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How To Pray "Hallowed Be Your Name"

1 Samuel 2:1-10 | Part 4


 


 

Hannah prayed:

 

My heart rejoices in the Lord;

my horn is lifted up by the Lord.

My mouth boasts over my enemies,

because I rejoice in your salvation.

2 There is no one holy like the Lord.

There is no one besides you!

And there is no rock like our God.

3 Do not boast so proudly,

or let arrogant words come out of your mouth,

for the Lord is a God of knowledge,

and actions are weighed by him.

4 The bows of the warriors are broken,

but the feeble are clothed with strength.

5 Those who are full hire themselves out for food,

but those who are starving hunger no more.

The woman who is childless gives birth to seven,

but the woman with many sons pines away.

6 The Lord brings death and gives life;

he sends some down to Sheol, and he raises others up.

7 The Lord brings poverty and gives wealth;

he humbles and he exalts.

8 He raises the poor from the dust

and lifts the needy from the trash heap.

He seats them with noblemen

and gives them a throne of honor.

For the foundations of the earth are the Lord’s;

he has set the world on them.

9 He guards the steps of his faithful ones,

but the wicked perish in darkness,

for a person does not prevail by his own strength.

10 Those who oppose the Lord will be shattered;

he will thunder in the heavens against them.

The Lord will judge the ends of the earth.

He will give power to his king;

he will lift up the horn of his anointed.  -- 1 Samuel 2:1-10 (CSB)


 

Context:

 

1 Samuel marks the transition of the period of the Judges (where every man did what was right in his own eyes) to the period of the kings (God will give Israel a king at their request). God is on the move! God is about to do something big with his people (a nation in transition). He starts by miraculously intervening in the life of a barren woman who is faithfully seeking Him for the gift of a son.

 

Hannah is that barren woman. 1 Sam. 1 shows Hannah as God’s humble and faithful servant in deep distress over her barrenness. She seeks the Lord in fervent prayer and God answers her prayer by giving her a son, Samuel.

 

Hannah says to Eli, the priest in 1 Sam. 1:26:

 

“Please, my lord,” she said, “as surely as you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the Lord. 27 I prayed for this boy, and since the Lord gave me what I asked him for, 28 I now give the boy to the Lord. For as long as he lives, he is given to the Lord.” Then he worshiped the Lord there.  -- 1 Samuel 1:26-28 (CSB)

 

Hannah’s triumphant prayer comes after the Lord answered her request for a son. This Holy Spirit inspired prayer is worship to the Lord. What we have covered up to this point is biblical narrative, but now we are venturing into a new genre. What genre of literature would this passage be? That’s right! It’s poetry.  It’s not a lot different from what we find in the book of Psalms. In the Psalms and in Hannah’s song/prayer recorded here, we have a handbook for how to interact with the Lord.

Notice how God-centered Hannah’s prayer is. Her heart and thoughts were completely dominated by the goodness of God, His character, and the way He works to bring Himself glory. You won’t find a single personal pronoun “me” in this prayer. That’s not to say that you can’t pray for things about yourself (Hannah does just that in chapter 1), but here in chapter 2 we have a sterling example of what it looks to focus on the Lord. Hannah uses God’s personal name, “Yahweh”, translated as “the Lord”, a whopping 9 times in this passage. Another 8 times she uses the masculine pronoun “He” to speak of God’s actions or how He providentially interacts with His creation.

In other words:

 

This prayer is all about the character, status, role, and actions of the Lord almighty. The Lord is the Savior, He is holy, He is the Rock, He is the God of knowledge, He is the Judge, He is the God of the great reversal, He humbles the proud & exalts the humble, He is the Creator, He is the Protector of His faithful ones, He is the judge of the wicked, He will lift up the horn of His Messiah.

 

Main Point for today: To make progress in our relationship with God, we must change the focus of our prayer life.

 

To change the focus of our prayer life, I want to begin with a question:

 

Okay, what’s the next line in the Lord’s prayer after “Our Father, who art in heaven”?

