How to Hear from God
For most of my life I was taught that God speaks to us through the Bible, and we speak to him through prayer. Together, these two one-way communication channels can result in a dialogue of sorts. While this is correct, it’s only part of the story. I more recently learned that God can also speak directly to us. This may be in the form of audible words—not that I’ve personally experienced them—God’s voice is more often unmistakable words planted into our minds. When I asked a trusted friend for help, he gave me this advice.
- Block out a half hour to an hour.
- Remove all distractions.
- Have a pen and pad of paper ready.
- Ask God a question and write it on the top of the page.
- Write down everything that comes to mind.
I followed these five steps, and after thirty minutes I had several pages of notes and clarity on my question. What I didn’t have clarity on was if this insight was my own, came from God, or was a combination of the two.
A few weeks later, I tried again. After quieting my own thoughts and shoving them aside, this time I’m quite sure God spoke to me. His words came quicker and the session was shorter. After a few more attempts, I learned what God’s voice is like and how to distinguish his from mine.
Now I regularly talk with God this way, sometimes as a part of prayers or Bible reading, but most often not. We cover everything from major decisions to the trivial.
This is, no doubt, hard to comprehend to those who have never done this or been taught it. Me sharing my experience will certainly not convince anyone, but your own experience can. Give these five steps a sincere effort. It may take a while, require patience, or necessitate some trial and error. But stick with it and you will one day hear from God.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.