Prayer zone for a better, empowering, inspiring, promoting, prospering, progressing and more successful life through Christ Jesus

Posts tagged ‘Hannah’

Respond to Your Call to Influence.


group of women

The church has not always recognized the spiritual gifts of women. But God has fashioned them to be key players in His kingdom.

Let’s imagine for a moment what the world would be like without women. All the wonderful traits women are capable of providing with exuberance—gentleness, nurture, care, refined beauty—would be missing.

Men possess these same qualities but in smaller supply; women, on the other hand, overflow with them. Without women the world would look like an army base where everything’s painted white or gray and designed for efficiency at the expense of beauty. An awful sense of incompleteness would permeate the planet.

Women have many qualities unique to their gender, one of the grandest being the ability to host life. This privilege to shelter another life at such an intimate level has been granted exclusively to Eve and her daughters.

Women can nurture their newborns through the most intimate interaction between a female adult and a child: breastfeeding. The image of a baby being nursed by a loving mother is a picture of total dependency, perfect care and the most sublime transfer of nurture from one being to another.

Women are also the ones who predominantly shape the character of their children during their crucial early years. They plant tender gestures in the inner layer of a child’s malleable soul and watch as, like the seeds in a flowerbed, the spiritual seeds sprout, spreading beauty over the adult landscape in the form of noble deeds.

When were the seeds planted? During the nurturing years when a child spends most of his time with a woman: his mother!

Jesus’ First Teacher
It was a woman, young Mary, who first heard beating within her the heart of God Incarnate when she was pregnant with Jesus. It was her hands that first touched Jesus’ body and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes.

Think for a moment what this reflects: God Almighty, Creator and Preserver of the universe, took the form of a baby and became dependent on the care of one of His creatures. When God experienced human flesh, with all its limitations, who was there to meet His needs? A woman.

Jesus’ mother, Mary, was His first teacher and also later His first disciple. No other human knew Jesus as intimately as Mary did.

Ponder for a moment the scene at Calvary. While most of Jesus’ frightened disciples hid at a distance, Mary and a group of faithful women gathered at the foot of the cross. Despite the pain and suffering Jesus endured, His last earthly concern was for a woman—His mother.

He could not forget that she had taken care of Him when His earthly life began. And now, as His life was about to end, Jesus lovingly turned her over to the care of His beloved disciple (see John 19:26-27).

Women’s Hall of Fame
Throughout the Bible are inspiring testimonies of other brave and brilliant women who were not mere privates in God’s army but key players who were given pivotal assignments at strategic points and in crucial times.

Moses’ mother challenged the pharaoh’s genocidal decree when she preserved the life of the one who would eventually lead millions of Hebrews to freedom (see Ex. 2).

Rahab held the keys to the taking of Jericho. By turning them in the right direction she assured the fall of the fortress city (see Josh. 2).

Hannah cried out to God for Samuel to be born, and he went on to become the greatest prophet and judge Israel ever knew (see 1 Sam. 1).

Deborah was an illustrious judge and a proven prophetess who delivered Israel from the mighty chariots of Jabin, the oppressing king of Canaan. Another woman, Jael, helped to bring total destruction to Jabin and his leading general, Sisera (see Judges 4-5).

Esther courageously risked her life to save her nation, God’s people, when they were in danger of being exterminated.

Sarah was called “mother of nations” by God Himself (see Gen. 17:16) and is listed among the heroes of the faith in Hebrews 11.

Priscilla and her husband, Aquila, instructed and guided Apollos, who had been preaching less-than-perfect theology (see Acts 18: 24-26). The fact that in most tranlations, Priscilla is listed first in this passage signifies the prominence of her role.

On the shoulders of these women—and countless more down through the ages—rested the fate of cities, tribes and nations.

Pillars of the Early Church
One of the main reasons Christianity spread so rapidly in the early years is because its message restored honor and self-worth to half the world’s population: women. Romans had such a low view of women that some men engaged in sex with other men. Jewish rabbis completely silenced women inside the synagogue, and pagans used them as temple prostitutes.

However, early church leaders dignified women by teaching that in Christ “there is neither male nor female” and we “are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28, NKJV). Women were also given positions of honor and leadership.

Priscilla, for instance, was part of the team that founded the church in Ephesus—site of the greatest power encounter recorded in the book of Acts. She was there, inside the crux of God’s power, when God dethroned Artemis and brought down the demonic socioeconomic structure that had controlled Ephesus.

