Six Ways to Listen for God to Speak


For nearly a year, I’ve been praying for God’s clear direction.

Health problems have drastically changed my life in many ways–my physical and mental abilities, relationships, finances, sleeping and eating habits, how I shop, even whether or not I can leave my house to sit through a movie or go to a crowded restaurant,

It’s been a frustrating yet blessed year. I’ve waited month after month after month, praying for specific answers to specific questions about my “new” life.

Sometimes answers have come. Other times they have not.

These are a few simple things I’ve learned about listening and waiting for God to speak.

  • Read the Bible (Hebrews 8:10-11).

I can almost hear you saying, “Duh.” Everyone says, “Read the Bible.”

Maybe that’s because we don’t always do it–at least to hear what God wants to say to us and not to proof-text our opinion or rationalize our behavior.

When I was in college, the guy I’d been dating for more than a year broke up with me. In a very painful way. Like most college girls, I thought I was going to die. I dove into the Bible searching for all the reasons God should force my boyfriend to come back to me.

Even though he’d made a very obvious choice to move on.

Thank God, he doesn’t always give us what we ask for or force his opinion on us. Fast forward, and I’ve been married for nearly forty years to the greatest guy in the world. God didn’t give me what I wanted back in college. He had a better plan.

What he offered in Scripture was the promise that he was enough in the tough times of my life.

  • Seek counsel from people of God (Proverbs 11:14).

Wise people. People who’ve rode out the storms of life with God for many years.

God to church–no don’t just go, become part of a healthy, active, transparent body of believers. Root yourself in Bible study with them. Learn from their mistakes and their victories. Let them into your life and open your heart to their counsel. God created us for community.

  • Listen for the voice of the Spirit of God (I Thessalonians 5:19-21).

God wants to speak to each of us personally. He does this primarily through his Word and the moving of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. The Spirit of God often moves through promptings, but his voice is always consistent with the Word of God. The moving of the Spirit will be confirmed by the Word of God, God’s people, and wisdom.

  • Wait for confirmation. (Matthew 18:16).

If respected fellow believers caution you against a decision, regard their counsel seriously. The Spirit of God oftenl confirms God’s direction in the lives of fellow believers.

  • Evaluate circumstances and timing (Acts 18:1-3).

The friendship between Priscilla, Aquila, and Paul became one of the most important relationships in the New Testament, Yet, it seems to have occurred because of random circumstances.

One of the most important relationships of my life came into being because of a miraculous convergence of circumstances. God often works behind the scenes. We need to be attentive and discerning.

  • Don’t act until you experience God’s peace (Colossians 3:15). 

Just a few weeks ago, Dan and I were advised that I return to Mayo Clinic to carry out the next segment of my medical treatment. Doctors in my home town felt that the best and most appropriate care for my condition would be found at Mayo.

Dan and I refused the recommendation of my neurologist, and we’ve experienced God’s peace in our decision.

While Mayo Clinic may have been a good choice for others in my position, it was not a good decision for me. God has confirmed it in subsequent conversations, in timing in my being scheduled in an alternate clinic, in the counsel of others, and in the peace we’ve felt in our decision.

I’m overwhelmed that God desires to speak to me–personally–about the details in my life. He WANTS to talk to me. May I long more and more to listen for his whispers in my life.

What about you? Share you experience with us. We’d love to hear from you. 

2 thoughts on “Six Ways to Listen for God to Speak

  1. You have been such a huge part of my spiritual growth, and while my heart hurts for you and all you have endured this past year, over and over God has put your name into my heart. I have woken up at 2:00 am with the clear knowledge I am to pray for you. I do so, then go back to sleep. How wonderful to know that God loves you so much he wakes me up to pray for you! Watching your grace-filled struggle, I get courage to face my own battles.

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