prayerideas3

Hearing God’s Voice So You Can Follow God’s Direction

Hearing God’s voice is something we can all learn how to do and is important because it’s the only way to follow God’s lead.  Hearing God’s voice has helped guide me through some very difficult life problems.  Here are some ideas for you.

Hearing God’s voice starts when you overcome your compulsion to be absolutely sure how things will turn out before you take the first step.

I have always been a person who moved very slowly and carefully when making changes in my life.  I often times don’t know why I am so slow to change, maybe it’s a part of the perfectionistic behavior that I developed as a child. Afraid to act on something until I am absolutely sure it would give me perfect results.

Finally, several years ago after spending 21 years in a church where I never quite felt at home, I made a decision to leave the church and to seek a church home that would be closer to where I lived and would be smaller and more like me in personality. That church ended up being less than 3 miles from my home, just the perfect fit for me and my family.

Hearing God’s voice grows as you grow in your relationship with God.

 My new church ended up being a great teacher and an even greater resource in times of storms. It taught me the importance of spending time with God and how to start off with just a few minutes. That was really the beginning of my knowing God personally and how to hear from him.   Little did I know that he was preparing me to face the biggest crises of my family’s life and that was facing mental illness.

Escape distractions to connect with God   

Because of the mental health situation in our family, each morning I awoke knowing my life would be interrupted.  I would get up automatically at least an hour before anyone else and could be sure that no one would bother me.    I stole a quiet area in my house where there was no noise, no bodies, no phone calls or responsibilities.

All I had to do at this time was to meet the Lord with my journal, my Bible, my inspirational material and my desire to meet him with my needs.  At first that is the only connection I had was what I needed from him.    I spent time in quiet communication with God.  I often prayed for healing of my loved one.  I waited for the Lord to give me answers to my prayers during those early morning times.

Listen for God’s voice later if you don’t hear right away.

I can almost say that God never gave me a word during that specific moment or during that early morning quiet time.  But often times in a later time in the day, I would hear from him. I recall hearing from him while pensively washing the dishes, or sitting quietly somewhere.  Unexpectedly  I would get a word, direction or idea about something I had brought to him earlier in the day.

You can recognize if you’re hearing God’s voice by the clarity it brings.

I knew the thoughts and ideas I was getting were divine, because it was always something awesome, or it would bring clarity to something very jumbled in my head.  Those times were very important to me at a time when I needed to feel empowered to move in the right direction with something we knew little about.

Let God show you how to unplug. 

Although I was praying about a life situation, I began to notice that God was telling me things that also answered some questions I had always had about myself.  Why God made me like I am.  Why did I always prefer a quiet environment, to be surrounded by quietness and stillness as opposed to the noise voices of the TV or radio.  Even in the car, I would much rather experience the quietness than listening to the radio.    I finally realized that it was so that I could hear God’s voice clearly.

Listen for God to answer you with a life example that provides an analogy to help you think about your current situation.

I was asking God to save my son from the lure of the wine bottle.   As I was praying, a memory came to me that my son was literally saved by God many years ago when he was just a little boy.  It was a summer day back on the beach in St Augustine Florida, a place we stayed overnight on a detour from a Disney World trip.  My son and I left my husband and daughter asleep in the hotel and went out a ways to explore the waves of the Atlantic Ocean.  I noticed my son getting a little too far away from me but he would come back closer only to inch away a little too far.

Suddenly this little boy was caught in a rip tide.  “Oh Lord, please help me,” I cried and the Lord extended my hand so that it reached him.  The water came over me but I pulled him out of the rip tide.  It was really a miracle that I was not overpowered by the force of the tide, but what I experienced was no doubt one of God’s miraculous feats.

Through my praying “Lord help me,”  I was able to pull my son out of this disaster. I know that the Lord heard me and he saved my son.  God wanted me to teach my son obedience and that was clear and he was giving me more time to do it.

Fast forward some 26 years later and God used this picture to help me understand my situation.  Here I was this time watching him from the shore, getting too close to the rocks.  I am telling him to reach for God’s hand but the lure of the wine bottle is strong, so strong that might be what he chooses to pull him away from the tide.  I am shouting take God’s hand but it is up to him to believe in his power to choose God.

Apply the wisdom you hear from God to form a new prayer. 

After God seemed to speak to me through the analogy of my son being caught in a riptide, I was able to place myself and God in the picture and form a new prayer.  The next morning I prayed The Serenity Prayer that goes something like this:  “Dear God, Grant me the serenity to understand the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”

This new prayer brought my quest to hear from God full circle.  Because now I‘m seeking God’s direction so I can understand which things I can’t change and to identify the things I can take action to change.  I know that God’s will is that I understand and know these things.

I have found that God always helps us when we ask for guidance because it’s something He’s always willing to do if we ask, just like the scripture says,

This is the confidence that we have that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us and if we know he hears us, then we know we have what we have asked.   (I John 5:14)

Other helpful articles 

Praying for direction and discernment

The “Show me your good way” Scripture prayer

Prayer for adult children with problems

Mental health education and support prayer

Copyright Janice G Ross 2017.  All rights reserved.