Hannah Persevered in Prayer

  • By: Fun Lesson Guy
  • Date: 11/09/2022
  • Time to read: 19 min.

Fun Bible Lesson for Kids—Text: 1 Samuel 1: 1-25

Click here for the Lesson PDF to print.

Leader Overview

Hannah was unable to give birth to a child for many years. To make things worse, her husband’s other wife constantly taunted and ridiculed her. Hannah persevered in prayer, asking God for a son. She even vowed to give the child back to God to serve in the temple when God granted her request. God honored her persistent prayer and Samuel was born! Hannah kept her vow and Samuel faithfully served Eli the high priest in the Temple. Samuel grew into a famous prophet and judge for God and His people.  

Please click here to see an explanation for each lesson component.

Pivot Object

Hello everyone, and welcome!
Hold the Tootsie Pop for all to see. Do you know what this is called?
Have you ever tasted or eaten one? If so, what is your favorite flavor?
What is unique or special about a Tootsie Pop compared to other lollipops or suckers?
Right, there is a chocolate surprise in the center.

You know, I’ve never read about Tootsie Pops in the Bible, so I am not sure how they tie into today’s Bible lesson. Do you have any guesses?
We can talk about it again later.  Now, it’s time to pray for God’s blessings and welcome His presence in our class today.


Dear God, we are grateful for the time we have today to learn more about You and what it means to live for You. Welcome Your presence today. Holy Spirit, we ask You to give us understanding and application of God’s Word for our lives. In Jesus’ faithful name we pray, Amen
Optional: ask for personal prayer requests and pray for any important events or happenings locally and globally. 

Pivot Presentation

Whiteboard and marker

Write the Pivot Point, Pivot Trait, and Pivot Verse in large letters on the whiteboard.
Optional: Create a PowerPoint/Keynote slide of the Pivots

Read a Pivot aloud and have the children repeat it together.
Pivot Trait: Persevere—to stick with it and refuse to give up
Pivot Point: Persevere with God until you break through              
Pivot Verse: Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble and keep on praying.  
Romans 12:12 (NLT)  

Persevering takes determination and work. You can’t be lazy or passive if you want to persevere. It is an unwavering commitment. But there is good news! We aren’t in it alone; when we follow Jesus, we have hope and help!  

Persevering is often connected to being unhappy, miserable, or barely holding on. For Christians, it doesn’t need to be that way. The Pivot Verse says to rejoice in our confident hope. Jesus is our hope and we put our trust in Him for our salvation and to provide a solution.
So, to summarize our Pivots today: Keep on praying, be patient, trust God, refuse to give up, and stick with it!  

Pivot Game relay race

Pivot Relay     

Painter’s tape
Yardstick or measuring tape
Five large PAPER grocery bags
Empty paper towel tube
Two round balloons (one is extra)
Whiteboard and marker to record times
Cut tops of bags down to about 10” tall
With the marker write one word per bag in big letters (people, time, doubt, patience, Satan)
Set up playing area per diagram (distances approximate)
Bags should be lined up with the words toward the start line
Blow up the balloons and write “God” on each one with the marker
Line up kids behind the Start Line

It’s difficult to persevere, isn’t it? It takes determination and energy! It’s much easier to give up, to feel sorry for yourself, or to complain, I get it!

Hannah didn’t take the easy road. She persevered and God answered her prayer. We are going to play a little game with an obstacle course. Why? Just like Hannah, you will face obstacles when you persevere in prayer, like:
People—who tease, taunt, or tell you to give up!
Time—we are all busy. To break for prayer is difficult sometimes
Doubt—sometimes the obstacle to overcome is YOU! You begin to doubt
Patience—Persevering isn’t fun, it takes effort and determination
Satan—The devil whispers doubt, fear and lies to us that God doesn’t hear our prayers.

I will time each of you as you complete the course to pick FIVE winners. The key to persevere is to keep your eyes on God until you break through, right?
(Pull out the balloon and towel tube – place the balloon on top of the tube).
Each of you must place the “God” balloon on the tube and balance it as you step over the objects in front of you to reach the finish line. Remember, keep your eyes on that balloon!

The first player places the balloon on top of the tube
Start the time
The player carefully steps over each obstacle (bag) while balancing the balloon
Stop and record the time when a player crosses the finish line
If the balloon falls, it must be replaced on the tube and the player continues from that spot
KEY: The players with the five slowest times win!

Conclusion: What????? I tricked you didn’t I?
Persevering is not about an instant win or speed. It’s about refusing to give up, no matter how many times you fail or how long it takes! Persevering isn’t a sprint—it’s more like a marathon.
Pivot Point: Persevere with God until you break through

Option: Play again and this time pick the five quickest times for the winners!

