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Message

FromTo - Part 1, Prayer Vows
Miles McPherson - May 18, 2008

Message Recap

Since all good things come down from the Father of lights, we must look to Him for all of our answers.

Since the leadership of Israel was corrupt and God needed a man after His own heart and mind, He needed a special son. This required a special mom who knew how to pray. If we can learn from these five keys to Hannah's prayer, we will also experience new power in our prayers.

First let's review how we got to this point. In the sixth book of the Bible we find the Jews taking the land promised to them by God under the leadership of Joshua. After Joshua died came a 300 year rule by Judges (in the book by the same name) but in this time we find man was doing what was right in his own eyes, not God's. Then there is the book of Ruth, a romantic story that plays a big role in the ancestry of Jesus Christ.

Now we come to 1 Samuel and a new king for the Jewish people but before he was born Hannah, his mother, was barren and unable to have children. As Pastor Miles pointed out this is a reccurring theme in the Bible. Elizabeth in Luke 1:7 gave birth to John the Babtist after being barren. Sarah in Genesis 11:30 gave birth to Ishmael when she was barren and old. This all pointed to Mary who was a virgin and gave birth to Jesus.

But back to Hannah. In 1 Samuel 1:8-10 we find her upset because she hasn't had a child. 1 Samuel 1:10 says she was bitter and prayed to the Lord and wept in the process.

1. Acknowledge that God is active in your life.

We have to give God his due and realize that He is the Lord of all things, especially our lives and we need to depend on him.

In 1 Samuel 1:10 Hannah was upset and bitter. In times like this God wants us to come to him with our problems, in faith knowing that He can help us.

2. Acknowledge your position as His servant.

In 1 Samuel 1:11 Hannah makes a vow to God so that she can have a child, but more importantly she refers to herself three times (NKJV) as a maidservant. We have to realize that we are to do His will. Not ours.

3. Acknowledge how the delayed answer is changing your heart.

Pastor Miles gave a really good example of this. Just because a man prays for a woman doesn't mean that God is going to give you a woman.

Many times God is changing you to prepare you for what you prayed for. Pray for a woman but you have to be able to care for her, provide and such. God wants you to become that man first before he gives answers your prayer. And this applies to all things prayed for.

4. Acknowledge how God will benefit if He answers yes to your prayer.

God blesses us because He loves us, but He always intends to use the gifts and blessings He's given us to bless others.

How will God benefit if He blesses you? God blesses us because He loves us, but He always intends to use the gifts and blessings He's given us to bless others. You wouldn't expect to ask someone to do work for you and not pay them.

Again in 1 Samuel 1:11 Hannah had made a vow to God that if he gave her a son she would raise him to be God's child all the days of his life.

5. Commit to surrender control of your answered prayers to God.

It is often hard for us to do as we like to be in control of ourselves and our situations. However we have to allow God to do his wonders in our lives. And when we pray and when we make a vow to God, Pastor Miles said to do it in writing so that it is taken seriously; by you.

When you rent a home or buy something on credit it is written so that everyone knows what to expect from each other and you have an obligation to live up to. Pastor Miles also pointed out that it is better not to make a vow at all, than to break it so he encouraged us to not take our own vows lightly as we want to find favor in God's eyes.

FromTo

This 10-part series exhorts us to deepen our intimacy with God by drawing nearer to Him and allowing Him to be involved in our lives. Today we look at Hannah's story in 1 Samuel, recognizing the importance of prayer, and how it affects our hearts.

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