The Prayer for God to Speak
Have you ever desperately needed to hear from God? I have.
When we really truly worship and experience God, there should be two-way traffic: us, praising God and meditating on Him, and Him speaking to us. When we draw near to God, He draws near to us, just as He promises in His Word. (see James 4:8)
Maybe you’re in a place in your life RIGHT NOW when you need to hear from God. May I offer you a model prayer? Look at 1 Samuel 3:10 when the Lord has been calling Samuel and Samuel’s response to that call:
“Speak, LORD, for Your servant is listening.”
This prayer reveals a belief in the fact that God DOES speak to His people and it serves as evidence of that fact. God doesn’t speak to us in an audible voice today as He did with Samuel. He speaks to us through the Holy Spirit and the Bible. The most important thing for us to do when we sense the Holy Spirit and when we’re reading our Bible is to LISTEN.
In this prayer, we see that Samuel expected God to speak. Psalm 85:8 (emphasis mine) says “I will hear what God the LORD will say; for He will speak peace to His people, to His godly ones.” Do you expect God to speak to you when you read the Bible? Has a passage ever come alive to you even though you’ve read it before? That’s God speaking to you! Do you expect God to speak when you come to church? You won’t be disappointed. If you need direction, God will give it (Proverbs 3:5-6). If you need comfort, God offers it (Isaiah 41:10). If you need provision, God will supply it (Philippians 4:19). The question is…do you EXPECT Him to?
Samuel prayed that God would speak to him in 1 Samuel 3:10. Samuel was waiting to hear God’s voice. Do you expect to hear God? Do you wait to hear Him? Are you concerned that God is on your side? Or are you concerned that you are on God’s side? Have you ever been afraid at how God will answer your prayer? I have. Because often when I pray for something hard, something I don’t think He will answer, He answers it in a way I don’t like or expect. And then…I have to OBEY. I have to do what He says. When we ask, He speaks. Then it’s our time to respond: will we ignore Him or obey Him?
This prayer of Samuel’s also contains the right attitude for someone who wants to hear from God. What attitude is that? Humility. We need to humble our hearts if we want to hear from God. We need to submit to Him and be His servant, which is the term Samuel uses to describe himself in 1 Samuel 3:10. In Matthew 11:25-26, Jesus says we must be like children to enter God’s kingdom. You see, God speaks to us in a way that a little child could understand. Often, we can be too big in our own eyes to hear God speaking to us. We need to humble ourselves and kneel before Him.
“Speak, LORD, for Your servant is listening” also teaching us the importance of a recognition of the lordship of the One who speaks. This shows respect for God’s sovereignty in our lives. Ask what God wants you to do; don’t tell Him what you want Him to do.
There are benefits, or results, or hearing God’s voice and doing His will. First, there’s growth in grace. 2 Peter 3:18 tells us that if we hear His voice and submit to His will, we will grow in grace. Second, there’s the conscious presence of the Lord. The more you listen to Him, the more you’ll hear and recognize His voice. Third, just like Samuel was made useful to the Lord, we can be too. Samuel heard and obeyed the Lord and then Lord used him.
We need to be as eager today to hear the voice of the Lord as Samuel was then. Every time you’re in a (worship) service or class, you should glean ONE thing to take and apply to your life. It may be a teaching, a song, or a word of encouragement or admonishment. Just think what a difference it would make in your life if that application became a reality! Think of what a difference it would make in the church if that would happen!
God speaks in a still small voice (see 1 Kings 19). You need to be listening if you want to hear Him.
Are you praying for God to speak today?