speak Lord, i want to hear you.
the LORD came and stood there, calling …and Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:10
one of the greatest challenges of any follower of Christ is probably to train their ear to hear God speak. as a children’s ministry leader, i often get asked whether i have ever heard from God? that question is usually followed up by these questions and more. what does he sound like? when does he speak? does he say it out-loud? or do you hear him in your head? how do you know you’re not just thinking those words? will he use other people to talk to me? do i have to be real quiet? is there a certain way to sit? should i lay down on the floor? and most of all how will i know it’s him?
since many of our children live life at a neck-breaking pace at 6 years, 9 years or 11 years-old they don’t know how to hear from God. our TRU worship is providing the space and focus for children to hear the Big God Story and respond with worship.
offering children a chance to take a posture of kneeling with hands open in front of them and being quiet sounds like someone threw on the emergency brake and we are on a collision course. but week after week my leaders find this intimate time of leading kids to respond through worship is allowing kids to discover the relationship God wants to have with them.
during one of our lessons the children were told to take off their shoes and consider the floor they were sitting on as holy. the leader went on to share, “God is present and that if we take a moment to meet him here… we might even hear him.” the children were then invited to settle into a comfortable position kneeling, sitting, or even lying on the floor. they were encouraged to close their eyes so they wouldn’t be distracted by anything. as the leader began the prayer she invited God to speak and asked for all present to have ears to hear. she invited the children to say out-loud anything they were hearing from God. when the leader became quite the Holy Spirit took the lead.
it was so quite at first. it felt like minutes had passed, but truly it was just seconds before a child whispered, “I love you!” and then like a wave slowly rolling to his it peak the children began saying phrases and words. “i love your creativity.” “you are mine.” ” i see you.” “you are special.” “i want to have a play-date with you.” “i am your friend.” over and over words of affirmation were shared as God spoke to his children.
as the kids and the leaders rose from their positions there were tears of excitement in their eyes. “i heard from God.” was said by more than one child. as the kids left their tongues couldn’t be silenced. they were excited to tell their parents what they had heard. and that evening and in the days following, i received emails from families who inspired by their children were being quiet as families listening for God to speak again.
how great is it that we are leading a generation to respond, “speak, Lord. I am listening.”