Georges River Congregational Church Devotion from Pastor Haydn Sennitt – Powerful, Passionate, Prayers of the Powerless
Throughout the Bible, Gods’ salvation is like Indiana Jones where a bushfire is lit right when it looks like the candle has completely burned out. One of the greatest examples of this is the prayer of the young girl Hannah in 1 Samuel 1-2. She is a woman who is vulnerable, powerless, persecuted, and insignificant. Her husband was married to another woman, Pennaniah, with whom he had children; Pennaniah tormented Hannah, since had no children. In the timeline of biblical history, the Israel of Hannah’s era was in the days of the judges, when the nation was leaderless and rebellious. Hannah’s lot looked hopeless; Israel’s lot was equally perilous.
It was even more hopeless because when Hannah visited the Tent of Meeting to ask God for a son, the temple leader Eli thought she was drunk. No-one believed her, helped her, or had any confidence in her.
Yet for Hannah, a son was worth more than her own husband. She so desperate in her prayers that she didn’t even care what Eli or Pennaniah thought. She never gave up interceding – she prayed until she was starving (1:15-18). God eventually answered this prayer and gave her baby Samuel, a boy who eventually became a future leader of Israel. Hannah never asked God to use Samuel to lead Israel, but God used that answered prayer to do exactly that.
The passionate prayers of this powerless woman places big demands upon us. We here in Georges River are also small, powerless, and insignificant, but are we pushing God passionately for the things that He wants for us? For Hannah, her own self-interest paralleled with what interested God – a son for her was God’s leader for Israel. Are we actually convinced that our spiritual and numerical growth at Georges River Congregational is in Gods best interest as well as our own? Are we interceding so desperately for this that others think we’re crazy, even when we have Pennaniahs mocking us, saying that those prayers are not going to change anything? Are we fighting for what we hope for, or have we given up on fighting our godly hopes?
If so, we need to pray for our prayers, and work hard to overcome our lethargy. If God could dramatically change history through one childless woman’s prayers, how much more will He answer ours?
~ Pastor Haydn.