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by Henry Brinton, December 21 2020

Advent Devotion: Signs of Light

1 Samuel 2:1-10, by Lois Bingham


Hannah's Prayer

Hannah had lived the start of her adult life, languishing and living in the shadow of depression, waiting to conceive a child, that never came. In a final desperate bargain with God, she prayerfully committed her personal life to God, and that of her yet–to-be-born son to the priesthood, if God would grant her a child. From the day Samuel was finally born, Hannah remembered her promise and was committed to giving back to God for the gift of her perfect son.  Samuel was the light of her life and perhaps her prayer of joyous exultation suggests how we are to receive precious gifts from God. Each year at Christmas we are reminded of the gifts of hope, and light from our Heavenly Father. His Son, Jesus, is our hope and light that is desperately needed in the brokenness of this world in which we live and try to build God’s  Kingdom here on earth.

Hannah’s Prayer never ceases to touch my heart and remind me of a time when I felt discouraged, beaten down, powerless and alone – perhaps similar to Hannah before she sought God’s mercy in the temple. Suddenly I was awakened in the dead of night by a beam of moonlight shining through my bedroom window.  I rested in that moonlight and finally fell back into a deep sleep. The next morning I truly felt like I had been lifted up from Sheol (vs. 6), from a “needy ash heap” and given renewed strength and power, as one of God’s anointed and beloved children. I go back to that light whenever I need a renewal of strength, power and God’s abiding love.

Prayer: Dear Rescuer God, open us to the power that can lift us from our places of darkest despair and painful indifference.  May we know that Your Light can lift us into Your Kingdom and place us onto that safe “Rock like our God” (vs.2). May Hannah’s prayer be in our hearts through the coming months as an example of how we can exult and praise You for the gifts You bestow each and every day.

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by Henry Brinton

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