When we persevere in prayer, our faith and trust will grow as we mature spiritually.

Bible Story

Hurdle Cards Page PDF
Cardstock – one sheet per two children, plus extras
Three traffic cones (sports/safety/field cones) see note below
Tootsie Pop from Pivot Object
Note: If cones are not available use boxes or chairs for obstacles.
Make copies of the Hurdle Page on cardstock (1 page per two kids)
Cut each page in half on the line to make two cards

Note: If no cones are available, use boxes or chairs.

(Give a Hurdle Card to each kid. Tell kids they will have an opportunity to participate in the story by holding up the card and also jumping when instructed to)

What is on your card?
In a track meet or race, the athlete must run and jump over the hurdles.
We can think of difficult situations and troubles in our lives are like a type of hurdle to us.
The challenge with these hurdles is to find solutions to overcome them and move forward.

In our Bible story, Hannah faced some tough circumstances. She needed the perseverance to overcome her hurdles. Do you remember what the word persevere means?

Pivot Trait: to stick with it and refuse to give up

Now, I need your help with the story today. I don’t want you to just sit the whole time, so this is your chance to move a little bit. When I say HURDLE, you can hold your card up in the air with the picture facing me. Then after a moment, you can lower it again.

When I say Persevere or Persevered, stand and jump up and down two times then sit down.
Note: For children with disabilities, they may move arms up and down, palms up (“raise the roof)”
Let’s try it! (Say Hurdle and then Persevere. Clarify instructions further if necessary)

(Read the story and pause at Hurdle and Persevere to allow children to perform the actions.)

There was a man named Elkanah. He served God and had two wives; one was called Hannah and the other Peninnah. Peninnah was able to give birth to babies, but Hannah could not. This made Hannah very sad.

It was hard to make it through each day seeing Peninnah with children, knowing she was unable to give her husband a child. HURDLE. But, Hannah PERSEVERED! She wanted to overcome that HURDLE!

Elkanah loved Hannah very much. He always gave her extra gifts to show his love even though she couldn’t have children. This helped but Peninnah made fun of Hannah and this was hurtful. HURDLE.

Every year Elkanah and his family went to worship and sacrifice to God at a place called Shiloh. The family gave thanks to God for His blessings. Peninnah continued to tease and taunt Hannah because she couldn’t have children. HURDLE

In Bible times it was especially important for women to have children, especially sons! Peninnah was cruel and continued to remind Hannah that she couldn’t have children. HURDLE.

At Shiloh, while they worshiped God, Hannah would get so upset that she cried and could not eat. HURDLE. Have you ever been so upset about something that you couldn’t eat or think about anything else? HURDLE. But Hannah was determined to PERSEVERE.

Elkanah would often ask Hannah why she was so sad. He was kind and tried to make her feel better. He asked, “Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?” But this didn’t make Hannah feel better. HURDLE.

One day when the family had finished a meal in Shiloh, Hannah stood and began to weep as she prayed to God about her HURDLE. She even made a vow (promise) to God that if He would give her a son, she would give him back to God to serve Him for his entire life!

That would be a very hard promise to keep as a mom once you saw and held your child!
But Hannah PERSEVERED in this prayer!

The high priest named Eli was sitting nearby. He heard Hannah as she wept and PERSEVERED in prayer. He didn’t understand the situation and thought she had done something wrong! He even thought she had drunk too much wine at dinner! HURDLE

Hannah explained that she was praying to God because she was very sad. Hannah wasn’t going to let this stop, she PERSEVERED in prayer even when the priest misunderstood her! HURDLE

Eli then blessed her and told her to go in peace and also asked God to answer Hannah’s prayer! Hannah thanked Eli. Now, full of hope, she left and ate something. Her face was no longer sad! She had persevered in prayer and knew God had heard!

Early the next morning the family woke up and worshiped God and then went back to their home. God did remember Hannah’s prayer. Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son! Hannah had overcome her HURDLE! She named her son Samuel, which means, “Because I asked the LORD for him.”

Pivot Point: Persevere with God until you break through!

The next year Elkanah went to Shiloh, Hannah stayed home with baby Samuel. After Samuel was old enough, Hannah took Samuel to Shiloh and presented Samuel to God. That must have been a HURDLE too, right? To think about giving up her son that she had PERSEVERED in prayer for years! But, Hannah kept her promise to God.

Samuel stayed with Eli the priest and served God in the temple. Hannah made a special coat or (priest’s uniform) to take to Samuel at Shiloh every year. Samuel continued to grow in favor with God and His people. (1 Samuel 2:26)
God blessed Hannah with a son for PERSEVERING to overcome her HURDLE.

