Hannah's prayer

A demanding way to the universal prayer
1 Sam 2:1–10

The great prayer of Hannah, the mother of Samuel, is surely an inspiration and origin for the Magnificat of Our Lady.
In her hymn it is obvious that Hannah does not pray for herself but for the whole nation, for all the people of God.

But the way that led to this attitude is important. It was not easy. Hanna came out of a terrible situation: there was another wife in the family, Hannah was without children.

When everybody was celebrating she was weeping. She had the psychosomatic suffering, not able to eat and drink.

Excellent example of her proceeding is that she found the way how to express her pain: in prayer before the Lord. She is "pouring out her soul" (1 Sam 1:15).

She is the first woman to make a vow in the Bible (1 Sam 1:11).

The change is profound, the results immediate:
She defends herself in front of the priest. She is not stopped by insult and accusation (1 Sam 1:15–17).
She begins to communicate, to express her wishes and decisions. And she is respected (1:22.23)
She becomes the leader of the community for next pilgrimage (1:24).

Hannah fulfills her vow. Her sacrifice is a correction for Abraham's understanding: Samuel is given to God (1 Sam 1:28).

Hannah comes to the universal prayer: she recognized the greatness of God.
She is not any more bound and imprisoned by her own personal destiny.

Questions for personal reflection:
What is the situation I am coming from to enter the spiritual exercises?
How am I satisfied with my prayer?
What is the big role I have to play in my life?
Can I communicate in accordance with my real needs and purposes?