By Toni Ford
The Book of First Samuel begins with the story of Elkanah and his family. Elkanah had two wives, one named Hannah and one named Peninnah. Peninnah had several children but Hannah was not able to have children. Peninnah would taunt and bully Hannah as a result.
Although the harsh and cruel words from Peninnah continued year after year, and specifically when they journeyed to Shiloh for the yearly worship and sacrifice to the Lord at the Tabernacle, Hannah would only express her anguish to the Lord. She did not create problems for the family by disputing with Peninnah.
During one of the festive meals at Shiloh, Hannah left the family and went to the Tabernacle to pray. First Samuel 1: 9 -10 says, “Once, after a sacrificial meal at Shiloh, Hannah got up and went to pray. Eli the priest was sitting at his customary place beside the entrance of the Tabernacle. Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord.”
As I continued to read the first three chapters in the book of First Samuel, the Lord kept bringing up the phrase, “you are never too young and never too old.” With that phrase in mind, I went back and read the first three chapters again to see what the Lord was trying to tell me. Here is what stood out for me and what I believe serves as a great reminder to all of us, both young and old.
One is never too young and never too old to:
Seek the Lord for your dreams. Hannah always dreamed of having children and had determined in her heart that the Lord wanted her to pray for a son so that she might give him back to the Lord to serve Him all his life. Although she went years without being able to have children, she never stopped giving up on that dream and seeking the Lord in prayer. First Samuel 1: 11 says, “And she made this vow; ‘O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, if you will look upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime.” Hannah’s prayer was born out of sorrow and suffering, but in spite of her feelings, she laid bare her soul before the Lord and never gave up believing and praying for her greatest desire. Regardless of your age, young or old and regardless of how impossible your dream appears to be, never stop praying and seeking the Lord for that dream. He hears your prayers!
See prayers answered. First Samuel 1: 19-20 tells us, “The Lord remembered Hannah’s plea, and in due time she gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, ‘I asked the Lord for him.” Not only did she see the Lord answer her prayers for a son, but we see later in Chapter 2, Verse 21 that the Lord gave Hannah three more sons along with two daughters.
Meanwhile, “Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord.” The Lord not only hears our prayers regardless of our age but also answers the prayers regardless of one’s age when those prayers are in alignment with His will and Word. Our responsibility is to pray, share with Him what is on our heart and never stop believing that nothing is impossible for our Lord.
Serve the Lord. We see in Chapters 2 and 3 of First Samuel that Samuel began serving the Lord as a very young boy. As we continue to read, scripture tells us that Samuel served all the days of his life. Samuel was the last judge of Israel and the first of the prophets after Moses. So, we are never too young or too old to serve the Lord.
Today, let’s continue to seek the Lord in prayer regarding our dreams and the things that are precious to us. Remember that He is a God who answers prayers, so come before Him with an expectant heart. Most of all, look for ways to serve Him each day.
There is no serve too small or too big for our God. People everywhere need the Lord, so let’s be that vessel and that light for Jesus!
If you would like me to join you in prayer please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to pray for you!