The Lord has been highlighting the prophet Samuel to me recently. I believe God is wanting to raise up a generation of Samuels in the coming days.
Samuel, who's name literally means "heard by God", was dedicated to the Lord by his mother Hannah just after he was weaned. This was more than just a ceremony or "baby dedication" like we think of today. Samuel was literally given over to serve the Lord for his whole life. In a similar way, God is looking for those who will give themselves over to Him, those who have felt the call of God burning within and who surrender the right to their own lives unto Him.
The boy Samuel ministered to the Lord and served the priest, Eli. Though Eli had served the Lord, his sons were evil and Eli neglected to discipline or restrain them.
In contrast, Samuel represented everything that was good, holy, and pure, as he lived among people who had no heart for God or His ways. I believe God wants to raise up His Samuels in this generation who are untainted by the evil around them and who remain pure, faithfully serving God in the midst of evil. These Samuels may sometimes feel strangely different and unable to participate in some of the same activities as their friends. They are to be truly set apart unto the Lord, living a lifestyle of purity. This is not a difficult burden, but a glorious privilege. It is a joyful place of intimacy.
When Samuel first heard the Lord's voice he was lying down in the house of the Lord where the ark of God remained. The very presence of God dwelled within the ark, and this was the place of Samuel's first encounter. What a picture of the heart position of the modern day Samuels that God is calling forth! They are to be faithfully and continually ministering unto the Lord, as they dwell in His presence.
One night Samuel was lying down in the house of the Lord, where the ark of God was and received his first call from the Lord. We all know the story, and how he didn't recognize the Lord's voice until Eli instructed him in how to respond. It was after the fourth time the Lord called Samuel in the night that Samuel uttered the words, "Speak, for your servant is listening". (I Sam. 1:10b) This gives us another beautiful picture of the readiness to listen that God is desiring from His modern day Samuels. Because they will set themselves apart for God, they will surrender their ears, but also their eyes, nose, mouth, and hands.
I really sense God is wanting to give us an upgrade in the prophetic realm. But, the upgrade comes with a price. As we give our senses to Him we are to guard the gates to those senses. We are to diligently guard what comes and goes through our senses. Our prophetic flow is greatly affected by what comes and goes through these gates. The pathways of communication we have with God are a gift and to be treated with honor and dignity. Like David, we will say, "I will not look with approval on anything that is vile."(Ps. 101:3) And like Paul, we will say, "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths..."(Eph. 4:29).
Because Samuel walked humbly and obediently God gave him great influence. Sam. 4:1 says, "And Samuel's word came to all Israel." Another verse says, "The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel's words fall to the ground." (I Sam. 3:19)
I believe the Lord is calling forth a generation of Samuel type prophets to take their place in culture today. He is looking for those who will serve faithfully and obediently, doing the tasks that God puts before them. He is calling forth those who will consecrate their lives to Him, bending their ears to hear and their mouths to speak His words with authority, love, and compassion.