You can read the story of Hannah’s life in 1 Samuel 1:9-11, 19-20; 2:1-10. You can also use a children’s storybook Bible or read the story retold below.
Hannah and her baby, Samuel.
The Bible is full of real stories about real people, who did good things and wrong things, who loved God and who didn’t love God. It also tells about the Jews God’s chosen people. Sometimes they followed God and other times they didn’t. Today’s story is about a woman who loved God in a time when not so many people in Israel did.
Hannah and her husband Elkanah, who we’ll just call Elk, did worship God and every year went to the temple to make a sacrifice for the forgiveness of their sins. Elk had married two wives, Hannah and Penninah, who we’ll just call Pen. This was not a happy family. Pen was jealous of Hannah who Elk loved more than her. Pen was very angry because she had all the children in the family and Hannah had none, yet still Elk favored Hannah. Pen took every chance she could to tease and put Hannah down because she had no children. After years and years of this Hannah began to despair. Elk tried to comfort her by reassuring her that he loved her best of his wives. When Hannah stopped eating Elk was worried and said to Hannah “why are you so upset aren’t I more important to you than having children”. Elk hoped this logic would help Hannah start focusing what was good in her life. But to Hannah, this made her feel that even Elk had lost hope in her ever having children. Didn’t he have hope in the God of Sarah and Abraham who had given them children when Sarah was an old lady? Hannah felt so alone in her hurt.
Yes the only One who truly understood her was God. The next year when the family went to the yearly sacrifice Hannah went to the temple by herself to pray. She was very bitter and sobbed and sobbed before God until finally she could pray. She asked God to notice her pain and to give her a son. She promised to give the child back to God to be raised as a special priest to serve God all the days of his life. Eli, the priest, was watching Hannah as she was crying and quietly pleading with God and he thought she had been drinking too much wine and was drunk. Hannah told Eli she hadn’t been drinking wine at all, she was just very upset and sad. Eli saw that this was so and he told her to “May God answer your request. Go now with the peace of God” . Hannah left the temple and she wasn’t sad anymore. She knew she had left her biggest desire with the God who ruled the whole world. She had faith that God would look after the situation in the best way. Pen and Elk must have been surprised to see the change in Hannah! She wasn’t angry or bitter or sad anymore. She was content in God’s care.
Guess what happened the next year? A miracle! Hannah and Elk had a baby boy, just like Hannah prayed for. Can you imagine how happy she and Elk were after waiting so many years to have a child? Hannah named the boy Samuel which means “I asked the Lord for Him” in the Hebrew language. Hannah cared for her wonderful baby boy until he was just old enough to toddle and eat and drink on his own and then she brought him to the temple and found Eli the priest to tell him about God’s answer to her prayer several years before. When Eli ask the boy’s name, do think he was surprised by the name “I asked the Lord for Him”? The Bible tells us that Hannah and Elk and Eli, the priest, all worshipped God together there with little Samuel.
2. Are we sometimes sad and angry? How do people show that sadness and anger?
3. What made Hannah feel better? (before she found out about Samuel coming)
4. Do you think it is hard to trust God? As a family talk about times you had a hard time trusting God. This could be a time to talk about the last 7 months of the pandemic and how we have to continue to trust God to bring us through this and keep those we love safe.
5. Hannah’s story ends with an answer to prayer. Through out the Bible God answers prayer, but not always how the person wants like Hannah’s was. How do we know God hears us and is with us?
Print off the attached comic strip template for each family member.
Have each person create a comic strip. Here are two options for telling the story:
- Tells the story of Hannah
- Tell of a time that your family had to trust in God
God loves me (hands in prayer)
I love God (hands up toward sky)
God loves the world (hands wide like holding the world)
God help the world (back to prayer)