“Speak up, Lord.” Four-year-oId Loren repeated his version of today’s verse. I couldn’t help laughing. I was teaching my first Sunday school class at the tender age of 15, and I enjoyed the warm feeling of sharing God’s Word to Anita and Loren. He spoke more truth than either one of us realized at the time. I tucked his words in with my memories of the time I tried to get the kids to eat olives and the way Anita sang the chorus “He’s Able” with the words “He’s Table.”

I recalled his childish wisdom again when I read the passage again today. Samuel had said, “Speak because I’m listening.” If only hearing God were that simple: lay in a bed, hear the window curtain rustle, and listen to His audible voice.

More often, we’re like Elijah in the cave (1 Kings 19:1-6), straining to hear God’s voice in the wind and almost missing His still, small voice. I bet the prophet was ready to say, “Speak up Lord.”

Many times, I’m so busy talking, I don’t take time to listen. But God shouldn’t have to increase His volume for me to hear.

How would our lives change if we didn’t rush to tell God everything that’s happening? He already knows, after all. If, instead, we settled in the quiet, ready to listen, and asked God to speak? Imagine how much clearer our understanding would be, how much greater our faith.

O God who speaks, teach me to listen. Shut my ears to other distractions. Forgive me when I speak over your voice. Amen.

Go Deeper — Try these exercises to shut out the background noise while you pray: Put on headphones and listen to praise music. Color or draw your prayer.

Tags: Listen 1 Samuel 3
Photo Credit: Lukas Budimaier