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Eli, the old priest, snored peacefully in his bed. The boy Samuel slept soundly nearby. The Lord looked lovingly at the sleeping Samuel. “Samuel! Samuel!” the Lord spoke. Samuel opened his eyes. Had someone called him?

He hurried to Eli’s bedside.

“Here I am!” Samuel said, entering Eli’s darkened room. “You called me.”

Eli opened his eyes. “I didn’t call you,” he said sleepily. “Go back to bed.”

Samuel did as he was told and quickly fell asleep again.

Again the Lord looked lovingly at the sleeping Samuel. “Samuel! Samuel!” the Lord called again. Samuel’s eyes popped open. He hopped out of bed. That surely must be Eli calling him. He hurried to Eli’s room. “Here I am,” he said. “How may I help you?”

Eli opened his eyes again. “I didn’t call,” he whispered. “Go back to bed.”

Samuel walked slowly out of Eli’s room. Someone had called him. If it wasn’t Eli, who could it be?

Samuel did not recognize the Lord’s voice, because he had never heard it before. Samuel lay back down. Very soon he was sound asleep again. Once more the Lord looked lovingly at the sleeping Samuel. “Samuel! Samuel!” the Lord said a third time. Samuel opened his eyes. Once more he hurried to Eli. “Here I am,” he said.

Suddenly Eli knew who was calling the boy. “Go back to bed,” Eli said. “If He calls you again, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’”

Samuel’s heart beat fast. Could it really be the Lord speaking to him? Why? Why would the Lord call his name? Samuel went back to bed. But this time he lay there with his eyes wide open. He waited. He listened.

The Lord looked lovingly at the wide-awake Samuel. “Samuel! Samuel!” He said in a gentle voice. And Samuel answered, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

The Lord smiled. He knew that Samuel, even though he was still a child, would listen to Him. Samuel truly wanted to be His helper. God wants you to listen to Him today. He wants you to be His helper too. You listen to Him when you listen to His Bible words. You listen to Him when you learn your memory verse. Listen carefully for God’s words when you read His Bible. They will help you to be His helper every day.