Thought for the day.
30th June 2020
Remember the story of Hannah, who was thought to be barren, praying for a male child. She promised God that if she did conceive, she would give the male baby back to the Temple as a Nazirite for the whole of his life. In due time she did conceive a boy child, Samuel. God called him in the night, and the lad thought it was Eli the elderly priest calling to him. When Samuel heard the voice of God for the third time he replied as Eli had instructed him: “Speak for your servant is listening.” Samuel of course went on to be a great leader of the Israelites.

When I was a child I had one of the ladybird series books about this story, with a picture of Samuel on the front cover, getting out of bed with a start as he heard God’s voice. As a result of the vivid picture I have always remembered that story.
Sometimes, even today, when I wake in the small hours and have trouble getting back to sleep I think of that passage and start to pray, asking that God will show me the way forward in my life, and help me to be ready for whatever lies ahead. Hannah had waited a long time to conceive, but eventually God heard her prayer and granted her wish. It is good to be patient – not something that I personally find at all easy! – and when we are, God does honour his promises.

Hannah understood a principle that it is good to remember: we are given life to give it away. We pour out what God has given us -- our talents, our gifts, our money, our joy, whatever it may be -- as a blessing to others. So don’t linger at the gate of God's presence, going through the motions of worshipping God and yet holding sadness and bitterness in your hearts. Let us not be bystanders but enter into His inner courts of praise. Don’t be frightened to ask God for what you want, persevere in prayer and pray for patience to wait for your prayers to be answered, in God’s time not ours.


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