Annoy God

15 “No, my lord,” Hannah replied. “I am a woman with a broken heart. I haven’t had any wine or beer; I’ve been pouring out my heart before the Lord. 16 Don’t think of me as a wicked woman; I’ve been praying from the depth of my anguish and resentment.”  1 Samuel 1:15-16 (Holman Christian Standard Version)perseverance

In our family my Mom is known as a Prayer Warrior.  A Prayer Warrior is a person that prays hard and continuously.  She has an abnormal success rate with her prayers.  My wife asked me about it one time and I told her that it’s because she annoys God until He answers.  She is like a pit bull in the sense that once she begins praying she doesn’t let go until God answers her, just like Hannah in the verses above.  If you read the whole story which you can do HERE, you will see that Hannah wanted a child.  She wanted one so bad that she was desperate about it.  For a Hebrew woman to not have a child was a disgrace.  Add to the fact that her husband Elkanah’s other wife had children and constantly threw it in her face and you have a situation that bred jealousy and misery.   Year after year she went to Shiloh to worship and pray and year after year she received no answer from God.  But she had perseverance.  She also had faith, the faith of the desperate.

Romans 5:3-5 says “3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”

In our lives we run headlong into problems.  And many times these problems seem to have no solution.  The outcome is undecided and it scares us.  What is going to happen?  How will I get through this?  What am I supposed to do?  These questions race through our minds and our hearts.  Unfortunately most of the time we don’t turn to God.  We instead turn to friends or family.  We turn inward not upward.  We turn to artificial means of support such as alcohol, drugs, sex or anything that makes us feel good for a time.  But the true Christ-Follower has a better place to turn.  That place is a place of hope.  A hope in God to turn things for His good.  A hope that is not a pie-in-the-sky hope, but a trusted place of refuge.  But along with hope we need perseverance.  The ability to annoy God until He answers.  The patience to show God that we are serious about waiting for His reply.  Day after day, week after week, month after month and even year after year we need to worship and pray to God until He answers.

My Mom prayed for my Dad’s salvation for years and years.  It took about 15.  Fifteen years of annoying God, fifteen years of knocking on the door before God opened up and my Dad became a Christ-Follower.  Here’s the kicker, not only did my Dad, who hated church, become a Christ-Follower but he also became a pastor.  God finally answered and when He did, he answered in a big way.

Did you read the rest of Hannah’s story?  After years of praying and years of ridicule God answered her and He answered her in a big way.  He gave her a son and she dedicated Him to God.  His name?  Samuel.  The same Samuel that has two books in the Bible named after him.  The same Samuel that went on to become one of the key characters in the Old Testament.  The same Samuel that became a leader of Israel.  He also anointed the first two kings of Israel, King Saul and King David.

He accomplished some incredible things for God, but it all started with a woman who had the perseverance to annoy God until she received her answer.

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