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Chrysostom | March 16

And Hannah was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore. – 1 Samuel 1:10

“Hannah's tears went before her tongue. Through her tears she hoped to persuade God to follow her request.”

St. Hanna: Traditional Icon

Do you understand what watchfulness in prayer is? Listen to the words of Hannah, “Adonai Eloi Sabaoth.” But hear even what preceded those words. The account says, “They all rose up from the table,” but she didn’t allow herself to sleep or rest. . . . But it says she stood “before the Lord.” What did she say then? “Adonai, Lord, Eloi Sabaoth!” Interpreted, this means “O Lord, the God of Hosts.” Hannah’s tears went before her tongue. Through her tears she hoped to persuade God to follow her request. She continues, “If Thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and wilt give unto Thine handmaid a man child, then will I give him unto the Lord all the days of his life.” Hannah didn’t say “for one year” or “for two” as we do. Neither did she say, “If You will give me a child, I will give You money.” But she said “I give back to You the very gift itself, my first­born, the son of my prayer.” Here was a true daughter of Abraham. For Abraham gave when it was demanded of him.  And Hannah offers even before it is demand­ed. . . . Let us all imitate her. . . . For prayer can accomplish great things.

All Scripture references are taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version. Excerpts from the early Church Fathers are in the public domain, but were organized and arranged for daily reading in Day by Day with the Early Church Fathers, © 1999 by Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, Massachusetts. (No longer in print). Used by permission and in accordance with sections 3.3, 3.4, and 3.5 of Hendrickson’s “Rights and Permissions”. All rights reserved.

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