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Hannah desired a child for a long time but was not able to conceive. One year when she and her husband went up to the Temple she wept bitterly as she prayed to the Lord, stating that if God would grant her a son she would give him to the Lord all the days of his life.

Hanna was praying silently, even though she was moving her mouth. When Eli, the high priest, saw her he thought she was drunk. Hanna replied, “No I am not a wicked women, I have not had any alcohol at all. I have been pouring out my soul to God.”

Eli answered her saying, "Go in peace and the God of Israel grant your request.” Hanna was no longer sad. Hanna had a son and named him Samuel, which means heard by God. When Hannah finished nursing Samuel she brought him to the Temple and dedicated him to the LORD. Hanna prayed again, praising the Lord for His goodness to her. Hanna and her husband left Samuel to grow up in the Temple of the Lord with Eli and his children.

As Samuel grew he gained favor with the Lord and with the people. One night while he was sleeping the Lord called, "Samuel." Samuel ran to Eli and said, "Here I am, you called me." Eli replied, “I did not call you, go back to sleep.” This happened two more times before Eli realized that God was calling Samuel. Eli told Samuel, "Next time answer, ‘Speak LORD for your servant hears.’”

God did speak to Samuel that night and many other times after this. When Eli died Samuel became Judge over Israel. Samuel judged well all the days of his life. He called for the people to confess their sins, and to return to the Lord with all their hearts. He told them to prepare their hearts and put away their evil ways. The people obeyed and the Lord was able to bless them. Unfortunately, Samuel's children did not follow the LOrd. Samuel lived to have the opportunity to anoint David as the future king over Israel.

God would be pleased if all our lives were like Samuel's. He desires us all to be dedicated to His service, even from childhood. He wants us all to hear and obey His voice. He longs to have us calling the people around us to prepare their hearts before God. Right now you can ask God to make your life useful for His service.

Picture originally found here

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