Morning & Evening Devotional Reading–
by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and edited by W. C. Neff
“[Hannah said], ‘For this child [Samuel] I prayed.”
—1 Samuel 1:27
Devout souls delight to look upon those mercies which they have obtained in answer to prayer, for they can see God’s special love in them. When we can name our blessings “Samuel,” which means “asked of God,” they will be as dear to us as our own children. Peninnah, Elkanah’s other wife, had many children, but they came as common blessings unsought in prayer. Hannah’s one, heaven-given child was dearer by far because he was the fruit of earnest pleadings.
How sweet was that water to Samson which he found at “the well of him who prayed!” Quassia cups turn all waters bitter, but the cup of prayer puts a sweetness into the draughts it brings. Did we pray for the conversion of our children? How doubly sweet, when they are saved, to see in them our own petitions fulfilled! Better to rejoice over them as the fruit of our pleadings than as the fruit of our bodies. Have we sought of the Lord some choice spiritual gift? When it comes to us, it will be wrapped up in the gold cloth of God’s faithfulness and truth and so be doubly precious. Have we petitioned for success in the Lord’s work? How joyful is the prosperity which comes on the wings of prayer! It is always best to get blessings in the legitimate way, that is, by means of prayer; then they are blessings, indeed, and not temptations. Even when prayer takes its time, the delay merely causes the blessings to grow all the richer.
That which we win by prayer we should dedicate to God, as Hannah dedicated Samuel. The gift came from heaven, so let it go to heaven. Prayer brought it; gratitude sang over it; so, let devotion consecrate it. Here will be a special occasion for saying, “From your own possessions have I given to you, Lord.” Reader, is prayer your preferred place to be, or does it make you weary? Which is it? [M&E]