Throughout the epistles women are unapologetically exalted as pillars of the faith. Paul identified two women as the headwaters of Timothy’s faith: his mother and his grandmother (see 2 Tim. 1:5). In Romans, a letter intended for wide circulation and public reading, Paul praised several women as people of faith and proven ministry (see Rom. 16:1-15).

The first European convert was a woman, Lydia, and hers was the first household to be baptized (see Acts 16:14-15). She was very assertive in her interaction with the apostles: “She begged us, saying, ‘If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.’ So she persuaded us” (v. 15).

Three centuries later, the driving force behind Constantine’s conversion and the subsequent Christianization of the Roman Empire was another woman, Helena, the emperor’s mother.

Extraordinary Sensitivity
Women have an extraordinary sensitivity to spiritual things. I am not saying that they are more godly than men, but I believe they are definitely more spiritual. This is why Jesus was able to reveal two of the most powerful truths in the gospels to women.

He told Martha that He is the resurrection and the life (see John 11:25-27). To the Samaritan woman Jesus explained that He is the living water (see John 4:7-15). These women were in a state of confusion when Jesus found them, but both were able to hear, understand and believe these profound truths.

How to Conquer Discouragement.

Felicia Alvarez

“I have a tough life,” my five-year-old cousin said.

“Really? Why is that?” I asked.

Folding his arms, he looked up at me with his big blue eyes as he rattled off his complaints. “Well, I get spankings, I get time out, and I have to clean my room!”

I couldn’t help bursting out in laughter. In return, he just looked at me quizzically as if silently asking, “Why are you laughing? I’m serious!”

After regaining my composure, I shook my head and said, “I don’t think that’s too terrible, buddy. I think you’re gonna be okay.”

Later that day my cousin’s complaint made me wonder: How often does God smile down at usand say, “Everything is going to be all right, my child”?

In our fallen world, we’re constantly bombarded with situations that tempt us to complain about how tough our lives are. Sometimes our troubles are miniscule (like traffic or a cranky boss), but other times they are genuinely difficult and can be quite discouraging (like an abusive spouse or a dying loved one). Our worries can weigh us down and cloud our perspective, causing us to forget:

  • that, since we are citizens of heaven, our problems on earth are only for a season (Philippians 3:20).
  • that God works out everything—even tough situations—for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).
  • that we can trust God with our lives (Psalm 55:22).

When trouble hits, we tend to see only challenges. So, how can we get a fresh perspective on life when discouragement is weighing us down?

Here are a few things that have helped me:

1) Determine if the cause of discouragement is worth being discouraged about. First, I ask myself: Am I upset about something important or something trivial? Often a long line at the supermarket or a rude stranger can put a damper on the entire day. But are those worth being upset about?

2) Determine if the loss is imagined or real. Frequently I’m only upset because of my own “what if…” thoughts: What if she thinks this? What if they do that? What if I don’t do well? What if they don’t like it? 

When “what ifs” or imagined thoughts weigh you down, ask God to help you take those thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:5). Choose instead to dwell on “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8).

3) Talk to the right people about the problem. In 1 Samuel we find the story of Hannah, a woman deeply grieved because she was unable to have children. In her sorrow, Hannah cried out to the Lord for comfort. She went to the temple year after year to pray, and the Lord heard her prayers and opened her womb. Her story is an excellent reminder that we should, first of all, talk to God about our sorrows. “Cast all your anxieties upon Him because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).

We can also dialog with encouraging Christians who will speak God’s truth into our lives. However, we need to be careful when selecting these confidants. Discussing the matter with those unable to provide wise advice doesn’t help us. It may even deepen our discouragement or spread it to others.

4) Dive into the Word. God’s truth is the best defense against Satan’s schemes. Several years ago I had two stress fractures which kept me from being active. It put my hobbies—and career—on the line. Needless to say, I was very discouraged. But during that time I dove into the Bible and, in the depths of my sadness, He spoke to me in deeper ways than I had ever experienced. The trial didn’t disappear, but God’s Scriptures lifted me out of the valley of discouragement. It empowered me to endure the trial with contentment and peace instead of depression and bitterness. Sometimes our lows in life are what bring us closest to God. Don’t miss the opportunity by pushing away from God; run to the open pages of the Word!

5) Pour into others. I once heard someone say that it’s better to live life giving away than pulling away. Giving to those in need reminds us of what we have to be thankful for. So, visit a lonely person. Help an elderly neighbor with their yard work. Write a letter to someone who needs cheering up. Are there children at your church that need a mentor? Take the opportunity to disciple them and point them to the Lord. The more you serve, the more you’ll find that your perspective change from gloominess to thankfulness.

