Provoked for Purpose

I’ve been spending the last month or so learning about prayer from Hannah (1 Samuel 1:6-10).  When getting fresh insight and revelation, I  like to pass it on.  I hope it will inspire and motivate you in your prayer life.

In the past, I’d seen Pinninah, Elkanah’s second wife…the one that had children, as Hannah’s challenge.  In other words, I only saw Pinninah as being Hannah’s rival, adversary, or jealous competitor because she knew that Elkanah loved Hannah more.  Well, NOW… Now I see from a different perspective.  Sure she was a challenge, but Pinninah was good for Hannah.  By her provoking Hannah, it intensified Hannah’s prayer life.  The more Pinninah provoked her, the more earnestly she prayed. It was the push she needed to be steadfast in crying out to God for a child.  Apparently Pinninah had specific times when she provoked Hannah; especially when they made their annual pilgrimage to Shiloh.  While it may be viewed as very inappropriate, yet Hannah was in the right place —the temple of the Lord—to pour her soul out to God and weep in bitter anguish. There is no better place to be than in the Presence of God when praying earnestly.  That’s why it is important to have you a designated space where you meet God.

Seeing Pinninah as being purposeful helps us to see that when we have been chosen by God to partner with Him everything that happens in our life (good, bad, unpleasant, or otherwise) is working a greater purpose.  It helps to see that we push harder when we are under pressure.  The more desperate we are for God’s intervention in the midst of provocation, the more intense and earnest our prayers can become.  Being in a situation or having a condition that only God can change compels us to look to Him alone for the answer.

Furthermore, none of this was a surprise to God because He was working to bring about His purpose and used this household as a part of His plan.  This is a perfect example of Romans 8:28, “…all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”  It was not easy for Hannah—the anguish, embarrassment, grief, harassment, being misunderstood, and the disgrace of being barren—but because of her devotion to God and being chosen by God to bring forth Samuel to fulfill God’s purpose for an entire nation,  it resulted  in a prophetic shift that changed an era, a governmental system, and produced spiritual reformation.

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One thought on “Provoked for Purpose

  1. Hannah’s story is a great blessing to me. Several years ago, Pastor Ron spoke in-depth of Hannah’s narrative in a message titled There is a Reason for the Delay; the message changed my life immeasurably. Your article parallels his message and underscores the importance of staying before God in prayer – trusting that His plan and purpose will prevail, and it will be good. Thanks sharing your insight; I am encouraged! Blessings!

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