Samuel was ministering to the Lord before Eli during a time when the Lord's word was rare and vision infrequent. Lamp of God was still alive when the Lord called Samuel two times while lying down in the temple of the Lord. The boy responded, “Here I am." Samuel did not yet know the Lord, nor had His word been revealed to him. The third time Eli discerned the Lord was calling Samuel. Eli told him to say, “Speak, Lord, for Thy servant is listening" (1 Sam. 3:1-10). When God starts speaking, listen so you can hear His call.
The Lord said He was going to judge Eli's house forever "because his sons brought a curse on themselves and he did not rebuke them." Furthermore, the iniquity of Eli’s house would not be covered by sacrifice or offering forever (1 Sam. 3:11-14). Fathers protect God's reputation through prayer and obedience.
When Samuel was afraid to tell the vision to Eli, he encouraged him to not hide anything that God spoke. Samuel told him everything;Eli said for Lord to "do what seems good to Him” (1 Sam. 3:15-18). Fathers have responsibility to live authentically so their children can see God.
Samuel grew, Lord was with him and fulfilled His word. All Israel knew he was confirmed as God's prophet. Lord appeared again at Shiloh because He revealed Himself to Samuel (1 Sam. 3:19-21). Fervent prayer by a father will fulfill God's purposes in a family.
Samuel modeled a prayerful relationship with God while Eli underestimated the power of prayer. Samuel listened to God while Eli's ears were dull. Prayer shut up the heavens from giving rain for three and one-half years in Elijah’s day (Jas. 5:17). Prayer opened a barren womb (1 Sam. 1:11), added fifteen years to Hezekiah’s life (Is. 38:5), stopped the sun so that Israel could finish a battle in the valley of Ajalon (Jos. 10:12) and unlocked the prison bars so that Peter could escape (Acts 12:5). Prayer is powerful because God is powerful. All of heaven’s resources are accessible to His children by means of prayer.
Follow these three steps, especially fathers:
1. Get yourself in a place of rest so you can hear God by confessing sin and removing distractions (television, technology, work, hobbies, etc.).
2. Pray God's word back to Him.
3. Pray what's on your heart believing "He is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us" (Eph. 3:20-21).