The following Bible lesson was created for an older group of students to allow them to read Scripture and interact with the teacher discovering what the Scripture teaches. This lesson from 1 Samuel focuses on how God hears and answers Hannah’s prayers.
Bible Passage: 1 Samuel 1-2:10
Bible Story Title: God hears and answers Hannah’s prayer
Target Age Group: Ages 10-12 (4th-6th Grade U.S.A.)
Target Time Frame: 60 Minutes
Original Teaching Context: Sunday School
Image Credits: Distant Shores Media
Activity #1: Print out 1 Samuel 1:1-10 on enough sheets of paper for each student. Give to students to read and mark the references to God and write on a separate sheet of paper what they learned about God’s character from these verses.
Memory Verse: 1 John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us.
Supply List: Bibles, printed copies of 1 Samuel 2:1-10, lined paper, colored pencils, pens/pencils
Learning Goal: Students will discover that God hears and answers prayer
Bible Lesson: God Hears and Answers Hannah’s Prayer
(Begin with prayer)
What is the longest time you have waited for something you prayed for? When it is a long wait, what kept you from giving up still looking forward to receive what you asked for? Is there something that you have prayed for but have given up because you have seen no answer from God in a long time?
As believers we have a privilege to pray to God the Father and believe that He hears and answers prayer. His answer may be yes, no or wait. If we are praying according to God’s Word we can trust that God will hear and answer according to His perfect plan for our lives.
Let’s turn in our Bibles to 1 Samuel 1. We are going to see an example of God hearing and answering prayer.
As we studied Judges we learned that God’s people were in terrible cycle of sin. They would abandon God, He would punish them by allowing their enemies to make them slaves (bondage), God’s people would cry out to Him, He would send a deliverer (judge) and they would have peace in the land (ease).
1 Samuel 1-7 is still during the time when God placed a judge over His people to lead them. God’s people are doing what is right in their own eyes (Judges 21:25). In the midst of God’s people doing what is right in their own eyes God allows us to meet Elkanah and his family. They are by no means perfect and without sin, but they are trying to live a life that pleases God.
Read 1 Samuel 1:1-8. Who are the main characters in these verses? (Elkanah, Peninnah and Hannah) What do you learn about them? (Elkanah was a man who took his family to worship and sacrifice to the Lord every year. He had 2 wives. Hannah had no children, wept and could not eat at the sacrifice, Peninnah had children, she provoked Hannah grievously to irritate her because God had closed her womb, Elkanah gave Hannah a double portion because he loved her and because God had closed her womb)
Elkanah had two wives. God’s word teaches us that His plan for His people is that marriage is one man and one woman. (Gen. 2:18-24) In ancient times it was culturally acceptable to take a second wife if your first wife was unable to have a child. That is most likely what happened with Elkanah’s family. The consequence of doing things that are culturally acceptable and disregarding God’s perfect plan brings heartache and disappointment. Is there any evidence that Elkanah’s decision to have 2 wives brought brokenness and sin into his family? (Peninnah irritated and taunted Hannah because God had closed her womb every year they went to worship and sacrifice)
Hannah’s prayer for a son
Read 1 Samuel 1:9-11. After the meal where did Hannah go? (To the temple (tabernacle)) What did she do there? (Pray and weep bitterly) What did Hannah vow? (If God would give her a son, then she would give him to the Lord and not shave his head)
We recently studied Samson. Do you remember what this vow is called? (The Nazarite vow) A Nazarite vow was when a person chose a period of time to be separated unto the Lord. They could not drink wine or beer; couldn’t eat grapes or raisins, could not shave their head or go near a dead body.
How long was Hannah’s vow for her son to last? (All the days of his life. V11)
When you see Hannah’s emotions and her request to God, how would you describe her motives? (Selfless-The child she was asking for she would not be able to keep at home with her. Her desire was for a son to serve the Lord.)
As we read Hannah’s request before the Lord is it possible that year after year that Hannah was not pregnant she had faith that God could give her a child? The Scriptures don’t tell us about Hannah’s daily personal faith. The reason this thought about her hope and faith in the Lord comes to mind is because we are told that Peninnah provoked her grievously to irritate her, because the LORD had closed her womb. (Verse 6) Hannah is being made fun of for something that she has no control over…The LORD closed her womb. Did Hannah speak out about her faith in God to give her a child? We do not know but Hannah had a choice to be angry with the Lord and lash out at Peninnah for her persecution or trust the Lord even when she continued to be childless.
When a person puts his or her faith in the Lord and trusts Him they will never be put to shame. (Romans 9:33b) “Indeed, none who wait for You shall be put to shame; they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.” Psalm 25:3
Hannah is rebuked by Eli
Read 1 Samuel 1:12-18. Why do you think Eli assumed the worst about Hannah? (Answers will vary) Because people were doing what was right in their own eyes Eli had seen a lot of wickedness. Even his own sons who served as priests at the tabernacle were wicked (1 Sam. 2:12-17,22-25, 29, 3:13) How did Hannah respond to Eli’s false accusations? (With respect and honesty verses 15-16)
Hannah’s prayer is answered
Read 1 Samuel 1:19-28. What did Hannah name her son? (Samuel) What does Samuel mean? (I have asked for him from the Lord) Why did Hannah stay home instead of going to the yearly sacrifice with her family? (She was going to take care of Samuel until he was weaned and then take him to the tabernacle and present him to the Lord)
Hannah asked the Lord for a son. She promised God that she would give this son to Him to serve God all of his days. God heard and answered Hannah’s prayer and she kept her promise to Him and took Samuel to the tabernacle to serve the Lord all his days.
Read 2 Samuel 2:1-10. What do we learn about God’s character from Hannah’s words of praise? Which description of God encourages you today?
God heard and answered Hannah’s prayer and she praised Him. Many times we use prayer as a time of reciting our wish list to the Lord. Prayer is more than that. Prayer is worshiping the One True God and adjusting our wicked sinful hearts to have hearts that reflect His. When we pray do our prayers reflect God’s heart and attitude? When we pray is our goal to point others to Him or for our selfish desires? (Examples: Praying for others’ salvation, someone to grow in their faith, etc) Do we persevere in our relationship with God even when it appears that He isn’t hearing or answering our prayer? What have you given up praying for because you haven’t seen God answer? Is this something you begin to pray for once again?
Allow students to share examples of answers to prayer in their life.
As we close in prayer let’s take a few minutes to pray silently to the Lord about what He revealed to us from studying His Word.
(Close in prayer)