How To Hear The Voice Of God

*Disclaimer: This article comes from my personal relationship with Christ, books I have read, experiences I have had and  learned from others.*

Tuning Into His Will

For while now, God has put this article on my heart to share. I’ve been a Christian for over ten years. During that time I have come to learn a lot of topics concerning faith, spirituality and connecting with God on a personal basis. Many people believe that hearing God’s voice, or having a relationship with Him, is out of their reach for various reasons. Some cite sin being a factor. Others say they don’t know how, they were never taught, or they tried and it “didn’t work”. I want to explain to you, my reader, whether you’re a Christian or not, how you can connect one-on-one with God and hear His voice daily.

Let me start out by saying that you will probably not hear His voice audibly, though it has happened! I don’t cross off any way that God chooses to move in someone’s life, as my “theology” or knowledge doesn’t control God’s actions. I have listed several different ways that God speaks to us, using the Bible as my source. Some of these ways you may not have encountered before, while others you may have already seen active in your life and just never knew it was God.

I am a very practical person, so even in my spiritual life I want to understand how things work and what method works over others. In turn, this has led me to the obvious two ways that God speaks to us, through the Bible and prayer.

No brainer right? You might have seen that coming.

His Voice In His Word

The second primary Greek word that describes Scripture is rhema, which refers to a word that is spoken and means “an utterance.” A rhema is a verse or portion of Scripture that the Holy Spirit brings to our attention with application to a current situation or need for direction.

Okay, so let’s start with the most basic and common way that God speaks to His children. We see here in John 10 that Jesus explains that only His children hear His voice and follow Him. Those that do not heed His voice are not His children or sons/daughters of God.

John 10:24-27
24 The people surrounded him and asked, “How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”

25 Jesus replied, “I have already told you, and you don’t believe me. The proof is the work I do in My Father’s name. 26 But you don’t believe me because you are not My sheep. 27 My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me.

As you read the Bible, it comes alive. At seventeen I was introduced to Christ at a high school bible club and I began to read the Bible not because someone told me to, but because I truly wanted to. The words in that book came alive to me, and since I had nobody to tell me otherwise, I believed every word written in it! I never understood the whole argument “Do you take the Bible literally?”. Of course I do! Do I use my mind to seek out answers that I don’t understand? Yes. Yet, if you are constantly questioning God in His own Word, it’s difficult to understand His voice. There may be things that you don’t understand, but that doesn’t mean that His word is a lie.

Let God speak to you through His holy book. Every word in the Bible will speak to your situation, troubles, issues and mistakes. You will become a wiser, better person the more you read it and practice it’s principles. That’s the main way God will speak to you, so read your bible and don’t expect others to read it for you.

His Voice Through Prayer

Most people say that they heard the voice of God through a time of intimate prayer. Whether it’s a word of encouragement, guidance, or a revelation of His mysteries, it happened because they spent time with Him. I wrote in more detail on the power of prayer in another article.

Prayer is not about speaking aloud a certain script from a book, or repeating the same words over and over. God is looking for those who pray in spirit and truth (John 4:24). We must go to Him with an open and honest heart. He isn’t looking at how well our words sound, the vocabulary we use or how long we can repeat a prayer from a book. When you pray, you need to be completely open and honest with Him to hear His voice.

The most powerful times of prayer for me, when I have felt His presence the strongest, are when I am just thanking Him for all He has done in my life and being silent and listening. Did I hear an audible voice? No. Did I hear His still small voice guiding me, telling me what decision to make or giving me comfort through His peace in my heart? Yes. (1 Kings 19:12)

Everyone is different, but I will give you an example from a personal experience. Your own may vary.

