Hannah was childless and it caused her great sorrow. She petitioned YHVH for a son, and He gave her children. Adonijah petitioned Bathsheba for Abishag, she was beautiful and he wanted her to be his wife. However, he had ulterior motives…Esther risked her life to petition king Ahasuerus for the life of her people. Job, after suffering so much hardship that he could not bear it any more petitioned YHVH to take his life. Instead YHVH healed him and restored back to him what he lost. The Israelites petitioned YHVH for meat with devastating consequences. Zacharias petitioned YHVH for a child, and this child was a great prophet who prepared the way for the Messiah.
We can learn much from all these narratives. A petition is a form of prayer, but whereas prayer encompasses all communication with YHVH, petition is to make a specific request of YHVH. It can be compared to a formal request made to a sovereign.
The purpose of this study is to understand what it means to petition YHVH. We shall look at each of these narratives to see what we can learn.