Yesterday morning (sorry the story still isn't finished) Aaron woke up and told me that he’d seen an Alien in the house. Yes. Complete with scales and a long tail. Yes, really. We don’t talk much about Aliens so this was a very odd thing to hear. He went on to tell me about how he saw it peeking around the corner of his room and how he was afraid and prayed that God would protect him and the rest of us and get rid of the creature. Notice his response to this creature? At his age (10) I did not know the Lord and I would not have prayed for protection, because no one ever told me I should or could, so I would have cowered with my head under my blankets and been afraid. Aaron was afraid too, but he knows that he has Someone bigger than himself, bigger than me, even bigger than his father to whom he can turn to in time of need. He also knows that this Someone loves him very, very much. Would I want it any other way? Was his prayer trivial? Did I tell him that God didn’t care about his experience with the Alien? No. Regardless of whether I believe that the Alien was real or not I want him to know that he has Someone whose name is God, and who has a Son named Jesus, and a helper named the Holy Spirit to whom he can turn in time of need and all other times as well. But, do I want him to pray only in time of need?
No. Pray without ceasing.
Why? Because – and this is the crux of everything - prayer is about building a relationship with God. Aaron can’t get to know God unless he spends time talking to Him and learning about His character. You can’t get to know God unless you spend time with Him. And you can’t hear God speak unless you are so used to talking to him that You can hear and recognize His voice when He speaks.
And the Lord came and stood, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel! And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears.” 1 Samuel 3:10
Why didn’t Samuel recognize the Lord’s voice the first three times? Because he couldn’t distinguish God’s voice from Eli’s voice. He didn’t recognize the Lord’s voice.
I have no doubt that after God’s fourth call Samuel never again mistook God’s voice for the voice of anyone other than God. Why? Because he was familiar with God’s voice. From that time on he was listening for God’s voice and he was talking to God regularly.
Only one more left. I'll post part 5 tomorrow. (Donna, I bet you had no idea your question would spark this many posts. Thank you and sorry.)