THE STORY #10: A PRAYING MOTHER, A LISTENING PROPHET AND A DISOBEDIENT KING
(Pastor Chris Jordan – Beausejour Church)
OPENING: I love Christmas: The season we celebrate the hope, joy and peace of Jesus!
- “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11, NKJV).
INTRO TO TOPIC: First Samuel takes place right after the story of the Judges and Ruth.
- Samuel was the final judge, but he also served as a priest and a prophet.
- This was the transition to the time of the kings.
THE BIG IDEA: In the stories of Hannah, Samuel and Saul, we learn three important keys to prayer: Never give up, listen to God’s voice, and walk in obedience.
1. HANNAH: LESSON FROM A MOTHER: NEVER GIVE UP:
- There was a man named Elkanah who had two wives – Hannah and Peninnah (1 Sam. 1).
- Peninnah had children, Hannah did not, and Peninnah tormented Hannah because of it. Every year they would go to the house of the Lord, and Hannah would fast and weep.
“9 So Hannah arose after they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat by the doorpost of the tabernacle of the Lord. 10 And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the Lord and wept in anguish. 11 Then she made a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head.”
“12 And it happened, as she continued praying before the Lord, that Eli watched her mouth. 13 Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli thought she was drunk. 14 So Eli said to her, “How long will you be drunk? Put your wine away from you!” 15 And Hannah answered and said, “No, my lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor intoxicating drink, but have poured out my soul before the Lord. 16 Do not consider your maidservant a wicked woman, for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief I have spoken until now.” 17 Then Eli answered and said, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition which you have asked of Him.” 18 And she said, “Let your maidservant find favor in your sight.” So the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.” (1 Samuel 1:9-18).
The First Important Key to Prayer is Perseverance: Never Give Up!
- “One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up.” (Luke 18:1, NLT).
- We need to learn how to P.U.S.H. in our prayers: Pray Until Something Happens!
- Micah said: “Therefore I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; My God will hear me. Do not rejoice over me, my enemy; When I fall, I will arise; When I sit in darkness, The Lord will be a light to me.” (Micah 7:7-8).
- It’s easy when you sit in darkness to get discouraged and want to give up, but don’t do it!
“So it came to pass in the process of time that Hannah conceived and bore a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, “Because I have asked for him from the Lord.” (1 Samuel 1:20).
- “So Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground.” (1 Samuel 3:20). What a blessing! PARENTS: Pray for your children!
2. SAMUEL: LESSON FROM A PROPHET: LISTEN TO GOD’S VOICE:
“1 Then the boy Samuel ministered to the Lord before Eli. And the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no widespread revelation. 2 And it came to pass at that time, while Eli was lying down in his place, and when his eyes had begun to grow so dim that he could not see, 3 and before the lamp of God went out in the tabernacle of the Lord where the ark of God was, and while Samuel was lying down, 4 that the Lord called Samuel. And he answered, “Here I am!” 5 So he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” And he said, “I did not call; lie down again.” And he went and lay down. 6 Then the Lord called yet again, “Samuel!” So Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” He answered, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” 7 (Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, nor was the word of the Lord yet revealed to him.) 8 And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. Then he arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you did call me.” Then Eli perceived that the Lord had called the boy. 9 Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and it shall be, if He calls you, that you must say, ‘Speak, Lord, for Your servant hears.’ ” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 10 Now the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel answered, “Speak, for Your servant hears.”” (1 Samuel 3:1-10).
Jesus said: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” (John 10:27).
- Jesus wants all Christians to learn to recognize His voice:
- Relationship: “I know them.” Obedience: “They follow me.”
The Second Important Key to Prayer is Listening to God’s Voice!
“But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” (Matt. 6:6).
- Learn the language of the Holy Spirit – He speaks Bible. The more familiar we become with the written Word of God, the more we will recognize the spoken Word.
- Ask God to speak to you. “Call to me and I will answer you.” (Jeremiah 33:3).
- Learn to be quiet and listen in prayer. “Be still and know…” (Psalm 46:10).
3. SAUL: LESSON FROM A KING: WALK IN OBEDIENCE:
The Israelites went to Samuel and said, “We want a king just like the other nations!”
“The Lord said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.” (1 Sam. 8:7).
- The Israelites wanted to be just like the other nations and have a human king!
- God gave them a tall, dark and handsome man named Saul (see 1 Samuel 9:2).
“5 Then the Philistines gathered together to fight with Israel, thirty thousand chariots and six thousand horsemen, and people as the sand which is on the seashore in multitude. And they came up and encamped in Michmash, to the east of Beth Aven. 6 When the men of Israel saw that they were in danger (for the people were distressed), then the people hid in caves, in thickets, in rocks, in holes, and in pits. 7 And some of the Hebrews crossed over the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. As for Saul, he was still in Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling. 8 Then he waited seven days, according to the time set by Samuel. But Samuel did not come to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him. 9 So Saul said, “Bring a burnt offering and peace offerings here to me.” And he offered the burnt offering.” (1 Samuel 13:5-9, NIV).
- King Saul was getting ready to lead his troops into battle against the Philistines.
- They people were afraid, and Samuel hadn’t shown up, and the people started leaving.
- So, motivated by fear, Saul offered up the offering only a priest was allowed to do.
“10 Now it happened, as soon as he had finished presenting the burnt offering, that Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might greet him. 11 And Samuel said, “What have you done?” And Saul said, “When I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered together at Michmash, 12 then I said, ‘The Philistines will now come down on me at Gilgal, and I have not made supplication to the Lord.’ Therefore I felt compelled, and offered a burnt offering.” 13 And Samuel said to Saul, “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you. For now the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. 14 But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart… because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.” (1 Samuel 13:10-14, NKJV).
- Because Saul disobeyed God, he lost His favour, and also the kingdom!
The Third Important Key to Prayer is Walking in Obedience!
“If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.” (Ps. 66:18, NLT).
- Does this mean we have to be perfect? Of course not, that’s impossible.
- But when we do sin, we must repent, confess the sin, and be forgiven (1 John 1:9).
CONCLUSION: REVIEW KEYS TO PRAYER:
- From Hannah, we learned the importance of perseverance – never give up!
- From Samuel, we learned the importance of hearing God’s voice.
- From Saul, we learned the importance of walking in obedience to God.
CHALLENGE: Let’s believe God for great things in our lives, our families, and our church!
- Pastor’s Blog: https://pastorchrisjordan.wordpress.com/