The chapter began with Hannah’s prayer when she brought Samuel to the temple.
God had given Hannah the gift of a son. And I think that most people’s prayer would be something along the lines of, “Thank you, God, for giving me this boy.” But instead of focusing on the gift, Hannah is praising the Giver. Her first thoughts are of praising Him. The first ten verses of the chapter are of Hannah giving praise to God, and Samuel is not mentioned at all. It is all about Hannah thanking and praising and honoring God.
This is a wonderful model for us when God answers our prayers. We tend to get so caught up in our own lives that when we cry out to God with our petitions and He answers us, we thank Him for the thing (whatever it may be) and focus on what He did for us, instead of lifting Him up for who and what He is, simply because He is.
Don’t get me wrong. It is understandable. By way of example, not long after the Lovely Lady LeeAnn and I were married, we found out that she had a large tumor growing on one of her ovaries. This was confirmed by two different doctors at two different medical facilities. There was no doubt that it was there. She needed surgery, and she needed it right away, so it was scheduled and we made plans. But we also prayed for God to heal her, if that was His will. And we asked our church to join us in prayer. The following week, when she came out of surgery, the doctor was dumbfounded. There was no tumor, and no evidence that any tumor had ever been there.
What did we do? Of course we rejoiced as we shared the good news with our church, and we thanked God over and over for the healing He gave LeeAnn. And we, understandably, focused on the healing. Over and over we thanked Him. But I don’t remember that we did as Hannah did and just praised and exalted God for who and what He is.
I like what Hannah said. “I have joy in Your saving power. There is no one holy like the Lord. For sure, there is no one other than You.”
Let’s spend more time lifting up the mighty name of God, and less time on the things He does. He deserves our praise just because He is God.