... God's answers to our prayers?
Why do so many feel God does not respond to theirs as He seemingly does to those of others? Are we listening, looking in the wrong places? The answer to these questions ~ much simpler than we might think! ~ lies in the fact we must first believe Jesus, who said ...
John 14:15-20 - "15 If you love me, obey my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, who will never leave you. 17 He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world at large cannot receive him, because it isn't looking for him and doesn't recognize him. But you do, because he lives with you now and later will be in you. 18 No, I will not abandon you as orphans -- I will come to you. 19 In just a little while the world will not see me again, but you will. For I will live again, and you will, too. 20 When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you."
1 Meanwhile, the boy Samuel was serving the LORD by assisting Eli. Now in those days messages from the LORD were very rare, and visions were quite uncommon.
2 One night Eli, who was almost blind by now, had just gone to bed. 3 The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was sleeping in the Tabernacle near the Ark of God. 4 Suddenly, the LORD called out, "Samuel! Samuel!" "Yes?" Samuel replied. "What is it?"
5 He jumped up and ran to Eli. "Here I am. What do you need?" "I didn't call you," Eli replied. "Go on back to bed." So he did.
6 Then the LORD called out again, "Samuel!" Again Samuel jumped up and ran to Eli. "Here I am," he said. "What do you need?" "I didn't call you, my son," Eli said. "Go on back to bed."
7 Samuel did not yet know the LORD because he had never had a message from the LORD before. 8 So now the LORD called a third time, and once more Samuel jumped up and ran to Eli. "Here I am," he said. "What do you need?"
Then Eli realized it was the LORD who was calling the boy. 9 So he said to Samuel, "Go and lie down again, and if someone calls again, say, `Yes, LORD, your servant is listening.' " So Samuel went back to bed. 10 And the LORD came and called as before, "Samuel! Samuel!" And Samuel replied, "Yes, your servant is listening"
"11 Go out and stand before me on the mountain," the LORD told him. And as Elijah stood there, the LORD passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the
mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper."
The Bible says that God "spoke" to certain of His people -- Moses, Elijah, Abraham, Samuel ... Does that mean His voice was actually audible, that one could hear it with the ear?
Some of the deepest experiences we have are the most difficult to describe or put into words. Of course God spoke to Samuel -- but being a Spirit, he probably spoke to Samuel as The Spirit -- but it was strong enough to awaken him three times.
For us, perhaps God's voice could be described as the strange urging or pressure, a heaviness or restlessness which makes us suddenly stop as we become acutely aware that God is communicating with us. Perhaps you have been awakened in the night, your entire being alert, awake. You have felt a deep urgency to pray -- and you pray until a peace comes. This is real -- just as the spirit within us is real.
And just as we can sharpen our physical senses to such a high degree, so we can sharpen our spiritual sense so we can hear God's voice. Practice listening for Him ... let your spirit move as He wills it to. We are never too young nor too old to know it.
Prayer: God, I know that You still do speak to your people today, but somehow it seems harder to hear You; knowing there are so many people to listen to. Help me to seek out Thy "still" voice in my heart and to obey it quickly. Amen