Speak, Lord, for Your Servant Hears (1 Samuel 3:9) - Radical

Speak, Lord, for Your Servant Hears (1 Samuel 3:9)

“Therefore Eli said to Samuel, ‘Go, lie down, and if He calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak Lord, for your servant hears.’ So Samuel went and lay down in his place.”
– 1 Samuel 3:9

1 Samuel 3:9 is such a beautiful verse in this chapter where God speaks to Samuel while he is lying down to go to sleep. Samuel keeps thinking Eli is calling him, but it’s the audible voice of God that is speaking to him. Eli encourages him to listen. It’s such a good reminder, as I’m just reflecting on this verse, of the need for us to say the exact same thing to God and to listen. “Speak Lord, for your servant hears.” We need to stop and listen to God. This is what we do when we read The Bible. But if we’re not careful, even in reading The Bible, we can kind of just read to get through it. Just kind of just check off a box, kind of what we’re supposed to do, we want to do.

God has given us His Word. We do not have to wait for some audible voice. Amid the busyness of our week, may our lives be dictated by listening to God’s Word.

But we just kind of go through it, instead of pausing before we even open up The Bible, before we start to read any words, and just say, “Speak, Lord, for your servant hears. We want to hear from you. We’re your servant. We are coming to this book unlike we come to any other book. We’re coming for instruction on how to live, encouragement we need in our lives. And we’re coming to this book as an authority over our lives. Whatever this book says to do, we will do. However this book says to think, we will think. So we need to approach this book with this kind of 1 Samuel 3:9 heart, “Speak Lord, for your servant hears.”

Amidst the busyness of this world, where we are bombarded by so many different messages from so many different directions, we need to stop. We need this every day. At least once in the day, ideally in the morning, but I would say throughout the day to have moments, to find moments where we just stop and listen to what God is saying to us. The beauty is, we don’t have to wait for some audible voice. We have the word of God in front of us in The Bible. All we have to do is open it up, pull it up on our phones, and we can read it.

1 Samuel 3:9 Demonstrates An Example Of A Listening Servant

Amidst everything else you’re tempted to look at all in your phone, whether it’s this app or this email or whatever it might be. Let’s just stop at different points during today and just open up The Bible on our phones and say, “Speak Lord, for your servant hears”. Just read a few verses, or a chapter, whatever it may be. Oh God, we pray for this kind of listening heart, this kind of posture before you. I pray for this in my life. I pray for this in others who are listening to this right now, God, that you would make us servants who listen, who stop and listen.

God, please help us amidst all the messages we are bombarded with, all the intake of information around us. We can spend so much time on our phones looking at so many different things, reading so many different things, watching so many different things. In front of TV, Netflix, in front of our computers or other devices, just kind of scrolling from one thing to the next. God, we pray amidst all these messages that we listen to, help us to stop and listen to you.

Prayer Over Hearing God’s Word

We pray that as you speak to us, you would help us to receive your word and to respond in obedience to it. God, we pray you’d help us to approach your word, unlike anything else in this world, with a humility and a submission to it, that says whatever you say to us as your servants will lead, guide, direct, control our lives. Your word is good. We praise you for it. We praise you for this gift we have in The Bible. And we praise you for your revelation to us.  For your voice that actively speaks to us when we open it. So God, make us listening servants today. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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