"Speak Lord, For Your Servant Is Listening"

1 Samuel 3:9

A Reflection by Emily Bragdon

Student at Johnson County Community College

“Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” But am I truly listening? Or am I just merely hearing what you are saying Lord? One of the most popular phrases I write during my prayer time is, “Lord, You hear and listen to my prayers.”  But how often do I sit to hear and listen to you? As I finish off my first semester in household, I can easily look back and say “Yep, Lord I heard You in this situation, but I definitely did not listen to You.”

Sitting down to write this post on listening to the Lord was extremely difficult for me because it is something I need to hear myself. I’m not the first one to show obedience to the Lord. In fact what He’s been speaking to me, I’ve been trying my best to run far away from.

From Left: Madison, Anna (Missionary), and Emily on far right at SPO’s 2015 Winter Formal

From Left: Madison, Anna (Missionary), and Emily on far right at SPO’s 2015 Winter Formal

 

How has the Lord been speaking to me?  Because I’m a college student who isn’t exactly confident in what I want to do for the rest of my life, I’ve prayed a lot about what direction I should go in. And, as usual, the Lord never fails in speaking. What fails? Me.  I fail at following in the direction He is pointing, i.e. running away and ignoring important decisions.

It’s easy to not listen to the Lord when what He is saying and isn’t adding up to your plan. “I could apply to become a missionary, but I can’t leave Kansas.” Or “I could discern the religious life, but being in a family is my dream.” As much as we want and pray for it to be, it is not about our plan.  It’s about God’s will.  Ultimately, once we are living in God’s will, our plan for our life aligns with God’s plan.

Emily (speaker on left) leading her small group at SPO Fan into Flame Retreat.

Emily (speaker on left) leading her small group at SPO Fan into Flame Retreat.

But how do we start living in God’s will? Well, it isn’t easy if you aren’t an open hearted-listener.  What do I mean by an open hearted-listener?  I mean you go into prayer with an open heart ready to hear and accept what the Lord is calling you to. Hearing what the Lord is asking of you, fully accepting it, and acting on it, is stepping in the direction of God’s will for us.  As stubborn as we can be, I think we can all agree that living in God’s will is far better than our own.

So maybe the verse, “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening,” is one you struggle with. Maybe you haven’t struggled with it and now you will.  I wish I could say I was perfect.  I wish I could say that I sit down for prayer every morning, read this verse, and actually desire it. But maybe that’s what it takes - sitting down and saying this verse as a daughter or son of God, with an open heart and an open mind. He is going to speak to us all in different ways because we’re not mass produced. It’s just a matter of listening to what He is saying. After you hear the coach - are you going to be the one to sit on the sidelines, or are you going to be the one to go out on the field put it in action?

Emily sharing her testimony at SPO Fan into Flame Retreat

Emily sharing her testimony at SPO Fan into Flame Retreat