The tabernacle worship center has been preserved from the time of Exodus, and is located at Shiloh. Elkanah is one of the priests who serves there when his shift is on duty. During one of his times of service, Hannah, his childless wife prays and vows to dedicate her first child to the Lord if only God opens her womb.
11 As the sobs racked her body, Hannah spoke within herself to Jehovah. Her lips quivered as she mentally formed the words to express her pain. And she prayed at length, pouring out her heart to her Father. She did more, though, than just ask God to fulfill her desperate urge to bear offspring. Hannah was keen not only to receive blessings from God but also to give him what she could. So she made a vow, saying that if she had a son, she would dedicate the child to a life of service to Jehovah.—1 Sam. 1:9-11.
This prayer is answered, and the first born son is named Samuel (“heard by God”). When Samuel is weaned at three, he is brought to Shiloh to the resident high priest, Eli. There Samuel is to serve the Lord at the tabernacle his whole life.
19 And they rose up in the morning early, and worshipped before the Lord, and returned, and came to their house to Ramah: and Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the Lord remembered her. 20 Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the Lord.
Eli, the priest didn’t understand what Hannah was doing. He thought Hannah was drunk!
Hannah speaks directly to God, pouring out her heart and soul. Then God heard her prayer and acted. We can also go directly to God in prayer.