Impossible Answers to Prayer 3
I Samuel 19:20-28
The last two entries in this series have been about impossible answers to prayer. The Biblical examples of this topic have been phenomenal. We have viewed examples of: the entire nation of Israel being freed from slavery, Elijah’s sacrifice to God being devoured by fire from heaven in the competition with the prophets of Baal, and Peter’s prison exit with angelic assistance. Now we have turned to the topic of barrenness. In the last entry, Sarah, Abraham’s wife, was delivered from barrenness at old age. The three other women I would like to review in regards to this topic are: Mary (the mother of Jesus), Elisabeth (Mary’s cousin), and lastly, we will return our focus to Hannah.
In Luke 1:26-38, we find the story of Mary’s visit by the angel who told her of the coming birth of Jesus. Mary is astonished because she is a virgin. The key phrase that explains her amazement is “How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” Only God could work in this incredible manner. An even more amazing thought is the prophecy that was fulfilled through this miracle. Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. “ In conjunction with Mary’s visit, it is revealed that Elisabeth, Mary’s cousin, is also with child. The Bible describes that Elisabeth was in her old age. I love the phrase in verse 36 in describing Elisabeth, “who WAS called barren.” (Emphasis mine.) That barrenness was a thing of the past. Aren’t you glad that our “barrenness”, meaning our separation from Christ, is a thing of the past? Hallelujah! Then verse 37, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” Often this verse is quoted as saying “nothing is.” But I love the tense of “shall be” because it indicates that the future is wide open! There is no limit on God’s production line.
So we are back to Hannah, the former barren one, who at the end of I Samuel 1, has returned to Eli with her son in tow. The key phrases in her portion of this lesson? 1. As sure as you are living (v. 26) She was saying “Pinch yourself, brother! The God I serve is real.” 2. For this child I prayed. (v. 27) I prayed and God answered. Samuel’s name means “asked of God.” What an amazing answer to prayer!!
Fast forward with me to the year 2007. My husband and I had five children at the time. Each one so precious to us that we could not ever thank God enough for them. We discovered that I was pregnant and we were completely excited once again. However, in spite of the last three health pregnancies, this time was different. I was not sick with the usual morning sickness, but something just didn’t seem “right.” The day after telling our children about the newly expected child, at ten weeks, my body miscarried and our sweet child was not to enter this world. We were very heartbroken over the loss; we asked God “why?” and received no clear answer. We tried to explain to our children that God must have wanted this baby with Him and that He would give us another baby if He knew that we needed one. So we began to pray. Our children prayed, specifically, our youngest daughter, very faithfully for a baby sister. Now to be perfectly honest, I was still a little angry with God for taking our child. Had we not endured enough heartache with other losses and situations? I remember one night as I tucked our youngest daughter into bed and she started to pray. In the middle of her prayer, she stopped and turned to me. “Mommy? Why don’t you pray for a baby sister for me? I think God would listen to you.” What a challenge! How much faith did I really possess? I had been praying for months, but my prayers did not seem to be getting answered. Or the answer was not yet. But there was something different as I began to pray. Something about talking out loud to God and my heart and my daughter’s heart being in complete agreement with one another on this request. Matthew 18:19, “Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.” By the time I finished praying, I could hardly speak and my heart was at peace. My sweet daughter was smiling and quietly drifted off to sleep. Something had happened in my heart that only the Holy Spirit could do; the bitterness fell in the middle of my “outpouring” and God had given me total peace, even without a change in the situation. Within just a few days, we had a positive pregnancy test and God had showed His mercy to us once again.
The story gets even better. My mother is in heaven; my relationship with her was that of a true kindred soul. My mom’s birthday is on May 10 and every seven years, Mother’s Day is May 10. Needless to say, May has been a trying month since her death. The due date for our sweet baby was May 14 and I just knew what God was going to do for me. You see, His plan was to provide a blessing that would help my heart heal and give me a reason to rejoice at this trying time of year. And so little Tarah Charlotte was born on May 10, 2009. The very day God has specifically chosen for her arrival.
I personally know God answers prayers- the impossible ones are His specialty!
-Just a mom with a heart for God.