vv 8-10 So the Lord called a third time, and once more Samuel got up and went to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?” Then Eli realized it was the Lord who was calling the boy. So he said to Samuel, “Go and lie down again, and if someone calls again, say, ‘Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went back to bed. And the Lord came and called as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel replied, “Speak, your servant is listening.”
Samuel, although only a young lad, knew what it was to focus on the presence of God. We read ‘Meanwhile, Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord. ‘ (1 Samuel 2:21) What he thought was the voice of the elderly priest Eli however, was in reality God speaking to him. He was learning what it meant to recognise and listen to what God was saying.
This willingness to listen is a precious trait to develop. An old friend – a great talker – said to me recently, ‘You may not believe this about me John, but I spend more time listening to people now rather than talking’. That is a monumental change, believe me! A careful and thoughtful listener is a great blessing as a friend.
So how is your friendship with God? Are you a talker or a listener? It is not an easy thing to be still and quiet as you pray, learning to listen for the voice of God rather than blathering on about healing Great-Uncle Sam’s arthritis, and your own increasing deafness.
Many of us find that we are speaking too much, and listening too little.
Learn to be present with God and listening to Him.