One thing almost all Christians will admit to wanting is to hear the voice of God. But how does He speak to us? Can you learn to listen to God’s voice? Are you ready to learn how to listen to God?
Our lives today are noisy and busy. Our calendars are packed full of appointments and meetings. Plus, our schedules have us rushing through the school pick-up line to the grocery store and back home again!
To further exacerbate the situation, we have 24/7 distractions. Your favorite show can be streamed any time of day, your social media feed never goes offline, and the news never stops reporting.
How can we expect to “hear” from God with all of this happening? Our prayers come across as one-way streets. We lift up our voice and petition God for everything we feel we need and want and then effectively “hang up.”
However, learning to listen to God and discern His voice is probably one of the most critical aspects of your discipleship.
Take a moment to pray before continuing with this article. Ask God to open your heart and your ears to His “voice.” Ask yourself what it means to listen to God. What do you want to achieve?
Learn today the importance and benefits of listening to God’s voice, understand who God talks to and what stops you from hearing Him, and find out how you can hear God!
You will also understand the connection between prayer and listening to God. Best of all, we will give you 11 ways to listen to God in everyday life!
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. – Romans 10:17 (NIV)
Table of Contents
The Importance of Listening to God
You might ask yourself, why is it important to listen to God? Can you be a good Christian without actually hearing what God is saying to you?
Listening is processing what we hear. There is noise all around us, all of the time. The truth is that you don’t listen to most of it! In fact, statistics show that of our communication time, only about 55% of it is spent listening.
When we actively listen, we’re starting to understand what we hear rather than merely responding to it.
Listening to God is important because it is the only way we learn to recognize God’s influence in our lives!
Who God Speaks to Is Important.
It is vital to understand who God speaks to. So, you’re probably wondering, how can I listen to God’s voice, and who is He speaking to?
You might be surprised to learn that He talks to EVERYONE. He talks to me; He talks to you; He talks to the neighbor whose dog kept you up all night. God is communicating with all of us!
Hearing from God is not limited to “spiritually chosen” individuals! God wants you to hear Him and listen to what He tells YOU!
The Factors that Deafen Us are Important.
Another important aspect of listening to God is recognizing what stops us from hearing Him! What?!?
Think about your favorite musician. The first time you heard them on the radio, you probably didn’t even listen!
It might have been the second or the third time you heard their song that you finally listened to the music. The fourth time you heard it, you listened to the words. Only after the fifth or sixth time you heard this artist did you start to recognize their voice or sound!
Listening to God is the same! But it’s of critical importance that we recognize what is “blocking” our ears!
YOU Stop Yourself from Listening to God’s Voice.
That’s right; your voice drowns out most of what God is trying to tell you. Your voice might come across as logical and analytical.
This is the opposite of God. When you discern God’s voice, you will see that He is miraculous and out-of-the-box! He is wise and understanding.
Memorize Bible verses about listening to God. Some favorites are listed here!
Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. – James 1:19 (NIV)
He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the Word of God and obey it.” – Luke 11:28 (NIV)
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will go in and eat with him, and he with Me! – Revelations 3:20 (NIV)
Satan Stops You from Listening to God’s Voice.
This is another big one! Satan is always at work, trying to distract you. His voice will come across as negative and destructive. He will condemn you and make you feel guilty.
This is not like God. God speaks love and encouragement! The Lord speaks life and joy and peace! He will convict but not condemn.
He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God. – John 8:47 (NIV)
The Benefits of Listening to God
OK. So, if listening to God is so important, there must be some awesome benefits included, right?
The Bible is full of scripture on listening to God and what happens when a believer does! It is unbelievable and miraculous when you see the work of the Spirit!
Benefit #1 – You Will Grow in Wisdom.
God is the source of all wisdom. James 1:5 tells us that if we lack wisdom, we must just ask God! Proverbs 2 tells us that wisdom comes from the Lord! Proverbs is full of “listening to God” Bible verses that you can study to deepen your understanding of this topic!
