Many of us are familiar with the Bible verse “I have prayed for this child”. It is seen on baby tees, blankets, and used as beautiful décor for many children’s rooms. This famous Scripture comes from the story of Hannah, who desperately prayed to God for a miracle–a son.
Hannah’s Bold Prayer
Hannah was barren and was unable to have children (1 Samuel 1:5). Not only was she unable to have a child, but she experienced the taunting ridicule of her husband’s other wife. Filled with sorrow and despair, she cried out to God and prayed. Not only did she pray for a child, but she made an audacious vow to the Lord,
“Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.” 1 Samuel 1:11 (NIV)
What boldness to not only ask God to give her a son, but she vowed to dedicate him back to the Lord!
God Heard Hannah’s Prayer
As Hannah was in the temple praying, the priest Eli thought she was drunk (1 Samuel 1:13-14). She reassured him that she was not drunk, but that she was pouring her soul out to the Lord in prayer.
“I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the Lord. Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.” 1 Samuel 1:15-16 (NIV)
After Eli realized Hannah was praying, he answered,
“Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.” 1 Samuel 1:17
Later in the chapter, God remembered Hannah and she became pregnant (1 Samuel 1:19). She named her son Samuel. The Hebrew name Samuel sounds like the Hebrew word šā’al, which means to ask, to seek, to beg, or enquire carefully (source).
Hannah Dedicated her Son to God
Hannah also did not forget her vow, and dedicated her son back to the Lord (1 Samuel 1:22). When Samuel was weaned (in those days children were weaned between the ages 18 months to 5 years), Hannah took him to the temple where he would live with Eli the priest. When she brought Samuel to the temple, she reminded Eli that she was the woman who fervently prayed at the temple.
Here is where she spoke the words in 1 Samuel 1:27 that she is most known for:
“I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.” (NIV)
There are several versions of this Scripture, and each verse is written a bit differently. Here are some other versions of this verse:
For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him. 1 Samuel 1:27 (ESV)
For this boy I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my request which I asked of Him. 1 Samuel 1:27 (NASB)
For this child I prayed; and Jehovah hath given me my petition which I asked of him… 1 Samuel 1:27 (ASV)
For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him… 1 Samuel 1:27 (KJV)
Many parents around the world are greatly inspired by Hannah’s story to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Whether you are praying for God to give you a child, or if you are praying specifically for one of your children, we can all learn powerful lessons from Hannah’s example.
There are certainly times in our faith journey when we are filled with grief, anguish and despair over our circumstances. There are times when we want to give up. Hannah’s story of determination and perseverance gives us hope and encouragement to remember that God hears our prayers, and that his timing is perfect.
Three Powerful Lessons we Can Learn from Hannah’s Prayer
What impossible thing are you praying for today? Is there a lost family member who you are tempted to give up on, or an impossible situation that seems will never change? Here are three lessons we can learn from Hannah to incorporate in our own prayer lives:
1. Pray Continually
Hannah never gave up praying and continually prayed to the Lord (1 Samuel 1:12-14). She prayed so much that the priest Eli even thought she was drunk (vs 14).
What can we learn from the example of Hannah?
Don’t give up. Keep praying.
Trust that the mustard-seed prayers you are sowing have the power to move mountains. It may not always happen in the way we expect, but we can trust our hearts to the One who holds all power in His hands!
2. Surrender to God
Hannah was willing to give up the very thing she was praying for.
In 1 Samuel 1:11 she vowed to dedicate her son to the Lord if he granted her a son. That meant that she would only have a few short years to enjoy her precious son before he was old enough to be weaned and live with Eli in the temple (1 Samuel 1:25-26).
Samuel later became one of the most influential prophets of the Old Testament. God can do amazing things in our lives and in the lives of our loved ones when we persevere, pray continually, and surrender our hearts to him.
Are we willing to dedicate our lives to God like Hannah, and even surrender the very thing we are asking God for in prayer? We must remember that all good gifts come from God. Nothing belongs to us, but God graciously grants us the opportunity to steward the things he gives us with wisdom and diligence.
May we pray to the Lord with hearts of praise, and with open hands–willing to surrender everything back to God.
3. Worship the Lord
After Hannah dedicated her son Samuel to God, she worshiped God (1 Samuel 2:1). Are we willing to pray continually, surrender to God, and worship him with our lives? May Hannah’s example of perseverance and reverence for God inspire us to never give up in our prayers, and to draw closer to God each day!
Using 1 Samuel 1:27 to Pray for your Children
We can use Hannah’s phrase “I have prayed for this child” as we dedicate our own children to God in prayer. When thinking of ways to pray for your children, write down a list of some of the most pressing prayer requests. You can also write down some categories of areas that you want to pray for, such as faith, relationships, school, etc. Each day, choose one of those areas of your children’s life to pray for. Here are some example prayers below:
I have Prayed for this Child: A Prayer for their Faith
Lord, I pray for my children’s faith today. Help them to know that you are with them always, and that they can call on you anytime to help them in their times of need. Help them to seek your face and grow in their faith by spending time in your Word. Please give them faith, confidence, hope and assurance in what they do not see (Hebrews 11:1). Amen.
I have Prayed for this Child: A Prayer for their Health and Wellness
Lord, I pray that you help my children to grow in grace, wisdom and stature (Luke 2:52). Please give them physical strength and health as they perform their daily tasks and responsibilities. Give them peace in their minds and wellness in their souls as they seek to serve you each day. Amen.
I have Prayed for this Child: A Prayer of Protection
Lord, protect my children wherever they go. Watch over their going out, and their lying down. Please be the shade at their right hand, and keep them from all harm (Psalm 121:5-8). Surround them with your hedge of favor and protection, and help them to put on the full armor of God each day. Amen.
I have Prayed for this Child: A Prayer of Dedication
Lord, just like Hannah, I dedicate my children back to you. I commit to teaching them to love and serve you with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength (Matthew 22:37). May their time, talents, and energy be used in a way that gives honor and glory to you. Help me to set a godly example before them of how to love and serve you. Amen.
Related: Check out this blog post with 35 Scriptures to pray for your children each day!
Today’s Free Prayer Pages
Download today’s prayer freebies, and pray audaciously before the Lord!
Today’s gift is a set of prayer sheets with Scriptures that you can pray for yourself, or for your family. Feel free to download and print off the sheets that best apply to your situation!
You can also reflect on Hannah’s prayer of thanksgiving after God granted her bold request in the BOLD Challenge Prayer Guide and spend some time writing your prayers to God.
“I Have Prayed for this Child” Free Printable
You can also download a FREE printable of the Scripture “I have Prayed for this Child” by clicking on the button below!
Free Printable of Hannah’s Prayer
After Hannah dedicated her son Samuel to the Lord at the temple, she prayed a prayer of praise and thanksgiving to the Lord. You can download a free printable of a portion of her prayer below!
The BOLD Prayers of Jesus Prayer Challenge
Looking for ways to go deeper in your prayer life? Sign up for the BOLD Prayers of Jesus Challenge! In this five-day email prayer challenge you will receive a Scripture reading plan, prayer journal, prayer guise, Scripture cards, and more!