And the Lord came and stood, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears” (I Samuel 3:10)
I read these words and realize that all too often I go to God and say, “Lord, listen. I have something to say”.
I always have something to say. I need to listen more.
I really need to listen more to God.
Oh, the things that happen when God speaks—worlds are created, the sick are healed, storms cease, demons tremble.
Samuel did not rise and run as before when he thought Eli called, but lay still and listened. The more sedate and composed our spirits are the better prepared they are for divine discoveries. Let all tumultuous thoughts and passions be kept under, and every thing be quiet and serene in the soul, and then we are fit to hear from God. All must be silent when he speaks. Matthew Henry
There are a 100 things on my to-do list. I write this one at the top:
1. Lay still and listen.
Speak, Lord. I’m your servant, ready to listen ( I Samuel 3:10b).
4 Practical Ways to Talk and Listen to God
- First Thing Every Morning. I’m a early riser but there’s this small window of time between when I wake up and when I get up. My eyes are closed, the house is quiet, and I’m still. It’s a great time to say, “What are your thoughts about my day, Lord?” I don’t use an alarm but if you do, and you hit the “snooze button”, let that be your cue for “listening time”.
In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. Psalm 5:3
- Last Thing Every Night. Bedtime is a hard time for me to pray. I’m tired and the weight of the day’s work and all that went undone lay heavy. So Eric and I usually pray together just before falling asleep. Our prayers usually consist of thanksgiving and questions. We’ve found it to be so helpful when together we speak our needs out loud to the Lord—confessing all that we don’t know and can’t figure out. I am amazed at how often one or both of us awake with answers to our questions and solutions to our problems.
I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. Psalm 16:7
- Write It Out. Grab a notebook or journal, go to a clean page, and write your question or dilemma or concern at the top. I often do this in the middle of the day when finding time to be still and quiet is almost impossible. I am always amazed how answers come throughout the day or week ahead. God is so faithful.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1
- Driving in The Car. Now that all my people have a driver’s license and places to go I find myself driving in the car alone quite often. The car is one of my favorite places to talk to God out loud. (I used to worry that people would think I was a crazy woman talking to herself but blue tooth technology makes everyone look crazy so I figure I’m in good company.) Since Jesus is always with us, the car creates a comfortable, private space to talk with Him in a way I don’t always get to at home. Even though I’ve never heard Him speak audibly during those conversations I have a sense of His presence. Peace and clarity are frequent results.
The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.