Then God Stepped In by Rev. E. Anderson


Rev. E. Anderson

Barrenness turned to blessedness

It was to be by the means of prayer that an utter state of barrenness would be turned into a wonderful state of blessedness. I Samuel one gives the account of a woman name Hannah who discovered that by persistently seeking God she could see her physical situation completely transformed. It was not to be by an easy route that this was to be brought about.

1/.  Her situation was aggravated by the fact that her husband’s other wife   readily had children – v2

It must have been quite a galling thing to live with, the opposite number readily producing and she in a state of sterility and unfruitfulness and she wanted a child so badly. To see other children arriving and being around was quite soul destroying and could have easily embittered her being against God.

2/.  Her situation seemed to be in an impossible state because the lord had shut up her womb – v6

This was not some natural factor or coincidence. The statement makes it clear that it was a deliberate act on God’s part and that it was not due to any wrong with regard to Hannah. She could have interpreted it that way. What had she done amiss so that the Lord had imposed this ban on her? Although she did not understand she knew that they key and answer to the problem lie with God. And there was only one way to change it and that was by prayer.

3/. Her experience was made more difficult by the provocation she received – v7

It seems that her opponent went out of her way to rub salt into the wound to make her lot and life more unbearable. Instead of being sympathetic to Hannah she was rather sadistic in her attitude and was determined to make her situation more painful. She tried to make her grief more unbearable. The only way to assuage this sort of thing was by prayer and she must have conversed with the Lord about this.

4/.  Her determination was relentless in spite of these things as she sought the only one that could answer – vv7, 9-10

She is not put off by this negative and evil behaviour but becomes more focussed and switched on to prayer and God. A persistency is born that drives her to the point that she will not let go until this issue is resolved – Luke 18: 1-8. She cannot afford to surrender and live in defeat; rather she must get a divine answer.

5/.  Her commitment is evident when she is prepared to make a genuine vow to the lord – v11

It is at this crucial moment that she is led to make a tremendous vow that the Lord heard and was waiting for because He had something big in mind for His people and it needed to commence with Hannah who He could trust. A baby was needed who would make a difference and a woman and mother who would contribute to such.

6/.  Her faith is made manifest when she receives the word from the priest that here request will be honoured – vv13-18

Although misjudged by the priest at first, which he duly corrected, he spoke a word of assurance into her heart and she immediately grasped and believed it – ‘Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked for’ – v17. The Lord remembered her and she became pregnant with child.


When the answer came what a child God gave! He was to be the beginning of a great prophetic line of ministry. He certainly was worth waiting for because he was to be used to make a barren nation blessed with inspired revelation etc.

What a name for a child – ‘Samuel – asked of God’. She both honoured God and prayer in the naming of this boy.

Hannah, too, was to know the birth of other children because she had honoured the Lord and regarded prayer as a vital exercise – 1 Samuel 2:18-21.