Stand Up!!!

Once when they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hannah stood up… in bitterness of soul, Hannah wept much and prayed to the Lord (1 Sam. 1:9-10)

When I study the life of Hannah, I see how God did something new in her life, moved her from depressed, despondent and downcast to remarkable and from least likely to be a mum to a most mighty mum. She was the mother of one of Israel’s most remarkable prophets. It’s a story about breakthrough, new life, deliverance. It’s about intercession, obedience, about the privilege of being used by God in his plans and purposes. It’s about how God intervened in an ordinary woman’s life. I consider it to be very exciting!

We all know the story of Hannah, Elkanah had two wives: Peninnah who had children and Hannah who had none. It’s probable that Elkanah married Hannah first, but because she had no children he married Peninnah who gave him many children. Imagine the time of Israel, it appears as though being childless was considered a kind of disgrace, people mocked at barren women, surely, Hannah would have suffered this in her day – she would have felt a failure as a woman, as a wife, particularly as Peninnah, had many children. Hannah was miserable.

But although she had no children, Elkanah loved her more than Peninnah. Elkanah even gave her a double portion of meat, to show her how much he loved her and to comfort her because she had no children. To make matters worse, because Peninnah was so jealous that Elkanah loved Hannah more than her, she provoked Hannah, and taunted her, so that Hannah would weep and would not eat.

This difficulty between Hannah and Peninnah went on year after year, long enough for Hannah to become depressed ( v8). “Elkanah her husband would say to her, ‘Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don’t you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons? How long have you been in despair – how long have you been depressed? How long has that difficult situation been going on? This isn’t just about overcoming depression or despair. It’s about being desperate – we can be desperate about many things – maybe like Hannah, there’s something missing and you’ve been asking God to do something new in you, perhaps like a friend said to me yesterday, you feel stale, stuck in a rut, you want to feel the excitement you once knew in your walk with God. Maybe you’re fed up going through the motions. Perhaps you want to be married, perhaps you just want more in your walk with God, you want to see visions, you want to operate in higher spiritual gifts, to prophesy, to operate in words of knowledge. Perhaps you want God to give you a new ministry, to shake you up, to do something dynamic in your life. Perhaps you want to live a life of impact or just walk in purpose. Or perhaps you are not sure what it is but the lack of it is leaving you downcast like Hannah

Pause! In verse 9 of our passage we read a very significant phrase – only 3 words – it says “Hannah stood up“. Three little words, but they are so profound. What it tells me is that eventually Hannah couldn’t take any more – she made a decision to rise up above her circumstances – she took a step. That step defined her breakthrough, instead of staying in her despair and in her circumstances, she stood up and decided to pray to the Lord and with that came release from all the pent-up bitterness. With many tears she poured her heart out, v15 “I was pouring out my soul to the Lord.”

God’s purposes were worked out through Hannah. She could have continued in despair as she had for many years. But she stood up – she rose above her circumstances and made a decision to seek the Lord – to pour it all out to him – to ask him for the impossible. How long had she been childless? How long have you been in your circumstances that cause you despair?

I wonder what it is that is plaguing you and perhaps everyone is taunting you about it. It has become what in pidgin parlance is called an ‘oya’, so it is no longer a secret affliction. What are you doing about it? Do you have a collection of pity party invitees over from time to time to trade notes and discuss how nasty the Peninnah’s are? Are you sitting there, plotting how to get back at your mockers? Or are you simply going about murmuring about it? Hannah could have accepted it. Hmm, maybe that is my lot in this life, life is unfair. So my husband loves me, maybe the price to pay is to be childless. No she didn’t. One day, she decided she had had enough.

Now, that’s what we have to do, like Hannah, you need to seek the Lord, and in surrender, allow your desperation show. Israel was in captivity for 430 years even if God had promised Abraham that they would be in captivity for 400 years. They complained and murmured, but God did not come down until they cried.

