Tag: Accepted

Hannah: A Woman of Prayer and Persistence

hannah-blog

Persistence is certainly one tough pill to swallow.  I’ve personally wrestled with it in seasons of doubt and insecurity.   I also believe persistence is something we need on a daily basis, whether we know it or not.  I wanted to see what the Bible had to say in the department of persistence.  I was so abundantly blessed by what God showed me: A woman named Hannah in 1 Samuel 1:1-27.  Before we jump in, I want to share some of my struggle of persistence with you, so you can better understand how deeply I was impacted by Hannah’s story of prayer and persistence…


Sometimes our deepest struggles are the ones God uses to deepen our relationship with Him.  When I started taking classes at my local community college, I was required to take several remedial math classes before I could move on to the ones that counted toward my degree.  For starters, I am not a fan of math whatsoever. I had to take FIVE of these remedial classes, which were only supposed to last six weeks.  Six weeks isn’t too bad.  I remember thinking to myself.

I didn’t know this at the time, but those first six weeks would have to be endured five more times before I was eligible to move on to the other four classes I needed. Looking back, God taught me so much during those weeks that I feel I would’ve missed otherwise.

Things such as trust and persistence. These things can bring us such peace and hope if we let them.  I think Hannah understood each of these more than most of us.


Hannah’s struggle was real.

From the beginning of the passage we see that there was a man named Elkanah, who had two wives: Hannah and Peninnah.  What immediately stuck out to me as I was reading was the way verse two ends:

“Elkanah had two wives, Hannah and Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah did not.”

1 Samuel 1:2 NLT

I had two main observations that I took away from reading that verse.  First, Hannah had battled feelings of guilt and insecurity because she had no children to give her husband.

My circumstances are different and I don’t want to assign any false thoughts to her, but I can totally identify with Hannah in that season. In our weakest moments, Satan loves to whisper those discouraging lies to us.  I don’t want false thoughts to Hannah, but I’m fairly certain she heard her share of whispers from the Enemy.

Since we know her struggle was real let’s see how she dealt with it…


“The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.”

Hebrews 11:1-2 MSG

Having faith is something that seems impossible in the eyes of the world. We know that God doesn’t operate like the world, thankfully.  I believe Hannah had a lot of faith. She knew that faith grows exponentially through prayer.

In the second chapter of her story, we find Hannah on her face and brokenhearted before her Savior:

Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord. 11 And she made this vow: “O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, if you will look upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime, and as a sign that he has been dedicated to the Lord, his hair will never be cut.[e]

1 Samuel 1:10-11 NLT

God had shown me something awesome about prayer over the years.  Years ago, when I was in the midst of a very dry season, the Lord in His love spoke to my heart.  He said, “Andrea, I’m willing to give you these things.  I just need you to be brave enough and trust the way I will fulfill your heart’s desires.”

I think Hannah came to a similar realization as she poured out her heart before the Lord.  Although she wasn’t sure how God would answer her prayer for a child, Hannah knew God would answer her prayer.

I can almost hear the sincerity and gut-wrenching honesty in Hannah’s voice when I read the second half of verse 11: …” Then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime, and as a sign that he has been dedicated to the Lord, his hair will never be cut.[e]

God definitely honors our prayers and the sincere honesty we pour into them.


Our prayers never go unanswered and neither did Hannah’s prayer for a son.  In the second half of 1 Samuel 1, we see where Samuel is born.

The entire family got up early the next morning and went to worship the Lord once more. Then they returned home to Ramah. When Elkanah slept with Hannah, the Lord remembered her plea, 20 and in due time she gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel,[f] for she said, “I asked the Lord for him.”

1 Samuel 1:19-20 NLT

 My favorite part of this verse is when Scripture says, … the Lord remembered her plea,  and in due time she gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel,[f] for she said, “I asked the Lord for him.”  This is evidence of what our faith can do. We just have to be willing to trust Him and in doing so understand that He only wants what is best for us as His sons and daughters.

God continued to place His favor on Samuel for the rest of Samuel’s days because He is forever faithful.


God’s favor rested on Samuel as he was raised up to become a great prophet for the nation of Israel.

Toward the end of 1 Samuel 1, Hannah takes young Samuel to the tabernacle to dedicate him to the Lord. (v. 24-28)

Verses 26 and 27 are so soothing to my aching soul on those days when I feel like my prayers are going unanswered:

Sir, do you remember me?” Hannah asked. “I am the very woman who stood here several years ago praying to the Lord. I asked the Lord to give me this boy, and he has granted my request.”

1 Samuel 1:26-27 NLT


There are three things I believe we can take away from Hannah’s example:

  1. Persistence grows through prayer.
  2. We can never lose faith.
  3. God definitely honors our prayers and the sincere honesty we pour into them.

One last thing: I believe with all my heart that God included Hannah’s story along with so many others in His word, so that we would be able to look back on their examples and be even more persistent in following Jesus.

© 2016. Andrea Pierce. All Rights Reserved

God is LOVE

God is LOVE

The statement “Jesus Loves Me” is oh so simple, yet so incredibly profound.  Love is written all over the Bible and that’s because love is the very nature and character of our God.  It’s who He is.  I think it’s also important to recognize that there comes a point in each of our lives where we desire to fall in love with God all over again. (I know I’ve felt that way before even though I’m not a parent yet.)  It ultimately boils back down to human nature and we all desire to feel love and be loved.  Think about it: God created Eve from Adam so he wouldn’t be alone.  And because He LOVES us more than we could ever imagine!  I believe John 3:16 says it all: “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” (New Living Translation)