Personal Pivot

So, I see what Hannah did, but how does this apply to me? What do I need to do?

(Walk slowly as you speak and drop cones at the designated times)
Every day we face challenges and troubles. Some aren’t so difficult to overcome
(Drop a cone on the floor in front of you and walk around it without hesitation)

Others are unexpected and take us by surprise and can stop us in our path!
(Drop a cone in front of you. Pause a few moments before you walk around it)

Sometimes the struggles are short-lived, others we must deal with for a long time
Like when Peninnah made fun of Hannah for years. (Put another cone out and stop)

Now, we have a choice to make when facing troubles or difficulties. We can let them stop us and give up or we can determine to persevere and overcome them with God’s help. He actually produces something that grows within us called PATIENCE. Patience goes hand and hand with perseverance. Patience is a Fruit of the Spirit that the Holy Spirit grows within us. But, it is up to us to choose patience.

When you lean in on God, He will show you the way over it. (Jump over cone).
Around it (walk around the cone).
Or, straight through it. (Walk through the cone and kick it aside)

Pivot Point: Persevere with God until you break through

Let’s agree that no matter how big or impossible the obstacle or struggle is that we face, we will persevere with God until we overcome it!

Object Lesson

A Tootsie Pop (lollipop with a chocolate center)
Small bag of M&M candy
Kitchen or pocketknife
Sealable sandwich bag.
Diary or journal
VERY carefully, cut an M&M in half. Place the two halves in a bag
Place an uncut M&M in the bag
(Hold up the uncut M&M)
Raise your hand if you like this type of candy.
(Put the uncut M&M in the bag and hold up the two halves)

Now, my favorite part is the chocolate underneath the candy coating.
Does it take patience or perseverance to break through the coating to get to the chocolate inside?
No, the coating is very thin, right? One bite and you are there!

(Hold up and then unwrap the Tootsie Pop) Remember this?
There is a chocolate surprise in the center, but it takes a while to get there, doesn’t it.
If I was really impatient, I could try to bite through to the center, but I might crack a filling or tooth and that ruins the reward of patiently working my way to the chocolate.
I want to slowly enjoy both parts of the sucker, not just bite through and quickly finish.

This sucker is different than the M&M. You need perseverance to finish this Tootsie Pop!

I think if we are honest, we would prefer prayer to be more like the M&M was – not the Tootsie Pop, right? We would prefer for God to answer right away so we don’t need to be patient and wait for His timing. Tootsie Pop prayer is harder – it takes persistence and determination to pray until we receive an answer, like Hannah.

Pivot Point: Persevere with God until you break through.

(Hold up the Tootsie Pop)
When you patiently enjoy a Tootsie Pop, you can enjoy both the hard outer layer and the softer center. When we persevere with God prayer in prayer, we get more than just an answer – we are blessed as we wait in His presence. We receive His comfort, love, peace, direction, strength and wisdom just to name a few things!

(Hold up the M&M)
If we quickly prayed and God answered instantly every time, we would miss out on a deeper relationship in His presence.

Pivot Posts

PIVOT POST PDF (Also at the end of the lesson)
Pencils, crayons, washable markers
Whiteboard and marker

On the whiteboard write: Hannah, Eli, Peninnah, Elkanah, God
Download or print the PIVOT POST PDF from the link or at end of lesson.
Make one copy for each child plus extras

(Give each child a PIVOT POST PAGE and a pencil (markers or crayons))
Chances are, you are familiar with or use social network Apps and platforms like Twitter® and Instagram®.
These social platforms enable you to post your thoughts about anything at any time. Friends and followers can see your Instagram post or Twitter “tweet”.
Twitter is used mainly for sharing ideas, thoughts and reactions to news and events. Instagram is mostly used for sharing photos and videos.
So, let’s have some fun with this. You are going to imagine you are one of the main characters in the Bible story. Then you will share a picture or write a short post from their point of view or perspective.
Pick one or more characters in the story written on the board:
● Hannah
● Eli
● Peninnah
● Elkanah
● God
For each post or tweet, imagine you ARE that character in the story. What would you want to communicate to your followers? You can create up to four different posts or tweets on the phone screen page.
Perhaps do two serious and two funny ones. Post a picture, a short message or both!
Here are some examples:
God: Hannah keeps praying, I will answer her prayer!
Hannah: I refuse to give up! I know God will give me a son!
Hannah: I named my son Samuel. He will serve the Lord!
Peninnah: Hannah keeps praying every day, just quit!
Eli: God told me that He will answer Hannah’s prayer!
Elkanah: I love Hannah and It makes me sad to see her so sad.

