The Beauty of a Godly Woman  

Today’s devotional is an excerpt from What I’ve Learned From Amazing Women of the Bible. Click here to buy the book. 

 1 Samuel 2:1-3  


Then Hannah prayed and said,  

“My heart exults in the Lord;  

My horn is exalted in the Lord,  

My mouth speaks boldly against my enemies,  

Because I rejoice in Your salvation.  

There is no one holy like the Lord,  

Indeed, there is no one besides You,  

Nor is there any rock like our God….  

For the Lord is a God of knowledge,  

And with Him actions are weighed.” 

Don’t miss the opening three words of our passage today: Then Hannah prayed—and what a prayer it is!

Hannah doesn’t just wake up one morning and have within her soul the capacity to pray such a prayer. No doubt she has been seeking God and pouring her heart out to Him for many years.  

The depth of her prayers is one of the many reasons I believe she is an amazing woman from whom I can learn much. She is a woman of spiritual substance, and such substance doesn’t come easily or quickly. Her heart for God has developed over many years of both adversity and joy; and in all circumstances, Hannah prays.  

Samuel is born as a result of Hannah praying through one of those times of adversity. Because she is barren, she pleads from the bottom of her heart for God to give her a son. And she commits her son to lifetime ministry should God answer her prayers.   

God does answer her prayers, and Hannah celebrates Samuel’s birth by praising God with the amazing song of thanksgiving found in 1 Samuel 2:1-11. Once Samuel is weaned, Hannah and Elkanah take him to the temple and leave him with Eli, the priest, to be trained in ministry and leadership.   

Samuel stays with Eli in what we would describe as a boarding school, this one specifically for future priests, and his parents visit him periodically throughout the year. So, when Hannah asked God to give her a son and promised to dedicate that son to Him, she knew that keeping her promise would mean physical separation from her young son.  

Hannah’s commitment is costly, but God has used trials to prepare her and strengthen her. God also has a plan for Samuel. We see, for instance, the sovereignty of God in the formation of Samuel’s character, and he in turn becomes an agent of the formation of God’s chosen people, Israel.  


Hannah’s Prophecy   

Hannah’s prayer of thanksgiving, as she surrenders Samuel to the Lord in the temple, is exultant praise. At the same time it is an amazing song of deep theological truth that includes prophetic words about what God is going to do in Israel during Samuel’s time of leadership and beyond.  


Learning Alert   

Hannah may not be a prophet like Isaiah or Ezekiel, but God uses her to articulate profound truth. Her prayer is so profound, God chose to include it in the Bible. These 11 verses are well worth reading.

You don’t have to be powerful, charismatic, or have an elevated position to be used by God.

God uses the humble servants, male and female, who devote their hearts to prayer with praise and thanksgiving.  


Hannah Is My Hero!   

The theme of Hannah’s prayer is that God blesses the humble and weak and exalts them while crushing those who spurn Him and trust in their own power and wealth. Hannah is prophesying what will be the state of the small nation of Israel throughout history among the powerful and fierce nations that surround them. Even today, powerful nations and religions vow to destroy Israel, just like Goliath vowed to destroy the shepherd boy, David. But they are destined to fail.  


The Prayer of a Godly Woman

Here are a few lines from Hannah’s prayer. She may be a simple, Hebrew woman, but when she prays, she becomes a prophetic powerhouse. She prays:  


  • That the bows of the mighty are shattered, but the feeble gird on strength (1 Samuel 2:4)  
  • That God keeps the feet of His godly ones, but the wicked ones are silenced in darkness; for not by might shall a man prevail (verse 9)   
  • That “those who contend with the Lord will be shattered…and He will give strength to His king [David]… and will exalt the horn of His anointed “(verse 10)  
  • That the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s and He set the world on them “(verse 8)  


How, Then, Should We Live?   

We can learn much from Hannah, from both her example and her prophetic song. She is well-grounded in her understanding of God, His attributes, and how He deals with people. As we see in Hannah’s life, God blesses the humble and stands against the proud. This firm foundational truth helps Hannah rise above her rival’s criticism and mocking. 

I challenge you to follow Hannah’s example and consider often the awesome attributes of God. A strong view of God will enhance how you live….and how you pray!


Lord, may we reject the ways of this world and its invitation to glory in a position of power and wealth. May we forsake the pursuit of earthly gain, the praise of others, and the desire to be someone special in the world’s eyes. Instead, may we humble ourselves before You and surrender all to You. Amen!