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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

Scary Blessings

Suddenly, God fills the room.

1 Samuel 1:12–20

And it happened, as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eli watched her mouth. Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli thought she was drunk. So Eli said to her, “How long will you be drunk? Put your wine away from you!”

But 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. Do not consider your maidservant a wicked woman, for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief I have spoken until now.”

Then Eli answered and said, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition which you have asked of Him.”

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.

Then they rose early in the morning and worshiped before the LORD, and returned and came to their house at Ramah. And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her. 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.”

Hannah’s heartfelt response to Eli’s accusation was unexpected and may have even embarrassed him. He misjudged her. So he blessed her with the striking words, “and the God of Israel grant your petition which you have asked of Him.

Eli’s words don’t carry the weight of prophecy, but they do come true. No gender reveal party needed this time. The LORD has granted Hannah’s request.

Her shame has been replaced with that special kind of joy that only comes from answered prayer.

Answered prayer has a curious quality that nothing else has. It feels like it comes in at a unique angle. It’s wonderful—you get what you asked for—but you also get a sense of God’s presence. It’s just different.

What makes it so different is that it’s a bit scary. It’s too big and too personal. Suddenly, God fills the room. Your prayer request was important, or so you thought. Now the agenda has expanded and you aren’t sure how. The answer to your request isn’t the whole story.

This is what’s happening to Hannah. God didn’t just fix her problem and take away her shame; He’s up to something—and she can feel it.

But she doesn’t know what He’s up to—something more, but what? So, it’s all very great and very scary at the same time. She’s elated but smacked with a sense of responsibility and mystery…

…which is even more elating.

These Monday—Friday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. The Weekend DEEPs are written by Matt Richardson. To subscribe to all the DEEPs click here:

The weekly study guides, which include the Monday–Friday devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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