For the next two week’s Fairview is entering a time of discernment. The Community Discovery Team has spent several months talking with our neighbors and community members to hear about the needs present in the Fairview neighborhood. Every person at Fairview is being asked to spend time each day in prayer listening for God’ guidance for our church.
Over the next week, you are being asked to spend some time in quiet listening. This activity will come easier to some people and be more difficult for others. If it is harder for you, that’s OK. The goal isn’t to be a perfect meditative guru of prayer, but simply to take some time each day to be quiet, reflect, and listen. Sometimes, it takes us a little while until we are ready to listen. This was the case for Samuel in the scripture below.
Take a few moments to quiet yourself and then read the scripture below. If it is helpful, get in a comfortable position, close your eyes, and concentrate on taking a few deep breaths before reading.
1 Samuel 3:1-20
Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord under Eli. The word of the Lord was rare in those days; visions were not widespread. At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his room; the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was. Then the Lord called, “Samuel! Samuel!” and he said, “Here I am!” and ran to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call; lie down again.” So he went and lay down. The Lord called again, “Samuel!” Samuel got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.”
Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. The Lord called Samuel again, a third time. And he got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. Now the Lord came and stood there, calling as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
Take a few moments to answer the following questions. If it is helpful to you, write your answers down.
How easy or difficult do you find it to sit in quiet listening?
What might make it easier for you?
As you listen, what are some ways you can distinguish between God’s will and your own desires?
Are there other thoughts or notes you’d like to write down?
When you are ready say aloud or read quietly the following prayer.