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    Dark Sky

    Sacraficial Knife


    Passover Door

    Praying Hands Image

    High Priest Eli Image

    The Tabernacle Image

    High Priest Eli Image

  LENT 2016

Day One "Ashes to Ashes"

Day Two "Rainbow Bridge"

Day Three "Dark Skies"

Day Four "Sacrificial Giving"

Day Five "Lion and Lamb"

Day Six "Passed Over"

Day Seven "The Prayer"

Day Eight "The Priest"

Day Nine "The House"

Day Ten "The King"

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A journey through Lent - 2016

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Day Seven - The Prayer.

Praying hands

In ancient Israel the pressures to produce an heir and thus insure an inheritance in Israel were so tremendous that an inability to have children was thought of not only in a physical way but also as a reflection of the spiritual and social condition of the person.

After years of this pressure and taunting, Hannah opens her heart and a barrier between her and God is removed. At Shiloh she sacrifices her emotions to the Lord and offers a gift back to him.

She vowed to dedicate any child she had to the Lord - rather than give in to the temptation of using him as proof of her worth to those who had been judging her.

As we know she soon conceived and later returned with her son, who she gave as an apprentice to Eli the priest. This boy was Samuel, the first of the Old Testament prophets.

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In this passage we see that Hannah's heart rejoices, not in the gift of her son Samuel, but in the Lord. She looks beyond the precious gift, and pours praises on the Giver.

This is another difficult passage, if taken literally, as it states that God imposes our position on us.

Are we poor? God made us poor. Are we rich? God made us rich.

I do not believe this is the case, we are not blessed or punished on some random whim. However, there is an eternal truth spoken here that whatever our condition we are to reconcile ourselves to that position and still be thankful. We are to know that behind every condition, physical and spiritual, God's creative power is at work.

We are given the responsibility to do good with the measure of abundance he has given to us. No matter how large or small, no matter how precious to us. Hannah gave up to the Lord the most precious thing she had, her long awaited son.

In her prayer, Hannah also rejoices in the salvation of the Lord, and in expectation of his coming.

These words reveal the reality that we are in need of that salvation, that no matter how much we may feel self reliant, intelligent, strong and capable we are in need.

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It is the point at which we know our weaknesses and failings that we are able to value his free and precious gift of salvation.

It is then that we are able to come before him and offer him our lives opening our hearts in rejoicing with Hannah for our God who gives us that precious gift.

Hannah's prayer continues - after she has spoken of earthly things - to speak of the kingdom of Christ. In this passage we find for the first time the name Messiah, or this translation, his Anointed.

This prophetic prayer promises that we, as members of Christ's kingdom, will be safe, for the Anointed, the Lord Christ, is able to save and in John Wesley's words save to the uttermost.

Bible Passage: - 1 Samuel Chapter 2 Verses 1 - 10 (NIV)

Hannah's prayer

Then Hannah prayed and said:

'My heart rejoices in the Lord;
in the Lord my horn is lifted high.
My mouth boasts over my enemies,
for I delight in your deliverance.

'There is no one holy like the Lord;
there is no one besides you;
there is no Rock like our God.

'Do not keep talking so proudly
or let your mouth speak such arrogance,
for the Lord is a God who knows,
and by him deeds are weighed.

'The bows of the warriors are broken,
but those who stumbled are armed with strength.

Those who were full hire themselves out for food,
but those who were hungry are hungry no more.
She who was barren has borne seven children,
but she who has had many sons pines away.

'The Lord brings death and makes alive;
he brings down to the grave and raises up.

The Lord sends poverty and wealth;
he humbles and he exalts.

He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
he seats them with princes
and makes them inherit a throne of honour.

'For the foundations of the earth are the Lord's;
on them he has set the world.

He will guard the feet of his faithful servants,
but the wicked will be silenced in the place of darkness.

'It is not by strength that one prevails;
those who oppose the Lord will be broken.
The Most High will thunder from heaven;
the Lord will judge the ends of the earth.

'He will give strength to his king
and exalt the horn of his anointed.'

No matter the darkness, storm or tempest we find ourselves in, help us, in the security of our faith, to be able to say "What a beautiful day".

Contemplation Saying.

"There is no rock like our God"

Contemplative Prayer.

Think of the saying in order to understand context and meaning,

Feel the meaning of the saying with and in your heart,

Pray, using the saying, for yourself or others. With only a name and without explaining the reasons or pre-defining any answers.

Listen for God's voice in the quiet of your prayers.

Pray using your own prayers or one of those which have been prepared below.

Hymn: Singing the Faith 446 - "I will offer up my life"

Let us pray together.

Twitter Prayer

Help us to open our hearts to your message of salvation and humbly accept the greatest gift of all.

Facebook Prayer

Loving God, help us like Hannah, to pray so our hearts will rejoice in the Lord.

Help us to open our hearts to your message of salvation and humbly accept the greatest gift of all.

Help us to put our trust and strength in the Rock, your Son, Jesus. Amen

Full Prayer

Heavenly Father, we often do not know what to pray.

For our prayers are often demands, pleas to lift us from our present position to a better one, requests to restore health, prayers to meet the needs of ourselves and others.

These are good prayers and we know we should pray them.

For you call us to lay our needs before you in prayer as Hannah asked for a son in her anguish and need.

However, we ask you to help us remember, that in prayer we also come to you to give you praise. Praise for the things we have, not just asking for the things we lack.

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We pray you will help us remain aware of the great gifts you have given to us.

So that like Hannah our hearts will rejoice in the Lord.

At this time of Lent, we again remember that we have to say sorry and really mean it.

For the things which stand in the way of our relationship with you.

That we have put our own abilities in competition with your gracious gifts.

That we think we can provide for ourselves in everything and can manage without you.

That we only turn to you when we can think of nothing else to do.

Help us to open our hearts to your message of salvation and humbly accept the greatest gift of all.

Help us to put our trust and strength in the Rock, your Son, Jesus.

In his holy name we pray. Amen.