Title:  Petitioning God

Summary:  Even though we refer to thanksgiving and adoration as "higher"
prayers and petition as "lower" prayers, we need to realize that God wants us to
bring our personal needs to him.  In fact, God may cause us to be needy to drive
us to him.  So we need to petition him faithfully.

Purpose:  To motivate the hearers to be God centered in their petitions to God

Text:  1 Samuel 1

1.  Continue series on prayer
2.  Some people call petition “lower” prayer
	a.  In scripture, only prayer not commended is Luk 18:11
	b.  It prayer of Pharisee, not ask God for anything
3.  Text:  1 Sam 1
	a.  1 Sam begins with obscure woman
	b.  We have her prayer recorded
	c.  Nothing is too trivial for God
4.  Principles for Petition

I.  God wants us to petition him
	A.  We might feel at times that our needs are insignificant
		1.  Some needs we don’t share with our boss, congressmen, etc.
		2.  But nothing is insignificant to God - He wants to hear from us
	B.  How does this text teach this
		1.  Remember the principle behind worship - Response to God
		2.  But it appears that Hanna is taking the initiative rather than God
		3.  (v.5) - But it was God that closed her womb
			a.  God caused her to be childless
			b.  Imagine the heartache and longing she had
				- v.5 - some Bibles say “choice” portion, or “double”
				- Tanak footnote - “meaning of Heb uncertain”
				- Heb - “one portion of a face (face is dual)
			c.  So she got a single portion (maybe a choice one)
				- Peninnah got portions to feed her children
				- Hannah got just a single (choice?) portion
				- A reminder of her childlessness
			d.  Does God cause pain?  Yes
		4.  Look at the big picture - God disciplines those he loves
			a.  (2 Cor 12:7-10) - God drove Paul to himself
			b.  In his weakness and pain, Paul became strong
	C.  ILL:  Like the little bird in the nest
		1.  Day comes, mother boots him out of the nest or will never soar
		2.  Our mothers do the same with us
			a.  I remember a mother kicking 28 year old son out
			b.  He mad at first, but later was glad
		3.  Kids will never soar if not go through that unpleasantness
	D.  God wants us to soar to him in prayer
		1.  He wants us to bring our requests to him
		2.  Sometimes he drives us to our knees to bring us to him
		3.  Only then can we draw from his strength

II.  God want us to petition him earnestly
	A.  Imagine the earnestness of Hanna’s prayer
		1.  Eli thought she was drunk
		2.  But she was drunk with longing
		3.  But she didn’t just wish she had child, she took it to God
	B.  ILL:  My kids take it to me when they want something
		1.  Dad can we go bowling tonight?
		2.  I’m really tired
		3.  Pleeeeeeease!  I give in if they ask earnestly
		4.  My wife is a master at sticking out bottom lip.  
	C.  Jesus tells a parable about earnestness in prayer (Luk 11:5-10)
		1.  Freind helps due to friends “persistence”
			a.  “Persistence” has a different connotation in Greek
			b.  Means “impudence, unabashed, shameless, persistence”
			c.  Even today, a freind and midnight wanting an egg would 
			     be crude
		2.  Jesus lesson in this story ---
			a.  Ask (lit: keep on asking)
			b.  If you ask earnestly, you will receive
		3.  Does this mean God unwilling, or give grugingly?  
			a.  No, this a parable of contrast like the scripture reading
				- v.13 shows this a parable of contrast
			b.  If a human friend do that, how much more will God?
			c.  2 Cor 1:20 - In Christ, promises of God are “yes”
		4.  Not that God unwilling, but that he wants relationship
			a.  Would it hurt you if child never want your help?
			b.  Would it hurt you if child wanted someone else’s help?
			c.  Why?  You desire relationship with child
			d.  That’s why all our prayer should be earnest
	D.  God not want us to make request and disappear
		1.  He wants us to draw near to him
		2.  Then he will draw near to us

III.  God wants us to petition faithfully
	A.  In other words, we need to respond to his answers faithfully.  How
		- Let’s look at how God can answer prayer
	B.  He could say no.  Why?
		1.  (Jas 4:3) - Ask with wrong motives
		2.  Maybe God says no to say yes
			a.  Like the thorn in the flesh for Paul
				- Paul’s primary prayer was to do God’s will
				- God’s answer fit
			b.  ILL:  Augustine’s mother Monica prayed earnestly
				- Wanted Augustine to be brought to God
				- Prayer unanswered when went to Rome
				- Rome was sin city in those days
				- Met Ambrose, elder of Milan, became Christian
			c.  Monica’s prayers were answered after all
				- Her primary prayer - Son would be saved
				- Secondary prayer - For son to stay out of Rome
			d.  Not only was he saved, he significant leader
		3.  Need to pray under lordship of Christ
			a.  (Ps 37:4) - Delight selves in God, and he give
				- Make his primary desires your desire
				- Not selfish desire as in Jas 4:3
			b.  Matt 6:10 - Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven
	C.  He could say yes
		1.  Was Hannah trying to manipulate God or bargain?
			a.  No, she had nothing to bargain with
			b.  She acknowledged child as a gift from God
		2.  She kept her promise
			a.  Brought new outfit to Samuel every year
			b.  I’m sure she was proud that he was God’s man
		3.  Result (1 Sam 2:18-21) Blessing kept on going
		4.  If not recognize God’s answer a gift it becomes a burden
			a.  ILL:  Set a squirt guns as a child 
			b.  At first thankful, but then strutted around with them
			c.  Didn’t want to share
				-  Had to carry them around with me
				-  Always worried about losing them
			d.  If remember gift to share, would have been joy to all
	D.  O.T. practice - Thank offering when God bless someone
		1.  Does this principle apply in N.T.?
		2.  1 Cor 16:2 - Give as you have prospered
			- Helps us remember it is a gift from God
		3.  Faithful petition means giving thanks to God too

1.  So petition God - He invites you to
2.  Remeber to do so under his Lordship - His will be done

Questions for Small Group Discussion