When you desire to align your life with God, you first need to hear from Him. I’ve had seasons where I did not feel like I was hearing from God often, and it troubled me. I missed Him, and I wanted to know what I could do.
I went through the usual steps to make sure I wasn’t harboring sin or unforgiveness and was regularly confessing areas of known sin. I was in my quiet place, but I still struggled to hear from God. I felt like my thoughts would not be quiet long enough for me to hear from God at times. Perhaps you’ve experienced something similar.
Two books have made a major impact in my ability to hear from God. The first is John Eldredge’s “Moving Mountains” and especially the “Listening Prayer” chapter. One of the most powerful things I learned was simply asking Jesus what I should pray. Normally I would start right in with giving thanks and praise followed by all of my prayer requests. I would try to hear from God but a lot of times, it was one-way communication.
The other book that has been transformational for me is “4 Keys to Hearing God’s Voice” by Mark Virkler. I also watched a YouTube of his teaching, which was very helpful. His book will thrill the intellectuals of the group. For me, it is a bit of overkill, but I still gleaned a lot from the parts I read.
The biggest thing these books helped me discover was two-way dialogue. So when I begin my prayer time now, I find a quiet place. I still my mind and ask God to allow me to only hear His voice – the voice of the Uncreated. I sometimes try to picture myself with Jesus in a calming setting like near a river in the mountains. Then I ask Him, “Lord what do you have for me today?” or “What should I be praying in regards to this person or this issue?” I then begin writing what comes to mind and the words start to flow. I don’t analyze or try to figure it out as I’m writing. I just write until there’s no more to write. If God is speaking to you, what you write will align with Scripture.
I feel like I have regular two-way communication now with my King. He has given me reluctance where I was ready to plow forward and told me to close a door at least for now. I’m learning to obey and trust He has a purpose in all things even when I don’t understand. His ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8) but He promises to bring good out of all things. (Romans 8:28)