Hannah was barren, childless, but in a prayer she lived large. The humility that brings us to prayer makes us great. The Lord sees us in the secret place and hears our stammering lips. (1 Samuel 1:1-10; 1 Samuel 2:1-6)
Speaker(s): Thomas Schaller
7:00 PM on 2/2/2022
P. Schaller –
Hello. Amen! Good to hear that. Wow! Let’s just say a lot. Let’s just take a few minutes and say a lot of good stuff
about Jesus Christ tonight. What do you think of him? Jesus. What do you think? Go ahead.
You can talk back to me. Wonderful. Glorious Christ. The blood of Jesus Christ taking away our
sin. The Holy Spirit sent into our hearts, wow! Thank you, Jesus. Praise you!
Where would I be without Jesus Christ tonight. Huh? Turn to your neighbor and say, where
would you be tonight? Would you be in church tonight? Huh? Where would you be tonight
without Christ? Huh? Amazing! Let’s make a big deal about Jesus tonight, amen! He is our God.
We don’t have any other God. Christ came to save us and loves us, dwells in us. Let’s do it.
Come on. For a minute. Just say – you can stand up if you want to. Throw your hands up in the
air and say, thank you, Jesus.
Thank you, Jesus. Praise you, Lord. Thank you, God. Thank you,
God. Make a big deal out of it. Yeah! Stand up. Say to Jesus, I have risen from the dead. Thank
you, Jesus. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Lord. O God, God, God, help us. Lord, God.
Go ahead. Say your prayers. Whatever…what is it that Jesus cannot do? What is it that Jesus
Christ cannot do? Amen. Can he answer our prayers? Can he visit us? Can he help us? How
about this one. How about tomorrow morning, Lord, when I wake up, you will be in the room.
You’ll be so strongly present. Your angels will be at my bedside. At the end of the bed, there will
be an angel of God. I can’t see him, but he will be there. He encamps around those that fear
him. How much can he forgive us? How much can he love us? How much can he uphold us?
How much can he deliver us? What do you think?
Okay. Just take a minute. Talk it up with your neighbor for a minute. Say Jesus is enough. Go
ahead. Go ahead. Go ahead. Praise you Lord. Thank you, Jesus. He is enough. Thank you.
Thank you, Lord. Help us. Bless us. Lead us. Thank you, God. Bless the message tonight,
amen! Yeah, we need the message tonight. Halleluiah! We came to church for a message and
also to give in the offering! And also love each other and meet our friends. This is our family.
Why did you come to church tonight? To meet my friends. To be in my family. To love my sister,
my brother. To praise God. To be visited by God, amen! Oh we came. Yes, God. We are hungry
and thirsty. Thank you, Jesus. Alright.
Tonight I want to speak about humility is a friend to prayer. I got that title from a Spurgeon
message. Only the title. I think the title is beautiful. Humility is a friend of prayer. Turn with me to
1 Samuel 1. We’ll move around a little bit. It will not be long cause the principle is simple but
profound. Humility. Something that we all need to repeat through our lives. Jacob said it when
he said I am not worthy of the least of the mercies of God in Genesis 32:10.
I want to draw a picture and think of a man in a small room. It goes like this. Here’s a man and
he’s in a small room. You think of the psalmist. Psalm 18, God has set me in a large room. But I
think many times we live in a small room and this is because we are emotional. We are
troubled. In 1 Samuel 1, there is a woman who cannot have children. Her name is Hannah. And
Hannah in chapter 1 we read in vs. 5. Her husband gave her a worthy portion. This is a good
illustration of how life can be for us.
In a way, we don’t get what we want. We may suffer. We may not have the money I need. I
might have problems in my family. In this case, she cannot have children. That trouble may
work humility in me, but it might work bitterness in me. I might become angry.
Anger. There’s a good thought about anger. Anger is good for people. I think anger is part of life.
