“Then she made a vow and said, “O LORD of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head.””
I Samuel 1:11 NKJV
In many bible believing churches, there is a ceremony that happens a couple times a year, where parents bring their babies up front to be dedicated to the Lord. In this ceremony, the parents promise to raise their children with biblical standards and also live as believers before them. The congregation agrees and commits to pray for the families as they embark on the journey of building a Christian family.
I moved into I Samuel this morning as I take my leisurely stroll through the richness of Scriptures. The story of Hannah brings great blessing to me. I think of the childless woman, reviled by others who have children. I think of Elkanah’s love for her, how her husband gave her a double portion because he loved her so much. I was reminded of the love of God, unconditional, not based on performance, but freely given.
“How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings. They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house, And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures.”
Psalms 36:7-8 NKJV
Hannah prayed for a son to lend to the Lord. In that culture, the male heir was essential for the future of the family, as he would carry the name into future generations. Very often the son would also be responsible for caring for his mother should she become a widow. But Hannah, sacrificed her son for the glory of God, that he would serve all his days.
The story of Hannah is a great spiritual model for the godly parent, or even parent to be. She prayed over a son she had no earthly hope of having, and God granted her request, knowing her heart. It is also a wonderful example of how we can pray for our children that the Lord has already blessed us with.
The survival of the faith depends on the next generation. In the same chapters that we are introduced to Hannah and Samuel, we are also told of Hophni and Phinehas, the sons of Eli.
These young men are abased, have departed the faith, and brought dishonor to the office of priest. In one generation, they have brought sn end to faith in a family, and eventually, the very family itself.
“Now the sons of Eli were corrupt; they did not know the LORD.
Now Eli was very old; and he heard everything his sons did to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. So he said to them, “Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all the people.”
I Samuel 2:12, 22-23 NKJV
My prayer list is too full of wayward children who have strayed from the faith of their parents. My heart cries for them because I know the destruction that awaits. A world full of sins delicacies is sweet at first, but soon sours and becomes bitter.
I have often told of my beloved mother and her constant prayers for her son. She prayed for me relentlessly as I dove into sin. She never gave up and she never stopped loving.
She was like Hannah, praying over me. I don’t know what she prayed, but I wonder if her prayers included ones of dedication, that I would turn my life over to the Lord, to serve Him all the days that remain. If so, those prayers are being answered, and her legacy is secure.
Brothers and sisters, let us be steadfast in praying for our children, for those who are and those to be. May we dedicate them to the service of the Lord, and communicate our faith to them and to the next generation. Let us also pray for each other, that we have the resolve to continue in the faith and not fail.
Our world is in peril, and Jesus is the only rescuer there is. We are in a time when the consequences are eternal. We are in a time when all hands are needed on deck. I specifically pray for the older children of the parents on my list, that they not graduate from Jesus as they finish school.
They are needed in these times, as the evil one has a multi pronged attack on the world and desires all go to hell.
I am praying for the Lord to raise up many Samuels and Pauls to go about the work of proclaiming the Gospel in these last days. I am also praying for adults who have become all too satisfied with the comfort of the pew, to rise and begin telling of the great salvation purchased by Jesus on the cross.
My people, join with me in praying prayers of dedication over young and old alike, as the light is fading, but there is much to do before dark.
THE PRAYER CHAIR IS OPEN! Send me your requests!