No one is smarter than God! By listening to God, we will grow in wisdom!
Benefit #2 – You Will Learn Your Calling.
Think about it; can you really answer a phone that you don’t hear ringing? God is calling YOU; in fact, He has called EACH of us to build His kingdom, but you can’t KNOW what He wants from you if you aren’t listening to Him!
Related: How to Know Your Spiritual Calling
The One who calls you is faithful, and He will do it. – 1 Thessalonians 5:19 (NIV)
Benefit #3 – Listening to God Keeps You From Straying.
If you focus on God’s voice, it will be easier to stay on a straight and narrow path! If you think about a heart, dream about a heart, and desire a heart, the chances of you noticing a heart today increase!
The same principle applies to your spiritual walk. If you are thinking about God’s voice, dreaming about God’s voice, and wanting to hear God’s voice, you have a greater chance of noticing God’s voice when He speaks to you!
But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written, “Be holy, because I am holy.” – 1 Peter 1:15-16 (NIV)
Benefit #4 – Listening to God will Change You.
You can’t encounter the Holy Spirit and be unchanged. When you walk daily in His presence, you will see a difference.
The Holy Spirit is sent to guide and instruct us. You will become a different person when your internal radio is tuned in to His frequency. You will become the person He created you to be!
Write down the verses about listening to God found in this article! Keep them handy and visible!
“I revealed Myself to those who did not ask for Me; I was found by those who did not seek Me. To a nation that did not call on My name, I said, ‘Here am I, here am I.’” – Isaiah 65:1 (NIV)
How to Listen to God
Learning how to listen to God’s voice is not a checklist of things you get done before He speaks to you. It is NOT like getting ready for work or starting a DIY project.
Preparing your heart to hear God is a lifestyle you seek to develop! You can add this to your spiritual goals, but it is a constant state of living in the presence of God!
How can we listen to God, and how can we know that He is speaking to us? Well, one thing we can know for sure is that He is always seeking to communicate with us!
Do not expect that He will only do so once you’ve marked everything off on the list because He can and does “talk” to us at any time!
These are ways to prepare or condition your spirit to recognize when God is speaking!
#1. Be Close to God (Fix Your Receivers).
You need to be close to God. You need to develop a personal relationship with Him! Get your spiritual receivers tuned in to His station. There are so many ways you can work towards building a relationship with God today!
#2. Give God the Authority.
Pray and declare that the Lord has the authority over your spirit! Permit Him to communicate with you! Galatians 5:25 says that if we live by the Spirit, we should also walk by the Spirit.
You have to let go of control of your life by handing it over to God! You need to declare that you want to hear from God openly and that you are listening!
#3. Study the Word of God.
John 1:1 tells us that Jesus Christ is the Word! If you want to hear from God, read His Word; often, He will communicate with us directly from the Bible! You can learn how to listen to the Word of God by simply reading the Bible!
Look at Bible verses about listening to God and not man, such as Acts 5:29!
Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings.” – Acts 5:29 (NIV)
#4. Be Still.
Practice being silent and listening to God! Get away from the noise and distractions. Be still in the presence of God. Stop keeping a full schedule and make time for God.
Use your quiet time to hear God speaking.
#5. Consider Your Motives.
Why do you want to hear from God? Do you want clarity? Are you in need of comfort?
Are you seeking an opportunity to boast? Do you want to be made to feel special?
Consider your motives when listening to God! If your motives are selfish, materialistic, or prideful, your own thoughts can block out God! One way that you can do this is by always seeking God and His will first!
#6. Don’t Force Your Will.
You cannot force God’s will to match your own. If you want to listen to God, you need to be prepared to hear anything and everything He wants to tell you.
There may be times that God reveals truths that you didn’t want to hear or prophecies that seem scary. When listening to God, you need to hear to understand, not to respond.
God is Spirit, and His worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth. – John 4:24 (NIV)
#7. Practice Active Listening.
