You see in these few verses that Samuel positioned himself in a place where God could speak to him. Often we find ourselves like Eli in this story—distracted, busy, and away from God’s presence. Can God shout over the noise of our lives? Yes, but he usually asks us to quiet our lives and lean in to hear his voice.

I’ve found that the more time I spend talking and listening to God, the more I am able to discern if God is speaking to me or not. It’s similar to how we have the ability to pick out the voice of our parent or child from a distance. Because we’ve spent enough time with them, we recognize their voice over the other voices.

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
John 10:27

When you spend time with God, pray; talk to God, then take time to listen and write down what you feel like you hear him saying. God may choose to talk to you in an audible voice, but usually he speaks to us in our spirit. So, you don’t hear him with your ears, you hear him with your spirit. Sometimes he’ll want to give you specific instructions about something or he may just want to reaffirm his love for you!

Knowing what the Bible says is a huge clue to learning how to recognize when God is speaking to you. God will never say anything to you that contradicts His Word. In the beginning stages of following Jesus, if you feel God is telling you to do something extreme, I highly recommend that you share it with a more mature Christian. They will be able to help you process it, so you don’t make a wrong move out of immaturity. But, if God is speaking to you, act on it quickly and fully!


God also calls us to pray on behalf of his will on earth. The first purpose of prayer is to grow our relationship with God, but that isn’t all. God calls us to devote ourselves to prayer. The Bible says that the prayer of the righteous person is powerful and effective. God chooses to work through his Spirit and our prayers.

In Ezekiel 22, God was looking for someone to stand in the gap on behalf of a city so that it could be saved, but sadly, it says he found no one.

I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.
Ezekiel 22:30

God is looking for you and me to stand in the gap and pray for individuals, cities, and countries. The kingdom of God advances on the prayers of his people. Don’t assume that our prayers don’t matter or that they won’t do much. Actually, it’s the opposite; our prayers are powerful and essential for the work of God to move forward.

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