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Prayers for God’s Leading: 1 Samuel 16:1-13

Shaping a time of prayer for dwelling with Bible texts, prayer responses, songs of faith, and a concluding benediction.

Orienting Scripture Text

The human mind plans the way,
     but the Lord directs the steps. -Proverbs 16:9

Quiet Reflection



Sovereign Lord,
I take comfort in the knowledge
that your purpose will prevail.
Quiet my heart
with the assurance of your love
and of your greatness, presence, and power.

Central Scripture Text: 1 Samuel 16:1–13

The Lord said to Samuel,
      “How long will you grieve over Saul?
I have rejected him from being king over Israel.
      Fill your horn with oil and set out;
I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite,
      for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.”
Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears of it, he will kill me.”
      And the Lord said, “Take a heifer with you, and say,
'I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’
      Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do;
and you shall anoint for me the one whom I name to you.”
      Samuel did what the Lord commanded, and came to Bethlehem.
The elders of the city came to meet him trembling, and said,
      “Do you come peaceably?”
He said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord;
      sanctify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.”
And he sanctified Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought,
      “Surely the Lord’s anointed is now before the Lord.”
But the Lord said to Samuel,
      “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature,
because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see;
      they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel.
      He said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.”
Then Jesse made Shammah pass by.
      And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.”
Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel,
      and Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen any of these.”
Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?”
      And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but he is keeping the sheep.”
And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him;
      for we will not sit down until he comes here.”
He sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes,
      and was handsome. The Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; for this is the one.”
Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the presence of his brothers;
      and the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward.
Samuel then set out and went to Ramah. -1 Samuel 16:1-13


Almighty God, you are great, and I am small.
You see straight through to the heart, but my eyes are often fixed upon myself, my doubts, and my challenges.
Sometimes these seem so big, and you seem so small.
Forgive me. Reverse my mind. Remind me each day of your greatness, power, and supremacy.
Increase my faith and my trust in you.
Give me a mind equipped to discern your will for my life.
Gracious God, please walk with me each day. Calm my fears and frustrations.
Help me to fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith.
In his name I pray, amen.

-Rev. Scott Greenway

Quiet Reflection


Musical Reflections  

  • Calvin College Alumni Choir: "My Shepherd Will Supply My Need," arr. Virgil Thomson (Calvin College Alumni Choir, Pearl Shangkuan, conductor; Kenneth Bos, accompanist)

  • The Choral Scholars: "Pelas dores deste mundo / Imploramos tu Piedad / For the Troubles" (The Choral Scholars with Norma de Waal Malefyt and Greg Scheer)


May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. —Romans 15:13