You need to practice active listening in your daily life. When you communicate with others, do you seek to understand what they are saying, or are you waiting for your opportunity to talk?
Pay attention when others are talking, and notice how you respond! Learn from this and apply it to the way you pray!
There are many ways to practice being a good listener!
#8. Obey God.
Obedience is key to our relationship with God. God says we cannot truly claim to know Him if we are not living in obedience to His Word. If you expect to communicate with God, you need to know Him. If you want to know Him, you need to obey Him.
The man who says, “I know Him” but does not do what He commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But, if anyone obeys His word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in Him: Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did. – 1 John 2:4-6 (NIV)
#9. Respond when God Speaks.
Have you ever spoken to someone who ignores you? You probably stop talking in this situation.
You can imagine it is similar with God. He continuously works to communicate with us. Yet, if we ignore His calling, He will stop knocking at our door!
When you realize that God has communicated with you, respond! You can take action by getting involved. Give Him praise and honor and worship!
You can sing, dance, or write it out; just do something to let Him know you heard Him!
#10. Serve the Lord.
Yes, God will communicate with you to provide you comfort and encouragement. He will also communicate the needs of other believers and His kingdom with you.
Use the gifts God has blessed you with to serve. When you live out a life of servitude for the Lord, you become closer to Him! He then uses you for His glory!
The next time you pray in the presence of the Lord, write down anything He reveals to you. Even if you are unsure about it, write it down.
You should write down any thoughts, scripture, images, names, songs, and feelings! You will start to recognize when a repetitive thought or theme keeps coming up!
Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. – Psalm 37:4 (NIV)
How God Communicates with Us
You have prayed and worshiped. You’re following God’s Word. However, you are now asking yourself, ‘How can I hear God’s voice?’ That’s a good question; so, how do you hear God’s voice?
There are many ways in which God communicates with us. It is important to remember that God is not limited. We are the ones who place limitations on the ways He can communicate with us!
Remember that God will never contradict Himself. If what you are feeling or hearing goes against His Word, it is NOT from Him. He will never call you to break His laws.
If what you are hearing is condemning to yourself or harmful to others, seek counsel from a pastor or elder you trust! They may be able to discern what God is trying to say more clearly.
Interesting Ways God Communicates with Us
Here are just some of the amazing ways God can communicate with you today! Take note of some amazing quotes about listening to God’s voice!
While it is not often, many have heard God speak as clearly as someone standing next to them.
“You have to be near Him to hear Him.” – Jared Brock
Some believers have expressed seeing things so clearly that it is almost real!
Our dreams are very significant in communicating with God. It is a state at which we are most vulnerable. If you wake up with a vivid dream, be sure to write it down while it’s fresh in your mind!
Have you ever seen something you almost cannot believe? God shows us so much through these events. Healings are just one example. Avoiding an accident that you were sure was going to happen is another.
God speaks to us through a “still, small voice” at times. This can often be confused with our own thoughts. God’s communication through our thoughts will most likely seem different from our normal strain of thought, so tune in to it!
“The inner voice is the divine voice of God.” – Laila Gifty Akita
God speaks to us through other believers! God will use other believers to provide prophecy, scripture, and words of encouragement to each other!
“You have to take Bible prophecy literally, just like everything else in the Bible.” – Tim LaHaye
This is that nagging feeling you get in the pit of your stomach. It is often what lets you know if something is right or wrong! This is another way God communicates with us. A strong sense of discernment is also a spiritual gift!
To desire something and to covet something are not the same. If you feel a strong desire for a career or a strong desire to get involved with a ministry, this could be God speaking to you. Do not disregard healthy things you enjoy or desire!
God often communicates with us through imagery. This could be a photograph, a movie scene, a painting, or a desire to draw something. Allow these creative outlets to expand your communication with our Lord!
You can hear God in music! Not just songs with words, but the actual melody and beat of a song. This music can speak straight to your spirit.