Years ago, I used to only pray to God as Lord or Savior, but I didn’t feel comfortable calling Him Father. The lack of a father in my own life definitely contributed to that feeling, so when I would pray I didn’t want to call Him Father, because I didn’t see Him as Father, only as Lord. At night, as I was in prayer for some time, I heard Him tell me clearly “Why are you only calling Me Lord or Savior or God? I am your Father, call Me Father.” Now, I am not saying you cannot call Him God or Lord or Savior, but God was teaching me an important lesson I needed to be delivered from the fact that I didn’t see Him as Father, but as a far away God who I thought I couldn’t have a relationship with.

1 Corinthians 8:6
6 But for us, there is one God, the Father, by whom all things were created, and for whom we live. And there is one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things were created, and through whom we live.

Prayer needs to be intentional, not a routine or something you are forcing yourself to do. Forget about how long or how short it should be. It’s about spending intimate time with Him. Prayer is just like any relationship. If you’re dating someone or you’re married, you cannot listen to them if you don’t spend time with them. Prayer is a dialogue! It’s not about you blabbering to God, but you need to listen to His response!

“But, Mike, I don’t hear anything! I don’t know what you’re talking about. God is silent to me.” That may be true, but maybe you’re not looking in the right places. Surround yourself with His word, be open to what your pastor is preaching on, or while you are about your day be receptive. Reflect on how your day went, and look for hints or patterns you are suddenly seeing, that show that God is speaking to you.

Experiencing His Presence

If you’re asking God for more patience, then suddenly you’re being pressured to have patience at your job, perhaps God is giving you an opportunity to be patient. Maybe you’re praying about having more obedience to His word and will, then you are put in a situation where you have to be obedient to your parents, boss or spouse.

Look for God and listen to His voice in the twenty-four hours you have throughout the day. Even in dreams He will speak to some, or maybe through a video game! There could be a situation that relates to what you are going through in that game, and God will remind you as you play.

Here is a quick, practical list of common ways that God may speak to you. I am not going to elaborate on every one of these, as it would become a book, and I am at over 1,400 plus words in this article already!

  • Dreams. Acts 2:17
  • Visions (seeing images in your mind or with your eyes open that relate to something in your life or someone else’s).
  • A pastor or spiritual leader.
  • A prophetic word from an ordained prophet or someone praying through the gift of prophecy. 1 Tim. 4:14
  • A spiritual book that talks about a different spiritual topic.

*I have learned MUCH from the ministry of Joyce Meyer. Please check out her book, it will go into so much more detail than I ever can. If you want to learn more on this topic from a true biblical teacher of the word of God, you need to read this book!*

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Do not put limits on how God can and will speak to you. The only one that can put a cap on His glory, presence and power in your life is you.

How has God spoken to you? What examples could you share? Let us know so we can learn from each other in the comments!

Michael M.

Michael is a child of God, husband, teacher, business owner, anime lover and a life long gamer. When not conquering distant world's via console, he can be found reading, watching anime or Netflix, writing, or just enjoying life as a geek in the city of Miami. He aspires to travel to Japan and possibly...never leave.

8 Comments

  1. Ciarraib95 on March 5, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    A really great article! Thanks for sharing your experiences.
    I used to ‘hear’ God speak to me through everyday things, particularly when reading either the Bible or other books, listening to music was a major source for God’s guidance and comfort as music has always been a big part of my life. Sometimes like you mentioned I just see patterns emerge. Lots of different people will say similar things to me that relate to my situation even though they don’t know it. I have recently ask Jesus BACK into my life after years of trying to do everything on my own. I tend to ‘hear’ God through my new pastor, and a new friendship I have made (he helped me find God again and is mentoring me). I’m excited to see how else God will use my surroundings to speak to me. Does anyone else ever get excited to hear God speak to you? It makes me feel loved and cherished That He would put so much effort into teaching and guiding me.

