May 31, 2013

Praying with Hannah and Mary

In today’s Daily Bible Reading from 1 Samuel 2:1-10, this poem of prayer and praise by Samuel’s mother, Hannah, most likely evoked Mary’s exquisite praise-poem, known as the Magnificat. You can find that in today’s Gospel reading in Luke 1:39-57, but here's my prayer-a-phrase of Hannah's prayer:

Praying, Hannah said

In the LORD, my heart rejoices.
In the LORD, my strength is strong!
Against my enemies I speak only
because I celebrate victory!

No one – no
One Holy but You LORD –
and You stand beside me!

No one – no
Rock like our God.

Never again will I speak proudly!
Never again will arrogance slip
from my mouth
for the LORD alone is The One Who Knows
and by God’s knowledge
are my words weighed.

Mighty bows may be broken,
but the lowly wear God’s strength.

Someday well-fed people might
hire themselves out for food, while
those who hungered are filled.

Someday people with many children
might feel as though they had none, while
childless ones bring forth –

for the LORD alone brings us to life –
brings us to the doors of death
and raises us up again.

The LORD alone brings highs and lows –
brings lack and plenty.

From the dust, God raises us.
From the ash heap, God sifts us –
and lifts us to a place of honor.

O, Pillars of the Earth, you are the LORD’s!
On you, God has set the world.

God guards the feet of the faithful
from a veil of darkness.

Not in our strength but in the strength
of the LORD we will prevail.

The Most High thunders from heaven,
shattering and scattering our adversaries.

The LORD sees what’s going on and alone
knows what to do.

The LORD views the ends of the earth,
giving strength and power to God’s anointed.

©2013, Mary Harwell Sayler, prayer-a-phrase from today’s Daily Bible Reading in1 Samuel 2:1-10


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