“Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him.” (1 Samuel 1:17)
There is no greater feeling within the spiritual life of a believer than receiving, from our Heavenly Father, His provision for our petitions. Whether small or great, it gives us comfort that God’s ear is attentive to the cry of our hearts. After Hannah made supplication, she received gratification. It was God’s Will to grant Hannah the petition she desired of Him; which brings us to our first point.
God desired to give Hannah the request she had made, because it was according to His Will. A lot of times we’ll pray, seeking God’s face, extensively examining ourselves to see if we are in right standing with God, so we can receive the desires of our hearts. As important as this is, it still isn’t the qualification for an answered prayer. 1 John 5:14 reads:
“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:”
We can be in fellowship with God, with our sins confessed, and not receive a prayer request – because our prayers are not in the Will of God. Samuel, who was to be the child conceived by Hannah, was the perfect Will of God. Samuel would play an important role in the Kingdom of Israel as a Judge and Prophet of the Lord. When Hannah prayed for Samuel, her heart was no doubt set on her desire for a child; but also her heart was set on God. She found gratification in the fact that her child would be a vow unto the Lord, and a dedication unto the service of God. Hannah didn’t receive self-gratification, but selfless, God-centered gratification.
Another essential qualification for answered prayer is we must have peace with God. When Hannah came to God with her supplication, she was in bitterness of soul (verse 10); but before she received gratification, Eli told her, “Go in peace” (verse 17). Hannah’s adversary, Peninnah, had brought Hannah much anguish that could have hindered her prayer, but Hannah’s heart was in the right place.
Bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness are spiritual Goliaths that can cripple our prayer life. After Jesus gives us our model prayer in Matthew 6:9-13, He immediately teaches us to forgive men of their trespasses. If we are not willing to release these burdens unto the Lord, they will hinder our fellowship with the Father.
Finally, we must delight ourselves in the Lord, and He will give us the desires of our hearts (Psalms 37:4). In Exodus 23:17, the Law states that it was a requirement for all the males to appear before the Lord three times a year. By law, Hannah wasn’t required to be at this annual offering, but she delighted herself in the Lord. When we put God first in our lives, and make Him our priority, God will give us the desires of our hearts according to His Will. There is no greater place to be in life, than to stand in God’s Holy Hill. Seeking God in the Temple of the Lord will yield tremendous, God-centered gratification.
May the Lord set our hearts right, and give us the petitions we desire of Him.