 

Exactly! Hallowed be Your name. Our passage today is a beautiful example of praying hallowed be Your name. So, let’s double click on hallowed be Your name and linger for a while on Hannah’s prayer in 1 Sam 2:1-10. I’ve got 4 takeaways for you today from the text.

 

Outline:

 

How to pray “Hallowed be Your name” (4 takeaways from Hannah’s prayer):

 

1.    Pray to worship the Lord (v1-2)

2.    Pray the character of God (v3 & 8)

3.    Pray the Gospel (v4-9)

4.    Pray to focus on Jesus (v10)

 


 

 

1.    Pray to worship the Lord

 

My heart rejoices in the Lord;

my horn is lifted up by the Lord.

My mouth boasts over my enemies,

because I rejoice in your salvation.

 

·       Hannah starts with her heart in verse 1. What does she reveal about her heart? Her heart rejoices in the Lord. In the Bible, the heart is the animating center of all we do. It’s our motivational hub. The heart contains our will, desires, thoughts, and emotions. What we see here is Hannah’s will, desires, thoughts, and emotions are completely focused on the Lord.

·       It’s clear from this text how much joy she finds in the Lord. The Lord is her supreme joy. There is no greater joy filling Hannah’s heart than the Lord Himself.

·       Application: where do you look to find your joy? Whatever your heart rejoices in the most will be your worship. You worship what you enjoy.

·       Now, what does Hannah mean when she speaks of her horn being lifted up by the Lord in verse 1?

·       Ellicott’s commentary says: “The image “horn” is taken from oxen and those animals whose strength lies in their horns.”  

·       By saying her horn is lifted up by the Lord, Hannah is saying her strength is in the Lord. First, she says her heart rejoices in the Lord to explain her emotional state, and now she says her horn is lifted up by the Lord to explain her physical state. Her physical strength is found in the Lord.

·       Hannah rejoices in the Lord’s salvation.

·       Application: do you ever stop and rejoice because Jesus has saved you from death and given you life with Him?

 

2 There is no one holy like the Lord.

There is no one besides you!

And there is no rock like our God.

 

·       When we say the Lord is holy what are we saying? We’re saying simply this: The Lord is set apart in all His perfection. The Lord is gloriously other. He is transcendently greater than anyone else in existence.

·       This is what we pray in the Lord’s prayer: “Hallowed be Your name.”

·       Hannah is worshipping God for who He is here!

·       Application: Do your prayers begin with long stretches of praise and adoration?

·       She says, “And there is no rock like our God.” Where do you find your firm foundation when everything in life is crumbling around you? Is the Lord your rock? Can you say with Hannah, “There is no rock like our God.”?

·       Examples: work, marriage, parenting, singleness/loneliness

 

3 Do not boast so proudly,

or let arrogant words come out of your mouth,

for the Lord is a God of knowledge,

and actions are weighed by him.

 

·       Now, who in the narrative so far has boasted proudly and let arrogant words come out of their mouth? (Characters to choose from: Elkanah, his two wives—Hannah & Peninnah, Eli the priest, his two sons Hophni and Phineas, and the child Samuel)

·       Given the context of 1 Sam. 1 we can see that Peninnah had been boastful and taunted Hannah about her barrenness.

 

6 Her rival, however, would provoke her bitterly to irritate her, because the Lord had closed her womb.

 

·       At this point in Hannah’s prayer, she may have been calling out her revival as a way to bring before the Lord the hurt she felt from Peninnah. The Lord is okay with us processing our bitterness before Him as we engage in a real relationship with Him. She used her bitterness as a springboard into God’s presence to highlight the Lord’s character.

 

This brings us to our second takeaway…

  

 

2.    Pray the character of God (v3)

 

·       In verse 3, Hannah instructs us against arrogance by grounding her reasoning in the character of God… “for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and actions are weighed by Him.”