We could be angry but for how long will we be angry? For an hour, a minute, a week, a month, a
year, a lifetime. If I’m angry for a lifetime, then I’m in a small room. I don’t see. I don’t understand
life. But how will I understand life unless I am humble. I need to be humble. I need God to show
me that he put me in a big room. I need to understand more than the fact I cannot have children
or the fact that I am in a prison as Paul said as he was a prisoner in Ephesians 3:1. He said, I am a
prisoner of the Lord.
So let’s make the room bigger. When I’m a prisoner of Rome, my room is small. When I see it
differently and I say God put me here. God made me a prisoner. I’m a prisoner, but I’m a
prisoner of the Lord not a prisoner of Rome. I am a prisoner of Rome, but remember he said this
in Ephesians 3:1. I’m a prisoner of the Lord and he repeats it in 4:1. When he in humility, he saw. He
wrote the book of Ephesians and he said actually I am seated in heavenly places. Come on.
Yes, I am. I’m seated in heavenly – that’s bigger. That’s a big room. I’m seated in heavenly
He wrote the book of Ephesians in prison in a small room. So he is in a small room but actually
what does he see? How does he understand life? Who is he worshipping? What is the Holy
Spirit saying to him? How is he processing his situation?
Prayer is connected with humility and humility is the ability to get so small before God and
recognize who God is. So this is the story in 1 Samuel 1 with Hannah, and she is very broken by
her situation. She was in bitterness, vs. 10. She was in bitterness of soul and prayed unto the
Lord and wept sore. I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all. I don’t think life is always a party. I
think there can be weeping in the night, of course. And there is pain in life. And it’s so easy to
become angry or bitter, but again, I cannot be that way for long, extended periods of time
because God has not called us to that. He said, “these words I have spoken unto you that in me
you might have peace. In the world, tribulation” – in the world a small room – “but be of good
cheer. I have overcome the world.”
Now I agree with everyone here. I want that. I agree with you, pastor. I know what you are
saying. I agree with you. Help me get it. And I would say that’s exactly what we are all saying.
Preach to me the Word that leads me. “When I was a child, I thought like a child, I spoke as a
child, I understood as a child, but when I became a man..” – that “man” word is a big word. I
think it means I became a man. My world was from God and I believed and I saw and I lived in
faith and the Spirit filled me and met me in my life, helped me, spoke to me, comforted me. This
is the Comforter. This is why there are people who have found prayer in very big and difficult,
very challenging circumstances like Hannah.
It was crushing to her. She was provoked by the enemy. Doesn’t it say that in vs. 6? Do you
know who her adversary was? The other woman in the house who is bearing children. The
other woman – the man had two wives. The other wife was bearing children and she looked at
Hannah and provoked her, mocked her for her barrenness. Which one was humble? Which one
found grace? Which one worked in the woman this need and she was able to say in real
humility before God, I trust you. I trust you.
There’s a couple examples of this in the Scripture. Actually, probably many of them but two that
come to my mind. Jacob is troubled with Esau and Jacob goes before God with this need and
he wrestles with God. Remember the wrestling match? Prayer has a – humility has a friend and
it’s prayer. How long would we pray for? Jesus said the woman would come to the unjust judge
and just keep on at it. She kept at it, the unjust judge, until he would hear her case. And he did
out of weariness.
He used it to say that we have to have something going on in our heart, in our spirit. There’s
something that we want God to move in us. And it seems like it says in James 4, he gives grace
to the humble and broken people like Jacob got to wrestle with God. What an amazing thing!
Jacob was given the privilege of wrestling with God. Wow! I would like that. I would like that.
The other example is David who is showered with these promises about his family lineage and
the dynasty of his family and his seed would sit on a throne forever speaking of the Messiah.
And David goes in before God with great humility. Let’s take a look at it, 2 Samuel 7:18. You know
what that is? You know what that is? It’s humility. Who am I? You know, let’s draw a bad picture
of David. We think of him as the meek, humble, shepherd boy but he’s also like a terrorist. He’s
a guerilla fighter. He’s a bloody man. He’s a general. He’s the head. He’s the king.