There is a reason so many people are drawn to camping and hiking. God reaches out to us through the beauty of His creation. A tree can inspire you to pray for another believer, and a stream of water can give you the impulse that someone is thirsting for God!
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. – John 10:27 (KJV)
Examples of God Communicating in the Bible
The most famous example of someone hearing God in the Bible is 1 Samuel chapter 3. In this story, Samuel heard God speaking to him audibly. Like so many of us, he was confused at first and kept thinking his teacher was calling him!
Exodus 3 gives us an ideal example of God using a miraculous event to communicate. Moses experienced the presence of God through a burning bush. God can still reach out to us with miraculous events today.
In Daniel 4, we are given an example of how God communicates through dreams. Daniel was able to interpret the king’s dream and warn him accurately!
In Matthew, we see God spoke to Mary through an angel!
Do not put limits on God’s communication!
Resources to Help You Learn How to Listen to God
If you want to dig deeper into the Word of God and study ways to hear God’s voice, try a FREE topical Bible study! How to Hear God’s Voice by Jason Taylor and Mike Kettunen will guide you through the Bible and strengthen your listening skills!
Priscilla Shirer will speak truth and inspiration in her videos about listening to God! Take time to go through her two-part series to hear God. Learn how your spiritual posturing and attitude play a part in Priscilla Shirer: Hearing the Voice of God (Part 1).
How to Listen to God will show you why God wants to communicate with you and how He is working to get your attention!
How to Hear God’s Voice is an amazing book that will help teach you to be still in His presence, become more intimate in prayer, and how to journal your prayers!
How to Hear God – 10 Ways God Speaks takes the mystery out of hearing God through step-by-step instructions!
How to Hear God’s Voice: The Keys to a Conversational Relationship with the Lord will remind you that while people and the world have changed, God hasn’t! He is still speaking to His people! Learn how to turn your prayers into a two-way street!
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Hear God’s Voice?
God can communicate audibly with us. You can learn to hear His voice by recognizing your own internal voice as well as Satan’s. Then you learn to be still in the presence of God. By doing these things, you can cut through the noise around you and in your thoughts until only God’s voice remains.
How Can I Listen to God in Silence?
You need to train your brain to be still. Learn how to sit still and listen to God. Your brain is naturally wired to be busy. The world teaches us that being still is unproductive. Train yourself to recognize that time spent in God’s presence is productive!
How Do You Know When God Speaks to You?
When you communicate with God, you will feel strongly towards a specific topic or person. You will have thoughts that line up with the Word of God and emotions that are outside of your logical, emotional pattern. You will feel confident in your thoughts and decisions.
How Do I Know What God Wants Me to Do?
God will never ask you to do anything that contradicts His Word. His Word is infallible, and God will not go against His nature. If what you feel you should do is in line with God’s Word, but you are still unsure, pray for clarity. Remember that God is not limited in the ways He communicates with us.
How Can I Concentrate While Praying?
Praying is a discipline. It takes time and practice. Try to find a time to pray when you know your distractions will be fewer. Also, do a brain dump (purge your mind on paper) before you begin praying. This will help empty your mind of unnecessary thoughts.
You should now have a better understanding of how to listen to God, and you should know that communicating with God is a key and critical factor in your spiritual growth.
Try using a journal to keep track of any “nudges” you feel. This is just one of many suggestions to get you on the right track!
These ideas should help you grow closer to God while learning how to hear His voice above all the noise. Also, studying your Bible will help keep you aware of His Word and His ways!
Remember that preparing your heart to hear God is a lifestyle choice, not a checklist. God can communicate with you in various ways at any time! Always be prepared to hear from God!
We pray that God continues to bless you as you seek to grow closer to Him and develop a more intimate relationship! We pray that these ideas will enlighten you!
Has God ever communicated clearly with you? How do you listen to God? Please share with us your experience in listening to God! Also, remember to share this article with friends and family!