Talking to the Lord is only half of the prayer experience (I am going to take a guess that most people pray by asking God to do things for them), listening to the Lord is the other half.  Four times the Lord had to speak to Samuel before he answered, and Samuel only was able to answer after receiving help from the High Priest Eli.

The key point here is that like so many other things in the Bible, what was true 3000 years ago is true today: Samuel had to learn how to pray, he had to be taught, and we also need to learn how to pray.  It must be noted that Samuel’s specific experience is rare in history.  It is not rare for The Lord to speak to people today, however the primary way is through his written word in Sacred Scripture.

So how do we today learn to listen to the Lord while reading Sacred Scripture? We start by simply reading the Bible, along with praying both before and after reading. A simple prayer to use is the same one Samuel used. As to a suggestion on which book of the Bible to start with, may I suggest praying with the Psalms. The Psalms teach us both what to pray and how to pray. The next step is to purchase a Study Bible (see my book reviews). Perhaps the best way to learn is to join a Bible study class.

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