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(From Scripture Union)


Loving Lord, today may eternal light and Your enduring Word lead me into Your presence, I pray.


1 SAMUEL 2:1–11
Then Hannah prayed and said, "My heart exults in the Lord; My horn is exalted in the Lord, My mouth speaks boldly against my enemies, Because I rejoice in Your salvation. 2 "There is no one holy like the Lord, Indeed, there is no one besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God. 3 "Boast no more so very proudly, Do not let arrogance come out of your mouth; For the Lord is a God of knowledge, And with Him actions are weighed. 4 "The bows of the mighty are shattered, But the feeble gird on strength. 5 "Those who were full hire themselves out for bread, But those who were hungry cease to hunger. Even the barren gives birth to seven, But she who has many children languishes. 6 "The Lord kills and makes alive; He brings down to Sheol and raises up. 7 "The Lord makes poor and rich; He brings low, He also exalts. 8 "He raises the poor from the dust, He lifts the needy from the ash heap To make them sit with nobles, And inherit a seat of honor; For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, And He set the world on them. 9 "He keeps the feet of His godly ones, But the wicked ones are silenced in darkness; For not by might shall a man prevail. 10 "Those who contend with the Lord will be shattered; Against them He will thunder in the heavens, The Lord will judge the ends of the earth; And He will give strength to His king, And will exalt the horn of His anointed." 11 Then Elkanah went to his home at Ramah. But the boy ministered to the Lord before Eli the priest.



In the past 12 months, what has been your greatest burden and your greatest joy?

Think Further

Has God ever solved a big problem in your life? Something that had you paralyzed with worry, grief or despair? I’ve discovered that the moment of breakthrough can trigger unrestrained praise in a way few other things can. That’s where Hannah is in our passage today. We can almost hear her singing in the kitchen, "Rolled away, rolled away, rolled away. Every burden of my heart rolled away." A careful examination of this text reveals that Hannah’s praise song has two main parts. The first and most obvious is thanksgiving for the answer to years of praying: God gave her a son (5; 1:20). The name Samuel in Hebrew sounds like "heard by God" and, for the rest of her life, every time Hannah saw her boy she could look to the heavens and smile. The second part shows that God’s intervention had given Hannah a clearer understanding of who he really was. For years he must have seemed distant and unresponsive to her grief (1 Sam. 1:10,15). Now she knows that God is holy (2), all-knowing (3) and able to reverse the most impossible situations (4–8). More, she realizes that God had been there all along. Breakthrough moments don’t happen every day but when they do we need to savor them because it cultivates a deep assurance of God’s presence and love that can last a lifetime. Did you notice a hint of vindictiveness in Hannah’s song (1,5)? It’s as if she wants Peninnah to hear her prayer, "Look who’s pining away now!" While the Bible instructs us to leave vengeance to God (Rom. 12:19), the good news for us about the presence of people who are irritating is that if we respond to them in a Christlike way the experience strengthens our prayer lives (Matt. 5:44) and helps us to grow in the grace of forgiveness (Matt. 6:12).


Reflect on the breakthrough moments you’ve experienced in your life. How have they shaped your relationship with God? Make them the focus of your prayer now.


Intervening God, I praise You for breakthroughs in my life. You can turn situations around. I rest in You and Your great power.

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