6) Rest in the Lord. Psalm 55:22 says, “Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken.” During an extremely difficult situation in the life of Christian author and pastor, Andrew Murray, he eloquently penned:

“First, He brought me here; it is by His will I am in this strait place: in that fact I will rest.
Next, He will keep me here in His love, and give me grace to behave as His child.
Then, he will make the trial a blessing, teaching me the lessons He intends me to learn, and working in me the grace He means to bestow.
Last, in His good time He can bring me out again—how and when He knows.

Let me say I am here,

1) by God’s appointment
2) in His keeping
3) under His training
4) for His time” 

No matter what your trial, God will see you through it. “Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge” (Psalm 62:8).

Felicia Alvarez lives in Southern California and loves avocados, sunshine, and serving her Savior. Currently, she teaches dance to over one hundred students and is working on her second book. Connect with Felicia on her blog or Facebook—she would love to hear from you.

Publication date: October 22, 2013

Two Cans and a String.

And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the LORD and wept in anguish.
1 Samuel 1:10

Recommended Reading
1 Samuel 1:8-18 ( )

Remember playing with two cans and a string? The science behind that children’s toy really works. When you take two cans or paper cups, punch holes in the bottom of them, and stretch a string between them, you’ve recreated a primitive phone. The sound of your voice vibrates the bottom of the cup at 1,000 times a second, and the vibrations run along the string, making the bottom of the second cup vibrate with sound waves. The early telephones worked the same way, except the wires were electric.

Listen To Today’s Radio Message ( )

Whenever we pray, God is on the other end of the line with His ear to the cup, hearing every word and listening to every vibration of our voices. He hears even the faintest sigh. The prophet Daniel prayed regularly all his life and history was changed. The apostle Paul prayed, and cities were opened to the Gospel. Hannah prayed and God lifted her burden.

If you’re in anguish or distress, you don’t need two cans and a string. Two bent knees and a broken heart will do just fine.

Those persons who know the deep peace of God, the unfathomable peace that passeth all understanding, are always men and women of much prayer.
R. A. Torrey

Job 31-34

By David Jeremiah.

A Year Later, Ron Luce Looks Back on Daughter’s Deadly Plane Crash.

Ron Luce
Ron Luce

One year ago, the lives of five families went into chaos. The people who loved, raised and cherished Austin Anderson, Stephen Luth, Garrett Coble, Luke Sheets and my own Hannah were shaken to the very core when we learned that the five of them had been in a plane crash in Kansas.

After discovering that Hannah was the sole survivor and that the four other men who loved God had perished, life for me began to get more complex. Through all the months of Hannah’s recovery—the operations and physical therapy and adjusting to her new world—the question that persists and is still not answered is “Why?

Why would God allow such a seemingly senseless tragedy? Why would He allow these four young men, who were passionate about serving Him, to die? Why would He allow my daughter to endure such pain physically, emotionally and mentally?

Why do bad things happen to good people?

We’re not alone in that question. Every day, day after day, year after year, many good people experience tragedies. Trying to resolve that question initially, and presently, has led to a few discoveries that I want to share with you today.

First of all, instead of focusing on what I don’t know (“I don’t know why this happened, it doesn’t make sense to me, I don’t like it”), I focus on what I do know: I know God is good. I know He loves me. I know He sent His son Jesus to die. I know Jesus rose again, and I know Jesus is coming back again one day.

Somehow, focusing on what I do know assuages the lingering pain of what I don’t know.

Second, God is a mystery. We certainly understand a lot, since He sent His Son, Jesus, to show us what He’s like. We have His Word that describes His nature. But we still “see through a glass dimly.” We don’t understand everything. God is not a formula. God is not completely figured out by any one person.

I realize that in spite of the fact that these circumstances violated some of my theology, I enjoy the fact that there’s a mysterious side of God, because I know His underlying nature.

Third, I discovered a lot more dependence on Jesus. I leaned on Him when I did not know what to say to Hannah during the hard times of her recovery, when I did not know what to say to these families, as I tried to bring them some resolution and peace about this tragedy.

Finally, I discovered all over again that we’re not alone. It seems as though senseless tragedies have happened since the beginning of our Christian faith, from the time when Christians were being lit on fire by Nero, to those who were thrown to the lions in the stadiums, to those even today who are martyred for their faith as they go to share the gospel in a jungle somewhere, like Jim Elliot. It seems that, whether heroic or accidental or the result of persecution, good people perish. We still don’t understand why, but we’re in good company.

