Hearing God's Voice

Listening to God

By Marilyn Pritchard

How do you hear God's voice?

It’s so easy for me to sit down for my “quiet time” and recite a litany of prayer requests, almost as if I’m giving God His marching orders for the day. But if I truly want to have a conversation, to hear His voice as well as my own, I need to force myself to be silent and listen for His “still small voice.”

Getting into listening mode is hard. I’m the check-things-off-my-to-do-list kind of person, but I can’t just set a timer for 20 minutes and consider “listening to God” accomplished when it rings. That’s because listening to God is an attitude of the heart. 

So how do I achieve that attitude? Here are a few ideas gleaned from articles published by Just Between Us over the years. I want to start putting them into practice in my own life, and maybe you can, too.

Cultivate silenceWe need to be comfortable with silence. That may mean eliminating background noise by turning off the radio or TV and unplugging from electronic devices for awhile. Hearing God’s voice doesn’t only happen when you’re having daily devotions. If you listen, you can hear Him when you’re doing the dishes, taking a shower, or waiting for your child to finish soccer practice.

Be in the Word. God reveals His divine will in the Bible. Through it, He speaks to all believers of every time, place, and ethnicity. “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Heb. 4:12, ESV). Reading Scripture and meditating on it puts us in tune with God’s voice.

Journal. Writing down prayers, Scripture verses that speak to you, and quotes from books or devotionals you’re reading is another way of listening to God. You may start to see a pattern in the things you’ve recorded. Alternatively, try journaling how you think God would respond to your prayers. You may be surprised to “hear God’s voice” in your own handwriting!

Make room for worship. Any time we contemplate who God is and what He has done for us, we worship Him. This may be when taking a walk in the woods, listening to a meaningful hymn, or dancing in the aisles in church. If we practice worshipping Him even in the mundane practices of life, we open ourselves up to the Holy Spirit speaking to us. As Elizabeth Barrett Browning once wrote:

“Earth's crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God, But only he who sees takes off his shoes;The rest sit round and pluck blackberries.”

We hope you’ll take time in your busy day-to-day life to listen for God’s voice. Listed below are some more articles from Just Between Us (JBU) that may help you discern whatever message He has for you today.

Browse Topics