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Asked From the Lord
by Sophia Prinsloo

Text Version | Afrikaans

Flower readers

Samuel came from school looking like a thundercloud was hovering above him. Without greeting his mother, he marched into his room and slammed the door.

Knock-knock-knock. His mother knocked at the door and quietly opened it. "Samuel, what is wrong? What happened?"

Samuel sat on the carpet with his back against the wall and his head on his arms.

"What is wrong, my child?"

At first he did not want to say anything, but when he could no longer keep it inside, he blurted out, "Mom, how could you have spelled my name incorrectly on my birth certificate? Now I'll have to go around with the shame of a misspelled name for the rest of my life. People will think I cannot spell and taunt me!"

His mother looked relieved and a compassionate smile spread across her face. "My dear child, your name is not spelled incorrectly." She picked up his Bible from the bedside chest and told him, "Let me show you your name is spelled exactly the same way as in the Bible."

Curious, Samuel immediately came closer while his mother turned to First Samuel, chapter one in the Old Testament and pointed at his name with her finger. "Do you see now? Your name has not been spelled incorrectly, but let me tell you what your name means. The 'Samu' means 'heard' and 'el' means 'God.' Together they mean 'God heard.' Let me tell you about Samuel in the Bible and how he got his name."

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"There was a man whose name was Elkanah. He had two wives like many other men during those times. The one wife's name was Hannah and the other one's name was Peninnah. Although Elkanah loved Hannah dearly, she did not have any children, but Peninnah had sons and daughters.

"Each year Elkanah and his whole family went from their city in the hill country of Ephraim to the city of Shiloh, where the temple was, to worship and sacrifice to God.

Even Elkanah could not comfort her "After Elkanah offered his sacrifices, he gave to Peninnah and all her children their portion of the sacrificial meat. To Hannah, he could only gave one portion, but he made it a double portion because he loved her dearly. But Peninnah greatly provoked and vexed Hannah, because she had no children. This grieved Hannah so deeply that she did not want to eat. Even Elkanah could not comfort her.

"After the sacrificial meal, Hannah went to pray at the temple. She was so distressed in her soul that she cried uncontrollably while she prayed to the Lord in her heart. She made a promise to the Lord: 'Lord, Almighty God, if You will look upon the affliction of your handmaid, and remember and not forget me, but give me a son, I shall give him to You all his life, and as a sign, no razor shall touch his head.'

He could see her lips movin, but he could not hear what she was sayin "Eli, the priest, who sat on his chair next to the door, saw her. He could see her lips moving, but he could not hear what she was saying and so he thought she was drunk. Then he told her, 'How long will you be intoxicated and act like a drunken person? Stop drinking!'

"But Hannah said to him, 'Sir, I am not intoxicated and I am not a bad person. I am just a woman with great grief and I have poured out my heart before God.'

"Then Eli told her, 'Go in peace and may the God of Israel grant you your petition which you have asked from Him.' Hannah left with joy upon her face and went to eat her meal with peace in her heart, because she believed that God had answered her prayer.

"Back at home, Hannah became pregnant and, in due time, she bore a son. She named him Samuel, 'Because,' she said, 'I have asked him from the Lord.' When Elkanah went to Shiloh again, she did not want to go with them, because she wanted to wean Samuel before she would let him stay at the temple for the rest of his life. Before he left, Elkanah told her, 'Only may the Lord establish his word.'

I am the woman who stood before you to pray to GodSamuel stayed in the temple in Shiloh and ministered to the Lord before Eli the priest

"After she had weaned Samuel, they again went to the temple in Shiloh to bring sacrifices to the Lord. There, while he was still a very little boy, Hannah showed Samuel to Eli and told him, 'Sir, I am the woman who stood before you to pray to God. I have asked this boy from the Lord and He has granted my petition. Now I have brought the boy so that he can serve the Lord devotedly in the temple his whole life.'

"Then great joy overwhelmed Hannah's heart and she rejoiced in the Lord, and praised, and worshipped Him aloud for His greatness, his righteousness and his miracles. Afterwards, Elkanah and his family went home, while Samuel stayed in the temple in Shiloh and ministered to the Lord before Eli the priest."

"Thank you for the story, Mom, and please forgive me for being rude." Samuel stretched out his arms towards his mom.

"You are welcome and I forgive you, my beloved son," his mom replied and they hugged.

Samuel had a question: "Mom, if I may ask, did you also petition the Lord for me as Hannah did?"

Samuel's mom smiled, "I may not have been childless like Hannah but, indeed, I did ask the Lord for you, and I am still praying that the Lord will be with you every day, and that you too will serve him as long as you will live."

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What were the names of Elkanah's wives?
Why was Hannah so distressed that she would not eat?
What did she do at the temple?
Who saw her praying?
Why did her distress change into joy so that she could eat again?
What does Samuel mean?


The Lord hears us when we pray from our hearts, even when we do not pray out loud.


"The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much" (James 5:16b).


Dog and boy praying

Dear God,
Thank You that we can pray to You
when we are distressed. Thank You
for answering our prayers when we pray
from the heart, even when it is not audible,
because You know our hearts.
In Jesus' Name. Amen.



           1 Samuel 1 — 2:11

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Last updated December 27, 2016.

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