And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites. (Ex. 3:7-8)

Eli thought Hannah was drunk because of her desperation but that got God’s attention. She didn’t sit there murmuring and complaining like she probably had been previously.  She cried to God and made a sacrificial vow. And surely God came through and things were different. If you trust Him and speak from your heart to him like Hannah did, He will come through and things will be different. . v18 “Her face was no longer downcast”. If you’ve received something from the Lord, it shows in your face – you look different – You’ve changed because you’ve been in His presence and He has given you your heart’s desire. Seek God until something changes…your name, your countenance, something has to change when you encounter God so much that it’s evident to everyone.

Are you willing to stand up like Hannah did and pour out your heart to Him and ask Him for what you need? Do you need a breakthrough? Do you need deliverance? Do you want God to intervene in your life? How desperate are you?


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  1. Lessons from this beautiful piece:
    A heartfelt prayer can not be ignored. Just as the Lord heard the cry of His children in Eygpt, He can hear our cry and come to our aid. A cry does not necessarily connote the shedding of tears and loud shouting, it implies a deep, heartfelt groan for God’s helping hand in a situation.

    The next point for ♍ƺ is what am I ready to part with for God’s glory. What will i give up in exchange for God’s glory? She made a vow to God in exchange for opening of her womb. Our level of sacrifice and submission to God is a function of our maturity in God. Do I trust God enough to part with something I am yet to receive from Him?

    God help my unbelief.

    1. Dear B.J, thank you very much for stopping by and for your lovely comment. I bless God that it spoke to you and hopefully encouraged you. Yes, the cry does not necessarily mean a physical cry with tears, but Hannah’s posture was one of desperation and the cry was heartfelt and from a broken spirit. That is the position this peice encourages us to take. The Psalms record many places where David cried…The key thing though is to ‘Stand Up’ and pray to the God that performs all things for us instead of complaining and doing everything but praying. And my dear, that sacrificial vow Hannah made, God help us not to only make the vow, but to keep it. It’s sometimes hard to give stuff up, but I think it comes down to ‘how bad do you want it?’ She was giving God everything she was asking Him for. God help us. God bless you!!!

  2. This is spot on, beautiful piece indeed. Sometimes we need to go back to the altar and either wage war to take back what is ours or just to seek God’s face again in a show of mustard seed faith. One thing is for sure: There is an end and our expectations shall be fulfilled according to His will no matter how long it tarries. This is the whole essence of believing. Faith, faith and more faith. May God strengthen us as always.

    1. Dear Hauwa! Thanks so much for your response. I truly agree with you and appreciate you for stopping by. The bible says if you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small (Prov.24:10). I am encouraged to ‘stand up’ and just war.

  3. How nice to know that when the tides roar, and the waves burst their banks, when we are overwhelmed and the boat defies our oar,when we are tossed cruelly by fortune’s pranks.

    In these times while currents foam their rancour,we have an ever-present stabilizing anchor, a Man who can lighten the blighted night, who turned the stormy sea of Galilee to a pleasant lea.

    So we may rise like Hannah from the depths,from valleys of ridicule hemmed in by mountains of circumstance,for in such miracles our God is adept, if we call Him with Syro-phonecian attitude, He will surely change our altitude,from kneeling plea to victorious standing stance.

    1. Hello Ifeanyi of the ‘anything but prose’ responses, LOL. thank you so much for your ‘poetic edge’.

      I love this ‘So we may rise like Hannah from the depths,from valleys of ridicule hemmed in by mountains of circumstance,for in such miracles our God is adept, if we call Him with Syro-phonecian attitude, He will surely change our altitude,from kneeling plea to victorious standing stance’


  4. God isn’t moved by self pity, God is moved by faith. When we have faith in God, we are confident to ask from him whatever we want, tell him however we feel, and do whatever he says we should do.

