Prayer, Plain and Simple

Prayer, Plain and Simple


God Talks Too IV

posted by Mark Herringshaw

Are there ways we can increase our likelihood of hearing God speak? I think so. In Nine Ways God Always Speaks, I offer the following:

What’s the difference between those who hear him and those who don’t? It’s as simple as how they listen. We know what you’re thinking. “I listen, but I never hear him.” Okay, we hear you. But frankly, how hard, how intentionally do you listen?

·         When you read the Bible, do you assume what you’re reading applies to you and try to figure out what God is saying to you personally?

·         When you have a stray thought, do you explore it to see if God somehow put it there for a reason?

·         When you wake up after a particularly vivid dream, do you pray asking God what he was trying to tell you?

·         When a friend says something more direct and personal than usual, do you wonder if God could be behind her words?

·         When an unlikely series of events happens, do you assume God arranged them for a reason and try to discover his purpose?

·         Do you examine your history, your environment, and your emotions to see what you can learn from them?

That is listening.

Listening is an active awareness of what is happening around you and an intentional pursuit of God’s voice. Many of us wrongly assume we haven’t heard God unless we’ve heard a James Earl Jones type voice amplified through the clouds. If you think that’s the only way you will hear him, it is the only way you will hear him. But here’s a hint–it’s not one of the ways he always speaks, likely it’s one of the ways he rarely speaks.

To hear God, we have to believe he wants to communicate with us. That doesn’t take a huge amount of faith, but it takes at least a drop. The people who hear from God all have a drop of that faith.

 What are some ways you increase your likelihood of hearing and understanding God?

 



  • Heretic_for_Christ

    All of this advice is based on the dubious premise that God is an external superbeing who inserts secret messages in the Bible, in dreams, in stray thoughts.
    That is not the God I believe in.
    God, to me, is a spiritual presence within, not a Santa Claus-cum-Zeus in the sky, pulling strings in the physical world, issuing blessings, and hurling thunderbolts. The spiritual presence of God is manifest not in magical deeds (sorry, “miracles”) but in our capacity and willingness to act with rationality, courage, creativity, compassion, and love (as in being known by our fruits–our acts, not the doctrines we proclaim). The reason we can’t “hear the voice of God” (or see the light of God) is that we are looking for God outside ourselves, and finding mainly silence and darkness–because God isn’t out there. Meanwhile, we don’t notice God within ourselves because we keep the voice and light of God’s presence within us buried under thick layers of guilt, fear, anger, and other baggage. When we let go of whatever has been stifling the voice and cloaking the light of God, we hear and see clearly.

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