He’s the head of the country. And he can say, my hands are bloody. Who am I that you would say this?
But he knows God and he knows that God is giving him this because God is the God of all
grace, that God is the one that cares about David and the covenant. David said, who am I? This
is an expression of humility. vs. 18-19. Is this how it goes that a man would sit on the throne
forever? vs. 20-21.
Okay. Let’s see. Prayer is like a doorway into the very reality of God. God has a big throne
room, a large throne room in heaven. We read in Rev. 4 and 5. I would like to be there in that
room and the Lord says, you are. We somehow say who am I that you would be doing these
things for me, that you would be showering me with your grace, that your Holy Spirit would be
upon us and in us.
I was just in Paris, France last weekend. Thank you so much for your prayers and your love and
the mystery of the Body of Christ, not seeing those people for three years, meeting them as if I
had seen them yesterday. We were together as a family. In our fellowship, we are in a big room.
In that big room, there are so many important things that come to our mind. In that big room,
there is so much answer to our life and our troubles. In that big room, there is so much hope
and so much encouragement. And in that big room, there is so much love. That Paul could say
I’m a prisoner of Rome. No, no, no. I feel I’m a prisoner of the Lord.
We could say I have failed 7 X 70 times. I feel very bad about it. But in the big room, I don’t
know. Somehow I have failed many times, but I have seen something. I’m seeing something
greater than me. I’m seeing something greater than my failure. I am seeing him, Psalm 73. None
do I have in heaven but him. None on earth but him and then none in heaven but him in vs. 26.
So, Hannah, we’ll finish with this. Hannah is praying so passionately and her heart is so broken,
vs. 13. She spoke and only her lips moved but her voice was not heard. I think her voice was
not heard because in a sense, she’s in another place. She’s in a communion.
She’s in fellowship. She’s making, doing business with God. Doing business with God. Wow! Imagine
what you and I have in us that we could wrestle with God. Wow! I’m not letting you go. I’m not
letting you go until you bless me. How could you do that? I think God gives grace to the humble.
God hears the cry of the broken, the cry of the prisoner. I think God respects people.
I was thinking of this, too. Some people that get the answers to their prayers in the little room.
They’re in the little room and they get the answers to their prayers. This is Psalm 106:15. And it
goes like this. They wanted flesh to eat. God gave them the desires of their heart and sent
leanness into their soul. They got what they prayed for, but they got leanness in their soul. Don’t
always go after the things in the small room.
Go after the things that are beyond us. Go after the things that require faith. Look at what is invisible. Go after the things that really count. Go after the eternal. Go after the vision that is in the heart of God. Go after the things that – maybe
Hannah said – Hannah did say. If you give me a child, I will give him back to you. Somehow it
sounds like she’s making a deal. She’s doing business with God. That there is somehow
I think the picture is beautiful because we have this ability. God invites into this. Because you
have Christ in you. You can pray and you can keep at it. You can fellowship with him. You can
move mountains. You can do something in this life. He can lead us in it. The humble like go into
this fellowship like in Ephesus and he writes the book of Ephesians and he’s seeing I am seated
in heavenly places. We are endowed with spiritual blessing, all spiritual blessing. We are
showered with it. God is for us and not against us. We are able. We can run through a troop;
leap over a wall. We can speak the word in season. We have a ministry of life. We can love our
neighbor, love our sister, our brother. We can love our country.
We can love the world we are living in in the right way. We can have a ministry here. We can care about people because we have a prayer life where we literally spent time with God in a big room and in that prayer life, I
don’t know. Jesus said I will see you in secret but reward you openly. I will hear your prayer and
I will answer you. Ask and it will be given. Knock and it will be open. Seek and you will find.
Really? Yes. But is it always like the little answers in this room or is it more?
Hannah said this, 1 Sam 2. We’ll finish up. Hannah prayer in vs. 1. I think she is saying I am
boasting. By the way, do you know that sometimes when you are winning all the time people
don’t like it? If you are winning all the time, they don’t like it. Do you know that? They don’t like it.
