“Now the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ And Samuel answered, ‘Speak, for Your servant hears.’ “ – 1 Samuel 3:10
Today is our National Day of Prayer. What an honor to take this time to pray for our nation, its people and its leaders. And although we take time out today to lift our requests, do we ever stop and think to listen for God to speak to us?
Recently I attended a meeting with my pastor, along with others. He reminded us of the story found in 1 Samuel 3. This is where Samuel, being trained by Eli in ministry, heard God calling him. This happened a few times and when he heard the voice, he ran to Eli thinking it was him. On the one hand you had Samuel who had not yet learned to hear God’s voice, on the other you had Eli who no longer discerned God’s voice. The question to those of us in attendance was, “Do we really discern God’s voice or are we listening to others?” What a sobering question!
When God speaks and calls to us, like He did with Samuel, do we recognize His voice? Are we like Samuel in this setting and run to someone else first to confirm it? These are good questions to ask ourselves today. Why? Because we live in a fast paced world with information occupying our minds at all times. Many times God’s voice is not heard because of all the noise we allow in and we are left with no direction, seeking our own way.
Samuel and Eli were Godly men, but misdirected because they did not recognize God’s voice at first. The church today can be like this many times. I recently had a conversation with someone who shared with me how they came up with the name for their church. He shared that their name was chosen specifically because they want to appeal to a younger crowd. He admitted it was a “fleshly” decision but they did it anyway. Do you think he was hearing God’s voice?
It can be difficult for any of us to hear God speaking. Maybe we need a National Day of Listening…
“Some men rebel against long intercessions with God, but what they cannot erase is that the record stands that men who prayed most accomplished most. Lasting prayers bring lasting revivals. Prayer does not condition God; prayer conditions us. Prayer does not win God to our view; it reveals God’s view to us. Prayer is not merit, so that by withdrawing from the world we of necessity gain special favors of God. Prayer is not purchasing things from God. If you ask why we emphasize prayer so much and so often, we reply, “Because Jesus did so.” The Gospel by Luke gives accounts of whole nights spent in prayer by the Saviour. Are we better than He?” – Leonard Ravenhill