuel 2:1-10

Remember Hannah was heart broken over the fact that she was childless.
Her husband, Elkanah, loved her very much and tried to do all he could for her.
Elkanah’s other wife, Peninnah enjoyed tormenting her rival.
Peninnah had many children and constantly threw it in Hannah’s face.

One day while in Shiloh for worship Hannah went to the tabernacle and poured her heart out to God.  She knew it was God who had closed her womb but rather than allowing that to embitter her toward God she fled to God as the only means of relief.  Only God could change her condition.  “O Lord of Host, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life…”

Knowing the character and heart of God based on His past dealings with His people she prayed in confidence.  God heard her cry.  We read that she went on her way and at, and “her face was no longer sad.”
Shortly thereafter she conceived and in due time gave birth to a son and named him Samuel.
After his birth Elkanah announced to the family it was time to go to Shiloh again and worship.

Hannah said she would not return until the boy was weaned and she would then go and present him to the Lord and he would remain in Shiloh in service to God.

1:24-28 tells of her fulfillment of her vow.

Then with the beginning of verse 1 of chapter 2 she prays.
But this is a much different prayer.
The first was in bitterness of soul – the second with great joy.
The first begged for God’s mercy – the second rejoiced in God’s power and glory.

Here is what I want us to learn…

Thesis: The experience of grace leads to God exulting prayer.

The word “exult” means: to rejoice, be joyful, be happy, be delighted, be elated, be ecstatic, be overjoyed, jubilant, or rapturous

That’s what her prayer is like.
Some read her prayer and conclude that the language is over the top.
That the language is hardly appropriate to the circumstance.
I beg to differ.

There are three things to note as we work through this prayer.

  1. Exulting prayer stands in awe of God’s incomparable glory and power.  (2:1-3)
  2. Exulting prayer sees beyond the immediate circumstance and glories in God’s sovereign rule over all the earth.  (2:4-8)
  3. Exulting prayer aims towards God’s ultimate triumph over His enemies and the enthronement of His righteous king.  (2:9-10)


Is it wrong to be consumed with our own heartaches?
Is it wrong to plead with God to be merciful and kind?
Of course not.
But when God answers understand that His answers are great.
They move well beyond the immediate to the eternal.
Lift your eyes.
Glory in God’s great work.

The experience of grace leads to God exulting prayers!

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