On a dark and holy night illuminated by twinkling stars, a babe was born, but this was no ordinary child.
This was God in the flesh.
Advent is not a time of welcoming the Genesis of Christ, for the Son, like the Father and Holy Spirit, always was, is, and will be. This is a time of expectation for the one who would redeem the chaos of the world.
And in His kindness, God brought women along to play an essential part in carrying on the legacy of advent.
Simple women. Women who long for more than a mundane life. Women of prayer.
Living almost one thousand years prior to the birth of Christ, Hannah was not present, but her legacy of prayer was.
For a long time, Hannah longed for a child. And after years of prayer, grieving, and patience, God finally blessed her with Samuel. But little did she know her prayer of praise and gratitude in 1 Samuel 2 would be very similar to Mary’s Magnificat when the Savior was born.
Prayers of Praise
In 1 Samuel 2:1a NIV, Hannah declares, “My heart rejoices in the Lord; in the Lord my horn is lifted high.”
Mary echoes these sentiments in Luke 1:46b-47 NIV, saying, “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”
It is hard to miss the overlying similarities in how both of these women praised the Lord for the births of their babies. They gave glory to the One that all praise was due.
What is your response when God answers a prayer with the miraculous?
Prayers of Acknowledgement
Hannah acknowledges in 1 Samuel 2:2 NIV, “There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you.”
Mary aligns with the same truth in Luke 1:49 NIV, “For the mighty one has done great things for me – holy is his name.”
These two women remembered who God is and offered that acknowledgment back to the throne of heaven.
And it is important that we, too, remember what the Word says about God. For it is His character that encourages us to move forward and allows us to humbly dwell upon His goodness and grace.
Prayers of Remembrance
Both Mary and Hannah understood the importance of remembering the faithfulness of God.
Hannah says in 1 Samuel 1:5 NIV, “Those who were full hire themselves out for food, but those who were hungry are hungry no more.”
While Mary parallels in Luke 1:53 NIV, “He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.”
In times of discouragement, we must remember all that God has done. Not only will it remind us of the Father’s faithfulness, but it will also stoke the flames of our faith.
Throughout these two sacred prayers, there are consistencies that are hard to miss. And we can’t overlook how God used Hannah to teach us how to praise God for who He is and what He has done.
How does your prayer life look? Are you leaving a legacy of prayer to your children, grandchildren, and others in your sphere of influence?
Let us be women of prayer.
I pray you will reflect upon this beautiful time of year as you praise God for all that He has done and continues to do. May you truly know how wide and long, and high and deep is the love of Christ.
Ephesians 3:14-19 NIV
“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”