·       Let the character of God be the grounding for your humility

·       We must see the Lord rightly for who He is (i.e. He’s the God of knowledge—He knows everything & He’s our Judge—He weighs our actions: He knows our hearts & motivations)

·       When we see God rightly for who He is, we will then see ourselves rightly in light of who we are in Him. This leads us to pray the gospel:

 

 

3.    Pray the Gospel (v4-9)

 

4 The bows of the warriors are broken,

but the feeble are clothed with strength.

 

·       Starting in verse 4, Hannah introduces us to a series of great reversals that God brings about

·       The first great reversal is the strong becoming weak and the weak becoming strong

·       Isn’t this the way into Christ’s kingdom?

·       We must understand the depth of our sin and weakness before we look to Jesus to be our Savior.

 

6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly (Romans 5:6 ESV).

 

5 Those who are full hire themselves out for food,

but those who are starving hunger no more.

 

·       The second great reversal involves those who are well-fed becoming destitute and hungry while those who hunger are satisfied and hunger no more.

·       Does this sound like any teaching you’ve read in the NT?

 

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,

for they will be filled (Matthew 5:6).

 

The woman who is childless gives birth to seven,

but the woman with many sons pines away.

 

·       What about the barren woman giving birth to seven and the woman with many sons pining away?

·       Could this be a reference to the situation with Hannah and Peninnah?

·       Cultural context here: Hannah is in a shame-honor culture. Barrenness was shameful for them and utterly crippling for a woman in that culture. Having children was deemed as a great honor and blessing from the Lord.

·       The gospel connection here is that, in Christ, God takes those who are filled with shame and dishonor and lavishes them with honor. “7” is the number of completeness. Giving birth to 7 in that culture would mean the Lord had bestowed complete honor on you.

·       In the gospel, when we come to Christ full of shame and look to Him for grace, He covers our shame with complete honor. We receive the honor Christ deserves because He took the shame we deserve at the cross. Essentially, Jesus traded places with us at the cross. Wow what a Savior, y’all!

 

11 For the Scripture says, Everyone who believes on him will not be put to shame, (Romans 10:11)

 

·       In the next several verses, we see a series of reversals Hannah uses to illustrate the gospel that is fully fleshed out for us in the New Testament:

 

6 The Lord brings death and gives life;

he sends some down to Sheol, and he raises others up.

7 The Lord brings poverty and gives wealth;

he humbles and he exalts.

8 He raises the poor from the dust

and lifts the needy from the trash heap.

He seats them with noblemen

and gives them a throne of honor.

 

·       The Lord brings people from death to life

·       The Lord sends down to Sheol, and He raises others up

·       The Lord makes the poor to be rich and the rich to be poor

·       The Lord humbles the exalted, and exalts the humble

·       The Lord raises the poor up and lifts up the needy

·       The Lord bestows great honor and seats the needy with princes

 

The Lord brings us from death to life, raises us up, and seats us in a place of great honor.

 

Now does this set of reversals remind you of any passage in the New Testament?

 

Ephesians 2:4-6

        

4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love that he had for us,[b] 5 made us alive with Christ even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace! 6 He also raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavens in Christ Jesus,

 

·       Do you see how Hannah is praying & singing the gospel even though she’s not fully aware of Jesus yet?

·       As NT believers, we have a clear picture of the mystery of the gospel that was hidden to Hannah.

·       Now verse 8 finishes with the character of God:

 

 

For the foundations of the earth are the Lord’s;

he has set the world on them.

 

·       At the end of verse 8, Hannah returns to speaking about the character of God: she says the foundations of the earth are the Lord’s. In other words, Yahweh is the Creator of the earth, and He owns everything. By saying the Lord set up the earth’s foundations, Hannah is implying that everything taking placing on this planet falls under the sovereignty of God.

·       God has total and complete control of everything. We can take great comfort in that, especially when life makes no sense at all.

·       We can also take great comfort in the next verse. Look at verse 9:

 

9 He guards the steps of his faithful ones,

but the wicked perish in darkness,

for a person does not prevail by his own strength.

