How can I hear God speaking to me?
Different people hear God speak in different ways, but there are various methods you can try if you’re not able to hear his voice at the moment or have never heard it.
Some people seem to be able to hear God all the time as they walk around the supermarket, take a shower and walk the dog, while other people rarely or never hear him. Don’t panic if you fall into the latter category… help is at hand! Here are our top tips for hearing from the Lord directly.
Read the Word
The Bible is filled with stories of people who heard God’s voice, sometimes audibly and sometimes in their hearts via the Holy Spirit. God didn’t suddenly decide to stop speaking once the Bible was complete, so there is no reason why you can’t also hear his voice. Look for examples in the Word of people hearing from him, then follow their advice. Ask God to speak to you through scripture as you read. Take a short passage, read it slowly, unpick it, read it again and then spend time praying and meditating on it. God’s Word is still alive today, so it’s a great starting point.
“But he answered, ‘It is written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God”’” (Matthew 4:4, ESV).
Practise the presence of God
This idea was explored in depth by Brother Lawrence, a seventeenth-century Benedictine monk, and it involves including God in every part of your day. That means focusing on him even while you’re doing the most mundane of things like washing dishes or ironing. Talk to him at all times. Share your life with him. Speak to him as if he’s your closest friend, then listen carefully for his response. The more time you spend with him the more in-tune you will be and the more likely you are to hear his voice.
“My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God” (Proverbs 2:1-5, ESV).
Spend time in prayer
If you don’t make time to speak to God it’s unlikely you’ll make time to hear from him. You can talk to him at any time, but it’s best to go somewhere quiet, away from any distractions, if you want to hear him speak. A secluded room may be helpful for some, while others prefer to get out into the great outdoors. Do whatever works for you, then speak to God about whatever is on your heart. Leave plenty of space for him to respond and listen attentively, pushing other thoughts aside. Keep an open mind – he may speak to you audibly, in your spirit, through your surroundings or even through another person. He may simply bring a scripture into your mind that will give you the guidance you’re looking for.
“Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known” (Jeremiah 33:3, ESV).
Sometimes when we’re turning our hand to something creative God is able to speak to us through it, for example in making music, painting a picture, baking a cake or writing poetry. He may bring relevant words into your mind or give you a picture of something deeply profound as you work. Allow him to speak through whatever you are creating. He is your creator God, and he can use creative means to speak into your life.
“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13, ESV).
If you’re still struggling to hear his voice, ask someone you know and trust to pray for you, asking that you will be able to hear what he is saying. He wants to communicate with you, so don’t give up hope!