November 2012 - The importance of prayer

Read together the story of Hanna in the temple: 1. Sam 1; 9 - 17.

The situation in Israel in Hanna's time, approx. year 1150 BC was serious. The Bible says
in 1 Samuel 3, verse 1, "And the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no
widespread revelation". The spiritual situation in Israel and in the congregation of Israel
was terrible. The priesthood was corrupt. Eli the priest's sons, who themselves had become
priests lived immorally. They are referred to as sons of evil. They didn't know the Lord,
and they treated what was holy with contempt and slept with the women who were at the
entrance of the temple. The temple where Eli and his sons served was a miniature version of
the condition of the country. It was a tragedy!

With a spiritual poor life always follows poor moral values. And with poor moral values
follows a spiritually poor life.

The change in the spiritual climate of Israel as a nation does not come about until a woman,
Hanna, prays to God. She prays not only because she is barren, but she promises that if she
gets a son, she will give him to God and to service in the temple. This is the start of a spiritual
turn-around in Israel. Hanna was involved through her prayers and through literally birthing
a man, the prophet Samuel, and this made the presence of God in the nation a reality again.
Samuel was a tool by which evil was held back from Israel.

IDOLATORY ENDED: 1 Sam 7:3: "If you return to the Lord with all your hearts, then put away
the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths[a] from among you, and prepare your hearts for the
Lord, and serve Him only; and He will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines." So the
children of Israel put away the Baals and the Ashtoreths,[a] and served the Lord only."

SECURITY FROM THE ENEMY V. 8 So the children of Israel said to Samuel, "Do not cease to
cry out to the Lord our God for us that He may save us from the hand of the Philistines."
Then Samuel cried out to the Lord for Israel, and the Lord answered him."

PROTECTION V.13 So the Philistines were subdued and they did not come anymore into the
territory of Israel. And the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel.

PRESENCE AND FEAR OF GOD: 1 Sam 12:23 moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I
should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you;"


1. What does prayer do in our lives which we can't do ourselves?
2. Why is prayer important for a country?
3. Share with each other testimonies of how prayer has led to a result which you could not have had
in your own power.



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av Julius Mba

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