You could draw a picture of Hannah praying or Hannah holding her baby. You could draw a picture of baby Samuel or Hannah handing the baby to Eli. Pick anything from the Bible story that impacted you or that you think is important.

Give the kids a set amount of time to post or tweet. Then ask who has a post or tweet for Hannah, Eli, etc. that you would like to share?

Pivot Verse Activity  

Pivot Verse
Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble and keep on praying. Romans 12:12 (NLT)
Whiteboard, marker and eraser
Cardstock—3 sheets
Pivot Verse Game Pages PDF (also at the end of the lesson)
Five containers of various sizes/shapes (boxes, storage totes, clean trash cans, etc.)
Yardstick or measuring tape
Painter’s tape or masking tape
Sheets of paper, two per child plus extras (try to use recycle paper when possible)
Box to hold paper balls

Write the Pivot Verse on the whiteboard
Optional: Prepare a PowerPoint/Keynote slide with the Pivot Verse
Print the Pivot Verse Game Pages (3) on cardstock.
Cut out the 6 cards from the 3 pages
Tape one card (words visible) to the front of each container
Set up the game per the diagram (Adjust distances to your kids)

Persistence in prayer is patience in prayer. Hannah patiently waited on God in her time of trouble. She trusted that He would answer her prayer in HIS timing. She rejoiced in this hope and that God would reward her faithfulness.         

Line up kids behind the Toss Line
Looking at the board, say the verse aloud a couple of times
Have each child make two balls from the sheets of paper before playing the game
Put the balls in the box and place it on the line
Each player gets 2 paper balls to toss each turn
Player #1 throws one ball toward the first container with the words (Rejoice in our)
If the player is successful – he/she moves to the next container (Confident hope) to toss ball #2
After Player #1 tosses two balls, Player #2 continues where Player #2 stopped
Players who have tossed return to the back of the line
After each successful toss, ALL kids will shout the words on that container together.
Continue until each container, in order, has a ball in it, then stop the time and record it.
Shout the entire verse aloud together
Play additional rounds beginning with the player who was next in line when the game ended
Try for the best time to complete the verse

Optional play
Mix up the containers out of order and play as before
Set a time. Play as above. See how many times the Pivot Verse can be made within that time. Start the Pivot Verse again with the next kid in line and build it again and again.

Pivot Skit #1: Info Al—AL’s Temple T

One white T-shirt
Permanent marker
Plastic bag

With the marker write “Al’s Temple T” on the front in large letters
Write “In Training” on the back in large letters
Place the T-shirt in the bag

(Oily Al bursts into the classroom at the prearranged time carrying the bagged T-shirt)

Al: (salesman’s voice) Hello everybody!

Teacher (makes a disgusted face): Hello Al, unwelcome to our class, I mean, welcome…

Al: Thank you! (whips out the T-shirt bag and pulls the shirt out) Introducing Al’s Temple T! I travel the world, or search the internet or flea markets, to bring you the world’s most unique products! The Temple T is just what you need!

Teacher: The Temple T… no, no, I don’t think anyone needs or deserves this.

Al: Manufactured to Eli the High Priest’s exact specifications. Just like Hannah made by hand. (Holds front up) It says “Al’s Temple T” on the front and (turn around shirt) “In Training” on the back. This tells everyone you are training in the temple! Plus, the front is great advertising for me!

Teacher: What? Eli’s exact specifications? It’s a T-shirt Al, not a temple uniform! And, how on earth could you ever get the specifications?

Al: I am afraid I cannot tell you. I have my sources! Yes kids… do you want to serve in the Temple or at church as Samuel did? Oil Al’s Temple T is your answer!

Teacher: Are you crazy? No one wants that shirt… especially with your name on the front!

Al: Yes, I must be crazy, crazy to offer this one-of-a-kind product for $39.95 plus shipping and sewing fees. Buy today and get this handy leather carrying case for free with only a $10 shipping charge. Yes, get both for only $69.95!

Teacher: What! Give me a break! That’s a plastic bag not a leather case, and what’s with the sewing fee? Plus, you charge more for buying them together than separately! This, as usual, is a rip-off!

Al: Please hold all comments till the end. Remember when Hannah had to make a new uniform each year for her growing boy? Well, Al’s got you covered! This Temple T is one size fits all! Yes, you will never outgrow it! You could say I’m so generous, I will give you the shirt off my back! Only, I’ve never worn this, it’s brand new!

Teacher: We have heard WAAAYYY too much! Goodbye Al. (Takes Al by the arm and walks to door)

Al: I’ll be in the parking lot (opens jacket to reveal credit card logos) I take cash, credit cards….

