Devotions for the week of: January 1, 2020


1 Samuel 2:1-10 (NRSV) Hannah’s Prayer

Hannah prayed and said,

“My heart exults in the Lord;
    my strength is exalted in my God,
My mouth derides my enemies,
    because I rejoice in my victory.
“There is no Holy One like the Lord,
    no one besides you;
    there is no Rock like our God.
Talk no more so very proudly,
    let not arrogance come from your mouth;
for the Lord is a God of knowledge,
    and by him actions are weighed.
The bows of the mighty are broken,
    but the feeble gird on strength.
Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread,
    but those who were hungry are fat with spoil.
The barren has borne seven,
    but she who has many children is forlorn.
The Lord kills and brings to life;
    he brings down to Sheol and raises up.
The Lord makes poor and makes rich;
    he brings low, he also exalts.
He raises up the poor from the dust;
    he lifts the needy from the ash heap,
to make them sit with princes
    and inherit a seat of honor.
For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s,
    and on them he has set the world.
“He will guard the feet of his faithful ones,
    but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness;
    for not by might does one prevail.
10 The Lord! His adversaries shall be shattered;
    the Most High will thunder in heaven.
The Lord will judge the ends of the earth;
    he will give strength to his king,
    and exalt the power of his anointed.”


I have a hard time fathoming the faithfulness of Hannah. She had just “lent” Samuel to the Lord. Although Samuel would no longer be under her care, her absolute faith in the Lord allowed her to sing God’s praises. 

When my husband and I were first dating, we asked one another what was the one thing in life we really hoped for. He said he wanted cows. And, I told him that I wanted to be a mom. 

Thankfully, both of our dreams have come true. But after our first son was born, I was an emotional wreck. One day, I met a lady who could tell I was struggling. With a kind smile, she wished me luck and told me that her mom once said, “Having kids is like putting your heart in a jar on the table and praying nothing comes along and breaks it.” A few babies later, I would say that mother was just about right. 

As Hannah left Samuel with Eli, I can only imagine the heartache she felt, yet her faith gave her strength and hope. 

This life is difficult. You have endured heartache and suffering.  As you enter into this brand new year, my hope is that Hannah’s Song will resonate in your own heart.  Our Lord is a God who keeps his promises. He is a God who speaks and things happen. Through His Word newness is created. “There is no rock like our God … He will guard the feet of his faithful ones.”  

Vicar Jaimie L. Odde 
Norway Lutheran Church, Glenham, SD


Heavenly Father, guard and protect us, provide for us and keep us in Your steadfast care, just as You did for Hannah. Amen.

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