First check that the needle isn't bent. (The simplest thing is to try a new needle.) Next check that you have a correctly wound and installed bobbin. The hole should be facing up and the bobbin thread comes off the bobbin to the left. Make sure that you threaded the bobbin correctly (notch A at the center and then to slot B to the left. (About 7 if you have the center front of the bobbin area at 6 on an analog 12-hour clock.) Pull the thread diagonally across the bobbin and then close the faceplate with the thread going through the opening of the slideplate. Hold onto the top thread while trying to bring up the bobbin thread.
If the bobbin thread still will not come up, remove the bobbin and clean the bobbin case. You may want to clean under the case as well, see page 81 of the manual. This is page 83 of the PDF: http://www.singerco.com/uploads/download/652_288-974-972-244-2405-588-875-1195-3130-3140.pdf
.) Do all of the oiling of your machine while you do this maintenance if you haven't done it in a while.
The bobbin case has several parts that combine to provide good bobbin thread behavior. First there is a tension set screw that keeps the bobbin thread at the desired tension. If it is too loose or too tight the thread can't be pulled from the bobbin. (It's easy to strip the threads of the case, so be very careful.)
This is easiest to check on other types of sewing machines with a vertical bobbin case. For those, you remove the bobbin case and thread the bobbin through it correctly. Dangle the bobbin case from the thread (carefully). The bobbin case shouldn't slide on the thread but you should be able to pull out more thread if you hold the center of the bobbin and bobbin case. (Hold gently so that the bobbin turns.)
Next the bobbin race and hook need to grab the bobbin thread and twist it with the top thread. If these are damaged (perhaps by a bent needle), they won't work properly. These are at the back of the bobbin case.
Try replacing the bobbin case or parts of the bobbin case as needed. The Singer 947 is in the same line as the 244 and should use those parts. http://parts.singerco.com/CPpartCharts/2_2999/240_SERIES.pdf
has the parts list. Try contacting a Singer dealer to get the parts. Unfortunately, my usual vendors only seem to list the manual as an available part for this line.
I hope this helps.