I know that a lot of people will try to offer explanations, with good intentions and theology. I understand wanting desperately to find the good in such a terrible situation. But I know that there are a lot of people who experience tragedy and may never understand why. Still, they stand strong in their faith. So must we.



Mothers Worth Imitating.

Dr. Ernest L. Easley
1 Samuel 1; 2 Timothy 1,3

Today we are doing more than simply celebrating Motherhood, we’re considering Mothers Worth Imitating.
There was a little girl who was about to say her part in a children’s program at church. As she got into her place on stage and saw the large crowd, she panicked. Those lines she had memorized suddenly left her.
Fortunately for her, her Mother, who had helped her learn her lines, was sitting on the front row. Coming to her rescue, her mother whispered to her the words she had forgotten:

I am the light of the world.”

Suddenly, the panic look was gone. A big smile came across her face and with great boldness recited her lines,
“My Mother is the light of the world.”

Well, at least she knew to imitate her mother, even though she got it wrong! I read about one little boy who imitated his mother and got it right, but was wrong!
It seems that he visited the Zoo one day on a school field trip. He was so excited about his trip to the Zoo. When he got home, he found his Mother and with great excitement in his voice he said, “Mother, I saw a giraffe today with a neck a mile long.” She said, “Now son, I’ve told you a million times not to exaggerate.” I wonder where he learned to exaggerate?
Well, Thank God today for Mothers worth imitating! That’s what I want to talk to you about on this Mother’s Day Sunday:
Now before we take a look in the Bible at two Mothers Worth Imitating, let me say that today’s message is for all of us. This message is not merely directed to the Mothers, it is directed to all us.
God has some things to teach us FROM SOME MOTHERS, not simply TO THE MOTHERS or ABOUT SOME MOTHERS. And what He has for us today needs imitating and not like the little girl in the play: we need to get it right!
So where do we look in God’s word to find some Mothers Worth Imitating? Well, a good place to start would be in 1 Samuel 1as we consider the first of two Mothers found in the Bible that are worth imitating. Now you will find more than two mothers worth imitating, in the Bible, but today we’re going to consider two of them.
So take God’s Word and join me in 1 Samuel 1 where we read about a Mother named Hannah. And what we find worth imitating in Hannah’s life is this:
(1) Hannah was a Praying Mother.
1 Samuel 1.10, “And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the LORD and wept in anguish.”
Hannah was not in a good marriage. In fact, she was one of two wives of a man named Elkanah (El ka nah). God’s plan from the beginning was one man + one woman for all time. By the way, that’s still God’s plan. His plan has not changed!
Now, MAN may try to change it. The SUPREME COURT may try to change it. The PRESIDENT may try to change it. But God is not changing! He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.
As our nation continues moving away from God and the …

House, debris over Fla. sinkhole to be removed.

  • Demolition experts watch as the home of Jeff Bush, 37, is destroyed Sunday, March 3, 2013, in Seffner, Fla. The 20-foot-wide opening of the sinkhole was almost covered by the house, and rescuers said there were no signs of life since the hole opened Thursday night. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

    View PhotoAssociated Press/Chris O’Meara – Demolition experts watch as the home of Jeff Bush, 37, is destroyed Sunday, March 3, 2013, in Seffner, Fla. The 20-foot-wide opening of the sinkhole was almost covered by the …more 


  • Demolition experts watch as the home of Jeff Bush, 37, is destroyed Sunday, March 3, 2013, after a sinkhole opened up underneath it late Thursday evening swallowing Bush, 37, in Seffner, Fla. The 20-foot-wide opening of the sinkhole was almost covered by the house, and rescuers said there were no signs of life since the hole opened Thursday night. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)View PhotoDemolition experts watch as the …
  • A Hillsborough County, Fla., firefighter removes salvaged items, including a family photo, from the home where a sinkhole swallowed Jeffrey Bush, late Thursday in Seffner, Fla., on Sunday, March 3, 2013. Crews are set to begin the demolition of the home on Sunday, after search personnel failed to find Bush. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)View PhotoA Hillsborough County, Fla., firefighter …

SEFFNER, Fla. (AP) — Authorities hope to get a better look at a sinkhole that swallowed a man in his Florida home once demolition crews knock down the remaining walls of the house Monday and begin clearing away the debris.

Crews on Sunday razed more than half the home, managing to salvage some keepsakes for family members who lived there.

The opening of the sinkhole has been covered by the home, but once emergency officials and engineers can see inside it more clearly, they could begin planning how to deal with it. They also need to decide what will happen to the two homes on either side of the now-demolished house. Experts say the sinkhole has “compromised” those homes, but it’s unclear whether steps can be taken to save them.