Pivot Skit #2: Nathan Newsworthy Interviews Eli

Nathan’s standard costume consists of a “neat” biblical look as compared to some of the characters he interviews. Nathan holds a microphone (don’t need a cord and it doesn’t actually need to work.)
The characters he interviews might look rough, maybe dusty and tattered. Most have either been on the road, in the desert, in battle, etc. Beards are great, headbands, turbans, sandals. Each lesson may call out additional supplies for that skit.
Nathan, Eli
Supplies: Microphone

(Characters stand together. Eli is very old and his memory isn’t the greatest)

Nathan: Good day, Nathan Newsworthy reporting for BBC TV on the scene in Shiloh in front of the temple with Eli the Head Priest. Good afternoon, Eli!

Eli: Good morning, Nathan!

Nathan: (smiles and looks surprised) You said my name correctly Eli, thank you!

Eli: (looks confused) Um, why wouldn’t I?

Nathan: It’s just that most people I interview call me Nick, Nelson, Newton, everything but Nathan!

Eli: No, I make it a point to learn people’s names. As a priest, it is important to remember names when I pray for them. So I learned your name, Nolan, right away.

Nathan: (truly annoyed) Ohhhhh no! I shouldn’t have said anything! My name is Nathan not Nolan. Let’s move on shall we? Tell us about Hannah.

Eli: Hannah who?

Nathan: (Puts head down) Hannah, Samuel’s mother!

Eli: Oh yes! A wonderful, faithful, persevering woman! She has a little boy named Nathan who works with me in the temple. Did you know that Samuel?

Nathan: (Getting frustrated) I am Nathan! Samuel worked in the temple. Tell us more.

Eli: That’s what I said! Hannah came to the temple every year to pray with her husband, Elkanah. He had another wife named Peninnah. Hannah was always sad because she couldn’t have a baby. Peninnah was cruel and made fun of her because she couldn’t have a child. I felt so bad for her.

Nathan: That’s terrible! But how did Hannah end up having a son?

Eli: Well, Neville, she prayed every year for God to bless her with a baby. She persevered year after year! She refused to give up! One year she promised God that if He gave her a baby boy, she would give him back to God!

Nathan: (annoyed and frustrated) The name is Nathan! That is quite a sacrifice to give her only son up! What happened then, Eli?

Eli: When Hannah was done praying, God gave me a message for her. He said to go in peace, for He had heard her prayer. The next year Elkanah came back and told me the good news! God had blessed her with a son! She was at home taking care of baby Samuel.

Nathan: That is amazing! And Samuel works with you in the temple now?

Eli: He did until I fired him! (Laughs hard and slaps Nathan on the back) That’s a joke! Samuel is a faithful worker. He does everything I ask him to do and more!

Nathan (frazzled and annoyed) Yes, another good one Eli. What a story about how Hannah persevered with God until she got her baby boy and then gave him back to God!

Eli: Wow, that’s a great story, where did you hear that, Nolan? (Laughs hard again)

Nathan: You are one funny guy Eli. Hannah gave her only son to God and God gave His only Son, Jesus to us! This is Nathan Newsworthy saying persevere until your prayers are answered! Good day!

Pivot Deeper—1 Samuel 1:10-11

Help kids lookup (if needed) Ecclesiastes 5:5 

Have you ever made a promise to God if He answered your prayer?
Was the prayer answered? If so, did you follow through and keep your promise?

Do you think it is something that we should do or is it wrong? Explain.  

Do you think God works this way; does He require something from us in return for answering prayer; please share your thoughts.

(Read Ecclesiastes 5:5):   

It is better to say nothing than to make a promise and not keep it.

How does this relate to our discussion? Does it change your mind?  

Hannah kept her promise even though it meant giving her son back to God!

(Discuss how hard that must have been. Discuss how easy it would have been to decide not to keep her promise!) 

(Have kids share a situation they might need to have perseverance in their lives)
(Explain that Hannah was made fun of for years because of something out of her control – she wasn’t able to have a baby)
Some situations require asking God daily for the strength and ability to endure unkind words and treatment. God heard Hannah’s prayer and blessed her because she didn’t give up!

Remind children that physical abuse or mistreatment is not something they must try to persevere through. This is never okay! Kids need to confide in a trusted family member, adult, or teacher who can provide help.

Level Up—Take Home Challenge 

Level Up Challenge Page (Also found at end of the lesson)

Click the link above to view, download and print the Challenge Page.
Make one copy for each child plus extras.

Give a Level Up Challenge Page to each child to take home.

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