    1. Dear Seun, I fully agree, God is not moved by self pity but by faith. Thank you so much for such a succint summary.

    1. Dear Delena, thank you so much for stopping by and for not resisting the temptation to comment. Very encouraging that is. Please do feel free to stop by again. God bless you!

  5. i am always thoroughly blessed by this blog. BJ i feel u on this one!Its hard enough to part with what God has given you. Parting with the same thing that you have prayed for for years “get as e be”. God help our unbelief.

    1. Hello Sarah!!! God bless you for always reading. I’m humbled that God continues to reach you. Hmm…it truly is hard to make that sacrifice like Hannah did. But you know, God blessed her with more children and her son went ahead to reflect the return of God’s voice to Israel seeing God had been silent for so long. Maybe that sacrifice of yours is what God needs to create a radical change. God help us.

  6. Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your web site and in accession capital to assert that I acquire actually enjoyed account your blog posts. Any way I will be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you access consistently rapidly.

    1. Dear Cyfrowa, thank you for your comment. I am glad you enjoyed your visit, will be glad to have you visit again and again.

  7. This is an Awesome piece and a confirmation to this season of my Life.

    Indeed God is ever ready to help but YOU have to make the decision to Stand Up and step out in Faith, staying in the same spot and expecting things to happen never works.
    We all want God’s will to be done but we never make that decision to seek him, Acts 17:27-28 says it all.
    We should be tired of the norm and seek the supernatural cos that’s our real Nature.

    I believe Hannah came to recognize that God is indeed the God of Israel and has the power to change situations. That reality jerked her back to Life.

    So first of all do you know who God is? If you can answer this confidently….then you can Stand Up and step out in Faith cos you know who’s got your back.

    1. Dear Barbara,
      I am glad it was a confirmation for you in this season of your life. Truly, when we know who God is, we are inspired to approach him in faith like the Syrophoenician woman, not letting go. God bless you and cause His desires for you in this season to come to pass. AMEN.

    1. Dear Chat533, thank you so much for such an amazing comment. Very encouraging it is. God bless you!

  8. Wow, great piece, I’ve noticed God doesn’t just do stuff f you lazing around. Search the bible, for the sea to be pathed Moses rose his staff,water from rock Moses struck it, Lazarus to be raised, The tomb door removed. GOD WANTS TO HELP, Question is would we reach out and acc3pt the help by making faith declarations and acting them out.

    1. Wow! thank you Daniel. Very true. God always requires our input (and that is as defined by him cos not every action can bring God to respond, surely not murmuring for instance). Thanks as always for stopping by.

  9. Ask and it shall be given, seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be opened. Its time to move mountains by the word of God. The bible says that “our eyes of understanding may be opened…. We need to always remember God is not partial. If we ask and have unshakeable faith, all things are possible

    1. Dear E.E, that’s it right there, God only responds when we ask, seek and knock. Not when we murmur, complain or cry. Our tears without prayer don’t move God, our pity parties neither. Thank you so much for your comment. God bless you!

  10. Thanks Elo. But for dearth of words, I wish I could say much but you know what? All I say is Yes Lord! Yes Lord!! Yes Lord!!! The words of D-Hardon run deep within “Now that you’re here, I’m not gonna let you go until you bless me Lord”. Until we make him our ALL, everything operates at sub-optimal.

    1. Dear Femi, YES!!! that’s all God wants to hear. It’s time to hold God like Jacob did and say ‘I will not let you go until you bless me and change my name’. Jacob refused to be satisfied with the mundane life, he knew that couldn’t be it. God is surely bigger than that!!! God bless you

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    1. Hi Lavera,I’m excited that you enjoyed your visit. Please feel free to stop by again and again. Hope you are enjoying your blogging experience.

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    1. Hi Winifred, glad you enjoyed your visit and thanks for stopping by to drop a comment. Would be glad to have you visit again and again. 🙂

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    1. Thank you so much Kristopher, very glad to have you here. I hope you enjoy your blogging experience too, will be sure to check out your blog.

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