BUT...there is a posture of prayer each one of us can practice!
For more insight I encourage you to read 1 Samuel chapter 3: On two separate occasions, in the middle of the night, as Samuel lay sleeping in his bed, he heard a voice call out his name. Thinking it might be the high priest Eli he ran to him and said, “Here I am.” Each time, Samuel jumped from his place of sleeping and ran to where his master and teacher slept. Each time, Eli insisted he hadn’t called him. On the final interruption of Eli’s night of sleep, Samuel, once again, barged into Eli’s room, “What is it you want? Why did you call for me?” Only then did Eli realize that God must have been calling to the young boy. So, Eli told Samuel, “The next time you hear God speak, quietly respond, Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.”
Samuel did as Eli instructed. And, Eli’s instruction helped shape Samuel’s ability to hear God’s voice more clearly. Samuel learned the importance of waiting and listening and grew in stature and favor with all of Israel, becoming quite arguably the greatest judge and priest Israel ever experienced.
Perhaps Samuel’s method of “Speak Lord, your servant is listening” carried throughout his ministry, enabling him to know when to anoint Saul as king, and when to replace him with David. One thing we can determine from this passage of Scripture, at first, Samuel didn’t recognize God’s voice as God’s voice; he mistook it for Eli’s. We can also deduce it wasn’t formulated prayers that invoked the King of all kings to speak to Samuel, nor was God deterred from Samuel’s inability to first discern his voice. God spoke and the only thing Samuel needed to do was listen. Samuel merely needed to be available.
Today, I can't help but think...God wants us, to respond to him, to be available to listen. Will you join with me? Will you...
- Quiet your heart and mind, and enter into dialogue with God
- Each morning, before you put your feet to the floor, say, “Speak Lord, I’m listening.”
- At night, before you go to sleep, pray it again and after praying it, simply wait and listen
- "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you." (Psalm 32:8, NIV)
- "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." (John 10:27-28, NIV)
- "Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way ; walk in it." (Isaiah 30:21-22, NIV)