Friday, August 18, 2023

Prayers of Petition to Prayers of Thanksgiving

Friday, August 18, 2023

Prayers of Petition to Prayers of Thanksgiving - Submitted by Kay Crumley


Jackie Hill Perry taught the lesson on prayers of petition which leads us to prayers of thanksgiving in the “When You Pray” Bible StudyThere are many examples that she referencedI will select verses as examples of each point in this devotional.   


Prayer of petition is a prayer requesting something of GodGod wants us to ask Him for thingsHe will answerWe must trust in the nature of God to believe asking Him to hear and respond to our requests is worthwhile.   Matthew 7:7-11 is the passage where Jesus is telling His disciples to ask, seek, and knockHe promised that all who do that will receiveVerses 9-11 describes God’s response based on His character. 9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good giftsto those who ask him!   Even sinful, evil men give good gifts to their children so how much more should we believe that God will give good gifts to his children, He is Good.   


The Problem: Every petition is an attempt to overcome a problemThe primary passage in this study is 1 Samuel 1:1-2:11. I will not print that whole passage but encourage you to read itWe see that Hannah had a problem, she was unable to conceive, and she desperately wanted a childHer husband had another wife who had several children. The second wife, Peninnah, ridiculed Hannah to irritate herBecause Elkanah, her husband, loved Hannah best he hoped that love and generous provision would be enough to satisfy herThat love was not sufficient to overcome her need to have a child of her ownWhile Elkanah was good, he was not able to grant the gift she most wantedGod’s character drew her to give her problem to Him. 


The Pattern: The family went annually to the temple to worship GodYear after year Hannah suffered knowing she was not able to have childrenShe pleaded with God every time they went to worshipPsalm 42:3 may describe her feelings, My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”  When God doesn’t answer as soon as we prefer, the problem becomes a pattern1 Samuel 1:7 tells us she wept and would not eat.   


The Petition: This year when the family went to the temple to pray the pattern repeats itselfHannah left the family table where they had gathered for a feast and went to the temple to pray with the double portion of offering Elkanah had given her. 1 Samuel 1:10-16 

10 In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly.11 And she made a vow, saying, “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.” 

12 As she kept on praying to the Lord, Eli observed her mouth.13 Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk14 and said to her, “How long are you going to stay drunk? Put away your wine.” 

15 “Not so, my lord,” Hannah replied, “I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the Lord.16 Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.” 

In Hannah’s anguish she was pouring out her heart to God. She promised to dedicate her child to God if only He would allow her to have a sonEli mistakenly took her behavior to be a result of her being drunkShe assured him she was, instead, in deep anguishEli accepted her explanation and gave her his blessing by agreeing with her and asking the God of Israel to grant her request. After she prayed her distress turned to joy18 She said, “May your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast. She had completely emptied her deepest desire at the feet of God and was content that He heard her plea and would answer her prayer. We can see a similar situation in Psalm 6 where David is crying out to God to save him and knows He will deliver him because of His unfailing loveToward the end of that petition David says in verse 9 The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer. We can be confident that our Father hears our deepest most heartfelt petitionsHe answers in His time and in a way that brings benefit to us and glory to Him. Peace comes from a Father who is good to His children and a warrior to His people. 


The Praise: After the family returned home, Hannah conceived and gave birth to a sonShe had made a promise to God and was faithful to keep that promiseShe did not return to the temple for a few years while her son, Samuel, grew to an age to be weaned and could leave his motherThen she returned to the temple and presented her son, the one she promised to give to God, to EliSamuel grew to be a prophet to IsraelChapter 2:1-10 of 1 Samuel is Hannah’s prayer of thanksgivingShe praises Him for His bower, His provision, and His love for His childrenVerse 10 is prophecy of the MessiahIt is not by strength that one prevails; those who oppose the Lord will be broken. The Most High will thunder from heaven;the Lord will judge the ends of the earth. He will give strength to his king and exalt the horn of his anointed.”  Jesus is the person we have constant access to. The Lord of Hosts, the Lord of Armies is available, He is faithful.   

Psalm 106:1 Praise the Lord. 

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; 
    his love endures forever. 


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