    • Michael M. on March 6, 2015 at 12:53 am

      Hi Ciarraib95, thanks for that comment! Comments like yours is why I write these articles 🙂

      That’s great that you gave your life back to Christ. Never leave His side, He will never leave yours. Doing everything on your own will always lead to destruction and failure. With Him, you will see success in every area of your life when you dedicate them to Him and ask Him for wisdom in that area (relationships, health, spirit, work, school, etc.) I know because I’ve seen fruit in ALL those areas because of wisdom and guidance through God and those He’s led me to.

      I get super excited to hear God’s voice. Just heard Him speak to me last night in prayer, that it was a new season for answered prayers in my familys life (my wife and I). His voice is always open to those who hear.

      • Ciarraib95 on March 6, 2015 at 3:24 am

        Thanks for the encouragement Michael. 🙂

  2. Aaron on October 28, 2014 at 4:55 am

    This article does not do a proper exegesis. Sorry. The verses are out of context. Read Decision Making and the Will of God by Garry Friesen. It seems like God only speaks in audible voices. And, no character in the Bible ever seeks out God’s direction, God always goes up to them.

    • Michael M. on October 28, 2014 at 9:53 am

      Hi Aaron, thanks for checking out my article. I don’t see how the verses were out of context, if you could tell me how. Also, I did state in the beginning that is rare to hear God’s audible voice, though you will hear His voice in your heart as a still small voice (1 Kings 19:12).

      In the bible, many people (not characters, as the bible is based on true events that happened) are spoken to directly by God, yes, I 100% agree with you. Though, many times they themselves have to seek God for wisdom. King David, in most of the psalms he wrote (he didn’t write them all) is seeking God and asking Him for protection, guidance, and other things.

      Even our Lord Jesus Christ spent hours, and hours, and hours in prayer even all night long seeking God’s wisdom and peace before going to minister or making a decision (like choosing the 12 Apostles, which took him all night in prayer). This shows that we have to seek His face in our own personal time of prayer. I am not saying that you are like this, but many people are always “waiting on God” instead of going to His presence and seeking Him themselves.

      Jeremiah 29:11-14 New Living Translation (NLT)

      11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 In those days when you pray, I will listen. 13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. 14 I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.”

      Look at verse 12 most importantly. Seek Him first, and then He will listen.

      God bless you Aaron, let me know if I can be of service to you or even pray for you, and everything I shared was out of love not sarcasm. Take care.

  3. Wesley Wood on October 23, 2014 at 5:29 am

    Weird story but when I pray out loud to God and ask Him to make the answer clear as day so I know what the right thing to do is, I will get complete peace. Not always as there are other ways that He speaks but peace is His way of saying yes to me about something. It is unlike anything else I have ever felt and I love it.

  4. Mikaela Johansson on October 22, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    Most often I hear the voice of God like you are describing it but one time I got a postcard from God. Jup – a postcard.

    This was several years ago, I was 16 years old and had my first (over-the-summer) job ever. This was also two years after I found God and started believing and I was staring to doubt his existence. I don’t remember how much I prayed or how long it took from “prayer to answer” but I remember finally saying to God “Either something happens that show your existence, or I’m giving this up!” and one rainy morning He answered.

    Since it was raining I choose to walk a different way to work, in stead of going through the closest tunnel I walked a bit further in a roofed walked way and ended up in a different tunnel. There on the wall I saw a postcard.

    It had a picture of a baptism font and the words “Commit thy way unto Jehovah; Trust also in him, and he will bring it to pass” (ASV).
    Those are also the words written down in my bible by my priest after my confirmation time, so they have a special meaning to me.

    I actually didn’t think much of it when I walked past, but as the day went by I realised that God had actually answered my prayer. I hurried home and the postcard was still there.

    Today it’s safely tucked away in my bible as a reminder that when I called upon God he sent me a postcard!

    • Michael M. on October 22, 2014 at 11:20 pm

      Very cool story Mikaela, thanks for sharing it. There are so many ways God speaks to us, and I didn’t even go into the supernatural ways throughout scripture and modern examples. Thanks for sharing ! 🙂

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