Prayer for the Day – Monday 13 July

O God, who seest all things,
guide us not into judgement of others
but to align our heart’s desires with your eternal purposes,
through him who is able to do immeasurably
more that we can ask or imagine,
Jesus Christ.  Amen.

1 Samuel 1.1-20
There was a certain man of Ramathaim, a Zuphite from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah son of Jeroham son of Elihu son of Tohu son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. He had two wives; the name of one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.
 Now this man used to go up year by year from his town to worship and to sacrifice to the Lord of hosts at Shiloh, where the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests of the Lord. On the day when Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters; but to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the Lord had closed her womb. Her rival used to provoke her severely, to irritate her, because the Lord had closed her womb. So it went on year after year; as often as she went up to the house of the Lord, she used to provoke her. Therefore Hannah wept and would not eat. Her husband Elkanah said to her, ‘Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? Why is your heart sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?’
 After they had eaten and drunk at Shiloh, Hannah rose and presented herself before the Lord. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat beside the doorpost of the temple of the Lord. She was deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord, and wept bitterly. She made this vow: ‘O Lord of hosts, if only you will look on the misery of your servant, and remember me, and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a male child, then I will set him before you as a nazirite until the day of his death. He shall drink neither wine nor intoxicants, and no razor shall touch his head.’
 As she continued praying before the Lord, Eli observed her mouth. Hannah was praying silently; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard; therefore Eli thought she was drunk. So Eli said to her, ‘How long will you make a drunken spectacle of yourself? Put away your wine.’ But Hannah answered, ‘No, my lord, I am a woman deeply troubled; I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord. Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation all this time.’ Then Eli answered, ‘Go in peace; the God of Israel grant the petition you have made to him.’ And she said, ‘Let your servant find favour in your sight.’ Then the woman went to her quarters, ate and drank with her husband, and her countenance was sad no longer.
 They rose early in the morning and worshipped before the Lord; then they went back to their house at Ramah. Elkanah knew his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her. In due time Hannah conceived and bore a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, ‘I have asked him of the Lord.’

Psalm 99
  The Lord is king: let the peoples tremble;
   he is enthroned above the cherubim: let the earth shake.
  The Lord is great in Zion
   and high above all peoples.
  Let them praise your name, which is great and awesome;
   the Lord our God is holy.
  Mighty king, who loves justice,
      you have established equity;
   you have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob.
  Exalt the Lord our God;
   bow down before his footstool, for he is holy.
  Moses and Aaron among his priests
      and Samuel among those who call upon his name;
   they called upon the Lord and he answered them.
  He spoke to them out of the pillar of cloud;
   they kept his testimonies and the law that he gave them.
  You answered them, O Lord our God;
   you were a God who forgave them
      and pardoned them for their offences.
  Exalt the Lord our God
      and worship him upon his holy hill,
   for the Lord our God is holy.