Jeremy Bush, 35, tried to save his brother, Jeff, when the earth opened up and swallowed him Thursday night.

On Sunday morning, Bush and relatives prayed with a pastor as the home — where he lived with his girlfriend, Rachel Wicker; their daughter, Hannah, 2; and others — was demolished and waited for firefighters to salvage anything possible from inside. The home was owned by Leland Wicker, Rachel’s grandfather, since the 1970s.

The operator of the heavy equipment worked gingerly, first taking off a front wall. Family belongings were scooped onto the lawn gently in hopes of salvaging parts of the family’s 40-year history in the home.

As of Sunday afternoon — when demolition had stopped for the day and only a few walls remained — a Bible, family photos, a jewelry box and a pink teddy bear for Hannah were among the items saved. Firefighters also were able to pick out the purse of one of the women in the home.

Cheers went up from family, friends and neighbors each time something valuable was salvaged.

Wanda Carter, the daughter of Leland Wicker, cradled the large family Bible in her arms. She said her mother and father had stored baptism certificates, cards and photos between the pages of that Bible over the years.

“It means that God is still in control, and He knew we needed this for closure,” she said, crying.

Carter said she spent from age 11 to 20 in the home, and she had to close her eyes as the home was knocked down.

“Thank you for all of the memories and life it gave us,” she said.

The Rev. John Martin Bell of Shoals Baptist Church said he had been with the family all morning. “We just prayed with them,” he said. He added that all five who lived in the house — Bush, Wicker, Hannah and two others ages 50 and 45 — were in need of support and prayers from the community.

Several generations of family members lived in the home at the time of the ground collapse, includingJeff Bush, the man now presumed dead.

Jeremy Bush tried to save his brother by jumping into the sinking dirt hole. He had to be pulled out of the still-shifting hole by a Hillsborough County Sheriff’s deputy, who was visibly shaken when talking about the incident more than a day later.

“I’ve never seen anything move so fast and do so much destruction,” Deputy Douglas Duvall said.

The search for Jeff Bush, 37, was called off Saturday. He was in his bedroom Thursday night in Seffner — a suburb of 8,000 people 15 miles east of downtown Tampa — when the ground opened and took him and everything else in his room. Five others in the house at the time escape unharmed as the earth crumbled.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is conducting the investigation. Detective Larry McKinnon said the sheriff’s office and the county medical examiner cannot declare Bush dead if his body is still missing. Under Florida law, Bush’s family must petition a court to declare him deceased.

“Based on the circumstances, he’s presumed dead; however the official death certificate can only be issued by a judge and the family has to petition the court,” McKinnon said.

The area around Seffner is known for sinkholes due to the geography of the terrain, but they are rarely deadly. No one — from longtime public safety officials to geologists — could remember an incident where a person was sucked into the earth without warning.


Follow Tamara Lush on Twitter at .


By TAMARA LUSH | Associated Press

Hannah Luce Walks Again After Deadly Plane Crash.

Hannah Luce
Hannah Luce (Teen Mania)

After walking away as the sole survivor of a plane crash that left burns on 28 percent of her body, Hannah Luce, the daughter of Teen Mania founder Ron Luce, is back on her feet again.

Luce reports that his daughter walked all the way to the visitor’s area and back without a walker on Saturday. It was the first time she’s walked over the last three weeks.

A flight carrying Hannah, along with three Oral Roberts University (ORU) alumni and a former ORU instructor, was headed to Acquire The Fire in Council Bluffs, Iowa when it crashed on May 11.

“I want to thank you all so much for praying!” Luce wrote in his blog. “As we have heard from people praying from all around the world for Hannah’s recovery, she continues to be in the burn center of the KU Medical Center in Kansas City and is making significant progress. She’s still in quite a bit of pain, but she is beginning to use her limbs more.”

Luce said Hannah is encouraged by the many cards, letters and gifts. Children, he explained, have written her get-well letters. Others who’ve been through similar traumas have also written letters of encouragement.

“In fact, Gov. Sam Brownback of Kansas called to encourage Hannah the other day. He said that, as he was passing through Chanute, Kan., the other day, people were still talking about the accident,” Luce said. “Gov. Brownback listened to Hannah’s story and then prayed for her, and that really lifted her spirit.”

Luce expects doctors to move Hannah to a hospital/rehab center in Dallas on Monday.


By Jennifer LeClaire

Tag Cloud