On Sunday, May 26, Rev. Margaret Minnicks, associate minister at New Canaan Worship Center, preached at “Love Lifted Me Ministries” in Richmond, Virginia where the pastors are Rev. DeWayne Landrum and Rev. Sherry Landrum. The Sunday service was the culmination of a Women’s Day conference that began on Friday night.
The scripture for the entire conference was from 1 Samuel 1:18-19 “And she found grace, went here way and worshipped” in reference to Hannah’s prayer for a male child.
Even though most people focus on Hannah’s prayer, Rev. Minnicks’ sermon went deeper into another direction. She engaged the congregation with this subject:
“God’s Purpose in Your Barrenness”
Hannah who was married to Elkanah. While Hannah was barren, the other wife, Peninnah teased Hannah about not having children.
The family went to Shiloh once a year where Eli the priest thought Hannah was drunk when she prayed so fervently that her mouth moved but no words came out.
When the priest realized what Hannah was doing, he blessed her, Hannah went her way and worshiped God even before her son was born. We should worship God even before we receive the manifestation of our prayers.
Our worship is a down payment on that thing we have been praying for.
There are several things that deserve special attention in Hannah’s story:
Notice prayed to God about her situation instead of lashing out at Peninnah.
Notice that Hannah didn’t pray a generic prayer. She prayed for a male child.
Notice that Hannah promised to dedicate her son to the temple. She gave God the firstfruit of her womb, and God blessed Hannah’s barrenness to the point of giving her three additional sons and two daughters. Here we have a woman who was barren when we first meet her, but God brought purpose to her barrenness. And certainly He has a purpose for your barrenness as well.
When Hannah was praying for a son, she was responding to a purpose God had already placed within her. God has placed a purpose in each one of us, and nothing we do will ever satisfy us until that purpose is fulfilled. Hannah wanted a son not for herself but for a higher purpose.
Hannah’s purpose was tied to her son’s purpose. Her son’s purpose was tied to the purpose of so many others because at the time Israel was also barren.
Hannah’s desire to have a son was to bring about God’s ultimate’s plan. God needed someone special He could work though to bring forth a prophet. God allowed Hannah to be temporarily barren so He could bring a greater blessing to Israel when the time was right.
You might be going through a period of temporarily barrenness right now. Know that God is in charge of your barrenness. Know that God is working things out for your greatest good, His greatest good and the greatest good of those around you.
Samuel became a prophet, priest and judge. He was the one who looked for Saul, the first king of Israel. He was the one who anointed David whose lineage continued through Jesus Christ.
Part of Hannah’s story is in all of us. We might be barren in some area of our lives. Since “barrenness” is the absence of fruit, if you are not bearing fruit, then you are barren.
If you are not producing fruit in your church, you are barren. If you are not producing fruit in your ministry, you are barren. If you are not producing fruit in your marriage, you are barren.
It is our Christian duty to bear fruit. Galatians 5:22 and 23 list the nine fruit of the Spirit. If they are missing in your life, then you are barren.
Acknowledge your area of spiritual barrenness, pray about it, find God’s grace, go your way and worship. Remember what Jesus did to the fig tree that was full of leaves, yet it wasn’t bearing fruit.
We might be barren, but God has a purpose for our barrenness when we find grace, go our way and worship.
The Bible mentions only one New Testament woman who was barren, and like Hannah, she was barren for God’s purpose.
Elizabeth and her husband Zechariah prayed for a male child, but it was only in the fullness of time that Elizabeth conceived and gave birth to a son. Had John the Baptist been born sooner or later, he would not have become the forerunner of Jesus. God had a purpose for Elizabeth’s barrenness.
Rev. Minnicks said:
“If there is one thing I want to emphasize today and leave with you is this: God has a purpose for your barrenness. The purpose is not just for you. It might start with you, but surely it will not end with you. Acknowledge your barrenness. Pray like Hannah. Find grace, go your way and worship!”
View photos from Sunday’s service in the slideshow.