 

·       In verse 9, Hannah sings about God being our great Protector. The Lord guards your steps. Every step you take in faithfulness to the Lord is guarded by Him. That is to say, the Lord is with us, and everything that befalls is sovereignly ordained and/or allowed by Him.

·       Hannah also reminds us of the doom of the godless

·       A godless person relies on his own strength, but God’s faithful ones rely on the Lord for strength and protection

·       Now verse 10 brings us to our 4th and final takeaway today on prayer:

 

 

10 Those who oppose the Lord will be shattered;

he will thunder in the heavens against them.

The Lord will judge the ends of the earth.

 

·       Again, we see the judgment of God against the wicked

·       The Lord, Yahweh, will judge the ends of the earth

·       How does the character of God as judge of all the earth make you feel?

·       In the gospel, Jesus bears the judgment of God for us, on our behalf!

 


 

4.    Pray to focus on Jesus (v10)

 

·       Look at the last two lines of Hannah’s song:

 

He will give power to his king;

he will lift up the horn of his anointed.

 

·       This is a prophetic statement because Israel is still in the period of the judges at this point in their history.  Israel has no king, but the Holy Spirit inspires Hannah to speak of a king who will receive power from the Lord

·       The Lord will also lift up the horn, or the strength, of His anointed

·       Now, in the OT, there are three offices of leadership who were anointed (the person holding such an office would be anointed with oil)

·       Does anyone know which three kinds of leaders would be anointed in the OT?

·       That’s right: prophets, priests, and kings

·       Does this remind you of any anointed person in the NT?

·       That’s right y’all!

·       Jesus Christ is our Prophet, Priest, and King! The title “Christ” literally means “the anointed one”.

·       Hannah looks forward to the Lord’s anointed one at the end of v10!

·       Jesus is the prophet who declares God’s truth to us, He’s the priest who prays for us, and He’s the King who rules over us!

·       Now let’s connect all the dots from the OT to NT:

 

Remember Hannah was barren in chapter 1, and the Lord answered her prayer to give her a son. That son is Samuel.  Samuel’s birth marks the beginning of Israel’s transition from the period of the judges to the period of the kings. Samuel is going to grow up to be the prophet who anoints Israel’s first king. After Israel’s first king fails, does anyone know who Samuel anoints as king?

 

That’s right King David.

 

In summary, what do have? Well, in the book of 1st Samuel we have Hannah who was barren, but then the Lord gives her a son named Samuel. Samuel eventually anoints King David.

 

Does this situation of a barren woman being blessed with a son who grows up to anoint a king remind you of anyone in the New Testament?

 

That’s right! Elizabeth. Elizabeth was barren. And then the Lord blesses her with a son named who? That’s right! John the Baptist. It just so happens that John the Baptist is the one God chooses to baptize His Son, Jesus Christ.  At Christ’s baptism, Jesus is anointed by the Holy Spirit and this marks a great transition for the entire world.

 

 

 

Old Testament

New Testament

Hannah

 

Elizabeth

Samuel

 

John the Baptist

David

 

Jesus Christ

 

At Christ’s baptism, the kingdom of God invades the earth. Old Testament becomes New Testament. At the baptism of Jesus, the Holy Spirit anoints Him as our Prophet, Priest, and King. At the baptism of Jesus, the new creation breaks through. Eden 2.0 is being ushered in! Behold the beautiful grand narrative of the Bible. The Lord is awesome. Don’t you just love how everything in the Scriptures is connected to Jesus Christ. Everything culminates in Christ. Everything comes together in Him, our Prophet, Priest, and King.

 

Practical applications? Read the Bible to see Jesus on every page (Luke 24:27).

 

27 Then beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted for them the things concerning himself in all the Scriptures.

 

And so, we pray to focus on Jesus!

 

1.    Pray to worship

2.    Pray the character of God

3.    Pray the Gospel

4.    Pray to focus of Jesus

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