Thursday, February 14, 2019

Your Servant is Listening!

 “Then the LORD came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel, Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:10






In the Scripture today, ‘listening’ comes from the Hebrew word shama which means not only ‘to hear’ but ‘to hear with the intention of obedience’. Warren Wiersbe says that Samuel “became a great man of prayer.” Here we see Samuel, in the infancy of his faith, responding to God. We know that he is obedient in telling Eli what God says. This is shama, listening with intention to obey.

Henri Nouwen writes, “Prayer is the first of all listening to God. It’s openness. God is always speaking; He’s always doing something. Prayer is to enter into that activity.” To enter in to prayer requires a mutual communication, that we speak AND listen. Listening to God’s voice is more than just taking notes of what we understand God to be saying; instead, true listening must include an obedient response. It is actively participating.

Eugene Peterson says, “Listening is an act of personal attentiveness that develops into answering.” We see that Samuel answers God, which would imply a prayerful reply. Peterson suggests this provides us with “a model on how to listen to God’s word and respond to him in prayer.” Let us practice shama, the art of spiritual listening, to hear and to answer in obedience to God. -dho


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