The Lord called Samuel again, for the third time.
Getting up and going to Eli, he said, “Here I am.
You called me.”
Then Eli understood that the Lord was calling the youth.
So Eli said to Samuel, “Go to sleep, and if you are called, reply,
‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.'”
When Samuel went to sleep in his place,
the Lord came and revealed his presence,
calling out as before, “Samuel, Samuel!”
Samuel answered, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” (1 Sm 3:8-10)
“I wish the Lord would speak to me.” I have heard that many times in my years as a priest. My response has pretty much been the same: “Who says He hasn’t been speaking to you? Do you know how to listen?”
Samuel was a young student of Eli. For a long time in Israel’s history, God had been silent. When God chose to speak to a prophet again, He chose Samuel. Samuel had no idea how God spoke to His people.
Samuel heard God’s voice calling to him and immediately thought it was his teacher, Eli, calling out. Being an obedient student, Samuel rushed to Eli, waking him, and telling him that he had called him. Eli sent Samuel away with the admonition, “I did not call you.”
Finally, Eli understood that Samuel was being called by the Lord. He instructed Samuel to respond to the Lord, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” When God called, Samuel did as he was instructed and God spoke to him and continued to do so for many years.
We might be unfamiliar with how God speaks. To some, His voice comes like a clarion call. There is no mistaking that it is God. To others, His voice comes through the voice of another speaking to them. To others, it comes through an experience a person has. Still to others, it may come in a dream.
No matter how the call of God comes, though, we will not hear it unless we make time to listen to God. If our days
FAITH ACTION: Spend some quiet time with the Lord today, giving Him the opportunity to speak with you. Be open to the ways that God may choose to communicate with you.