The love God has for myself and everyone else on the face of this planet is so far beyond our comprehension that it’s impossible for us to understand.  Quick sidebar:  I’m not married yet, but I hope and pray I will be someday.  Within the last several months I have had the AMAZING privilege of witnessing two of my very best friends marry and become one in Christ with the men that God created just for them.  As I stood there watching the faces of their grooms light up when they saw their bride; I was completely in awe of God’s love for us.  His face lights up in that very same way when He sees us walking toward Him.  1 John 4:19 says, “We love because he first loved us.”The more time we spend with Him, the more we can understand His love for us. I look at it like this: In order to get to know someone as a friend you have to spend quality time with that person.  The same is true in our relationship with God and He desires to spend time with you.  I love David’s Psalms because they are so easy to read, but are also so heartfelt.  Which, reflects God’s character and nature.    “But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever.” Psalm 52:8 (ESV)

God sent Jesus as another exemplification of His love for humanity.  I don’t know about you, but I cannot think of a greater way to show the world.  God sent Jesus into this world to not only show us His love, but to also die the horrific death that we deserve because of this nasty thing called sin.  (References: John 3:16, Luke 2:1-20, Isaiah 9:1-7)  When Jesus had fulfilled what God had called him to, Jesus sent us the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us.  The Holy Spirit is essentially God living in us at all times.  Pretty sweet, right?  (References: Acts 2:1-13, John 14:15-27)  The thing I love most about the Spirit is that it is God speaking to my heart with and convicting my heart in love as well. He is always speaking to us even when we fail to realize it.  From my personal experience when He speaks, more often than not it can get quite LOUD until I follow through in obedience!

Lastly, the message is simple:

Jesus loves me.

And you.

Always.

©Andrea Pierce. 2016. All Rights Reserved.

True Repentance and Gracious Forgiveness!

Fervent Prayer I came across the passage in Isaiah 59 that talks about God’s Warnings against Sin.  What struck me the most about this passage was how accurately it depicts the world we live in today.  Isaiah begins by explaining that God is still willing and infinitely able to save the people, but it is their sins that have “cut them off from God.”  In fact, it’s “because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore.” (v. 1-2)  Tell me this doesn’t describe the direction our country is headed?!   The reason for this is simple- in the same way light and darkness can’t coexist, good and evil cannot either because God himself despises sin! (Proverbs 28:13) Continuing on in the passage verses 9-20 deeply resonated with me in terms of the state our society is in these days:

“So there is no justice among us, and we know nothing about right living.  We look for light but only find darkness.  We look for bright skies but walk in gloom.  We grope around like the blind along a wall, feeling our way like people without eyes.  Even at brightest noontime, we stumble as though it were dark.  Among the living, we are like the dead.  We growl like hungry bears; we moan like mournful doves.  We look for justice, but it never comes.  We look for rescue, but it is far away from us.  For our sins are piled up before God and testify against us.  Yes, we know what sinners we are.  We know that we have rebelled and have denied the LORD, We have turned our backs on our God.  We know how unfair and oppressive we have been, carefully planning our deceitful lies.  Our courts oppose the righteous, and justice is nowhere to be found.  Truth stumbles in the streets, and honesty has been outlawed.  Yes, truth is gone, and anyone who renounces evil is attacked.  The LORD looked and was displeased to find there was no justice.  He was amazed to see that no one had intervened for the oppressed.  So he himself stepped in to save them with his strong arm, and his justice sustained him.  He put on righteousness as his body armor and placed the helmet of salvation on his head.  He clothed himself in a robe of vengeance and wrapped himself in a cloak of divine passion.  He will repay his enemies for their evil deeds.  His fury will fall on his foes.  He will pay them back even to the ends of the earth.  In the west, people will respect the name of the LORD; in the east they will glorify him.  For he will come like a raging flood tide driven by the breath of the LORD.  “The Redeemer will come to Jerusalem to buy back those in Israel who have turned from their sins.” says the LORD.” -Isaiah 59:9-20 (New Living Translation)

It is astounding to me that even back in Bible times, people were sinning just as we do today and God’s love for His people never changes because the same is true for you and I.  In the words of Lysa Terkeurst, “God is good.  God is good at being God.  Our job is to obey.  His job is everything else!”  This was the case with the people of Israel at the time:  All they could do was be obedient to Him by turning from their sins and he took care of them.  Earlier today when I read this I found it as no coincidence that it matches so precisely with our society today.  We, as a country, need to be admitting our sins to the Lord just as the people of Israel did in this passage from Isaiah.  Will you join in fervent prayer for our country?  Lastly, as I praying and prepping to write this, the Lord brought 1 John 1:9 to my mind, “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us all wickedness.”  (New Living Translation)

 

©Andrea Pierce. 2016. All Rights Reserved.

Prayer for the Future

Prayer for the Future

Sweet Heavenly dad,

As I sit here at your feet on Valentine’s Day, I’m simply at a loss for words when I think about everything you’ve done for me and everyone else who believes in You.  Thank you will never be enough.  I am beyond grateful to call you dad and to have the privilege of telling people about you.  Honestly, you know how much I would love to have a boyfriend right now, but I’m trusting and believing that in Your perfect timing you will bring a Godly man in my life who loves you and desires you just as much as I do!  I want my future marriage and family to acknowledge and put you first in everything we do.  Help my husband to love me with Your love, so that it will never lose faith just as you say in 1 Corinthians 13:7.  Let him love his children in the same way along with myself.  I’m not asking any less of you because I know that you will bless me beyond anything I could ever imagine.  Lastly, thank you for blessing me with an earthly dad who has been a great example of what a Godly husband and father looks like. I have no idea what the future holds for me, but I’m so glad you have it all in Your hands!  I never want a day to go by without telling others about you because that’s what we are called to do as Your children.

“Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”

1 Corinthians 13:7 (New Living Translation)

I love you SO MUCH!

Andrea

 

©Andrea Pierce. 2016. All Rights Reserved.


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