And that’s really – I understand that. But I also want to say Hannah is boasting. She is winning.
She is saying oh, God has been good to me. God gave me a son. God heard my prayer. God
heard my cry. God answered my prayer. God exalts the humble. “Blessed are the poor in spirit.”
How does it go? “For theirs is the kingdom of God.” “Blessed are the pure in heart; they shall
see God.” We will see it.
Let’s go to vs. 2-3. She might be thinking of the other woman in the house who was mocking
and provoking her, but she’s saying you may have all that you want, but it’s in a little house. And
so but the minute it doesn’t work, you’re in trouble. It might be good for us to get trained to get
beyond what we are seeing. To get beyond what troubles us. It might be good for us to get
beyond our life by a life of faith and prayer and wait upon God. God fill us with his Spirit. Go
before God and say who am I that you would visit me? Who am I that you would anoint me?
Who am I that you would use me? Who am I that you would uphold me? Who am I that you
would comfort me? Who am I that you would answer me? Who am I that you would put your
name on me? Who am I that I would be called by your Son’s name?
The name of Christ. Who are we that we would be together in a family in many parts of the world, by the way. When
you meet these believers in France, it’s just like the same. You meet them in Finland, it’s the
same. Next month, we go to Poland. I heard Poland dropped their restrictions today for the
vaccination. All you need is a negative test to get into the country. Things are changing all the
time. But I want to say, who are we that we would have family in Poland, in Russia, in China, in
India, that this family is in a big room. It’s in a big room.
Somebody said, I’m not in Greater Grace anymore. I said, I don’t care. Do you love me? Are we
brothers? Can we shake hands? I don’t care. I’m not in Greater Grace. I’m not in Greater Grace
anymore. It’s like whatever! That’s a small room. If you think of it like that. The Bible doesn’t say
we have to be in Greater Grace. The Bible says we are in Christ. We are in Christ. We are in
Christ. How big is the room? It’s bigger than us. It’s bigger than an organization. It’s bigger than
a name. It’s bigger than a country. It’s bigger than a person.
How big is the room? It’s the room of God, the Almighty God. And who enters into that room?
The humble. The humble will seek. The humble are edified. The humble are loving. The humble
are saying God has promoted the humble. God has lifted up humble people. God has given love
in their hearts. God has edified them. If we have God, our doctrine will be alright. We’ll come out
okay as we read the Bible. If we have God, we will love each other as God has called us. If we
have God, we have prayers that move mountains. If we have God, we’ll have the name of God
over our head in Revelation 22.
And being in Greater Grace is an address. It’s a fellowship and we love it and respect it. But it’s
not the end game. The end game is a lot bigger. It’s Jesus. The humble will have fellowship with
Jesus, and we won’t talk about our churches in that way. We’ll be talking about Jesus day and
night, day and night. We’ll be talking about what he has done. Because I could have no children,
and he gave me one. Because I sought him and he answered me. I am so excited about it. I am
so encouraged by it. I am so blessed by it.
In closing, I saw the Sunday night service the next day with Zsombor and Hanna and Caleb and
I saw the service and the soul winning messages. And how beautiful it is. What a great thing. I’m
humbled by it. I’m so thankful for what God has done. How do we exist? It is God that has done
it. Who do we seek? It is God that we have sought. What are we doing? We’re doing God’s
work, Daniel Flores. We’re doing God’s work. We are living by faith in God. That’s the big room.
Amen. Okay. That’s it. Would you pray with me?
Please enjoy these sermon notes from the messages preached at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. These notes are provided to aid in your study and understanding of the Word. Note that these notes do not represent complete, word-for-word transcriptions. Also, they may contain omissions as well as some errors in spelling and structure, etc., as we attempt to provide them as soon as possible. Our hope is that these notes serve as a way to help you search and connect with messages on related subjects and passages. Thank you for your interest in the ministry of Greater Grace.