ODJ: Worship in the Waiting

September 7, 2018 

READ: 1 Samuel 1:1-28 

They worshipped the Lord there (v.28).

It’s not uncommon for people, whether believers in Jesus or not, to wrestle with God as to why He allows certain things. When it comes to believers, it can shake our faith to see prayers seemingly go unanswered. But the questions we face aren’t new or unique to this age.

In the book of 1 Samuel, we read of a woman named Hannah, the wife of a man named Elkanah, who struggled with prayers that seemed to go unanswered. Hannah was “reduced to tears” (1:7) each year because she couldn’t have children, and she was taunted by her husband’s other wife, Peninnah, who had borne children (v.6). Hannah cried out in prayer for a son, vowing that she would give him back to God: “He will be yours for his entire lifetime” (v.11). While she promised this, Hannah was praying so fervently that Eli, the priest, thought she was drunk! (vv.12-15).

The next morning the family went to worship God, and a short time later Hannah became pregnant! (vv.19-20). But take note of the order in which these events took place; Hannah worshipped before her prayer was answered.

When her son Samuel was weaned, Hannah brought him to the temple and dedicated him to God just as she promised. The chapter ends with Hannah and Eli worshipping God (v.28). Hannah kept her promise in dedicating Samuel “to the Lord” (v.11), and worshipped Him for the gift of her son.

It’s easy to worship when things are going the way we had hoped, but it becomes more challenging when we’re praying and it feels like God is completely ignoring us—though He’s not. He hears our every prayer and can be trusted with our concerns. Let’s remember to worship Him with gratitude today, regardless of whether or not our prayers are answered as we would like.

—Julie Schwab

365-day plan: Luke 21:1-24

Read Psalm 100:1-5 and consider how and why we can worship God. 
What prayers are you struggling to trust God with? How will you worship God even as you wait for answers?