Why should I pray when I am upset?

Focal Passage: 1 Samuel 1:4-7,9-11,19-20,24-28; 2:21
Life Question: Why should I pray when I am upset?
Biblical Truth: Trust in God brings rewards that surpass our pain.

  What is your first response when you are ridiculed by someone else?
  Where do you turn for help in a time of crisis?
  When is the last time someone made fun of you or someone you know?
  How important is prayer to the life of a Christian?

A man named Elkanah had two wives; Hannah and Peninnah. Scholars say he married Hannah out of love and when she had no children, he married Peninnah. We all know how important children were in Biblical times.

Each year Elkanah would travel to Shiloh to worship and sacrifice to the Lord at the Tabernacle. The word Shiloh meant "place of rest". It was not a place of rest for Hannah.

We find out why in 1 Samuel 1:4-7

Why was Hannah so upset?
What did Peninnah do to Hannah?
Why do you think she treated Hannah this way?
What would you have done if you had been Hannah?

Hannah was so upset about the constant ridicule and the inability to have children, that she wouldn't even eat.

1 Samuel 1:9-20

Hannah prayed with such intensity that Eli the priest thought she was drunk. She assured him that she was not drunk and had not even been drinking; that she was pouring her heart out to the Lord.

After this prayer, Hannah's mind-set changed drastically. She left her burden at the feet of the Lord. She chose to trust the Lord and believe He is faithful.

Was her prayer a "Let's Make a Deal with God"?

Do you play "Let's make deal with God"?

"God, if You will just let me date this person (who I KNOW I should not be dating), then I will tell him/her about You."

"God, if You would just help me pass this test, I PROMISE I will study harder the next

"God, if You would just ___________________________, then ________________."

How was Hannah's VOW different from when we try to make a deal with God?

In Old Testament culture a vow was considered a contract. A faithful Israelite would never make a vow to God that he or she did not intend to keep. Not fulfilling a vow would not only put distance in the relationship with God but may even bring about death as a consequence.

Hannah could have taken a handmaid to have the child for her, sacrificed to other gods, followed superstitious suggestions, blamed Elkanah, or hardened her heart toward Elkanah or even toward God.

1 Samuel 1:19-28; 2:21

  How did God finally respond to Hannah's prayers?
Blessed her with a son named Samuel (Samuel means His name is God)

  How did Hannah keep her promise to God?
She remained faithful to her vow she made to God. After Samuel was weaned, she took him to the Temple to return him to the Lord. Hannah had 3 more sons and 2 daughters.

  Are there any promises you have made to God that you haven't kept?
  When we pray, do we expect a quick fix or do we wait for His Word to guide us?
  Do we become angry if we don't get it?
  Do we expect and believe as Hannah did even when we cannot see the solution yet?
  Do we believe that what we say to God really matters? Or do we offer Him empty promises?
  Do we fear Him and stand in awe, following through with what we say we will do?