Morning Sermon: 1 Samuel 1 (audio)
Evening Sermon (audio)
First principle: reading narrative for truth. Relevant practices: read the whole passage. Look for what happens. Look at actions. Look at what God clearly does and does not do--just because something occurs or even "works out" does not mean it meets with God's approval.
Second principle: extended patience with the providence of God. God is not to be hurried.
Sub principle: The rivals for your attention will demand and demean you while you wait. (Peinnah)
Sub principle: Human comfort is sometimes not enough (Elkanah)
Third principle: Prayer is between you and God--take your burdens there. DO NOT SHARE A PRAYER REQUEST TO PEOPLE YOU WANT TO SOLVE YOUR PROBLEMS. PRAY, THEN ASK THEM FOR HELP. Seriously. If you're in a room full of auto mechanics and your car needs help, don't ask them to pray when you want them to help. Ask them to help.
Sub principle: and stop using "prayer request" as a cover for gossip or complaint. You don't really want me to pray that your back doesn't hurt when you sit for an hour in church, you really just want shorter sermons...but by making it a "prayer request," you manipulate others into listening.
Fourth principle: Expect devotion to look wrong. And to get weak embrace from those whose hearts are cold.
Fifth principle: Follow through--every good and perfect gift is from above, and should be used for the glory of God.
FROM THE START.
Sixth principle: Surrender joyfully--2:1
Seventh principle: Keep up the encouragement 2:18-20
What do we make of these principles?
That we must serve the God who authors the story of our lives, just as Hannah did.
That we must see beyond the appearances of people to the heart of their suffering.
That ordinary people doing small acts of devotion and obedience change the world.