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6 Steps to Learning to Hear God's Voice

Joy has had a love relationship with Jesus since she was 14, and has taught Christian religious classes to various ages since she was 16.

A Plan for Learning to Hear God's Voice

In Part 1, I dealt with various reasons why you may not be able to hear God's voice in your daily prayer life.

Now, in this second and final part, I'll give you a plan for how you can learn to hear God's voice, speaking clearly, directly, and passionately to you.

I have found six steps to follow. If you are quite serious about learning to hear God, I recommend that you follow them in order, and be as consistent as you can. When the Lord took you into His fold, He gave you a new nature - His nature - and a new way of being. You became a new creature - II Corinthians 5:17 - "Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." But you will still spend this life fighting your old habits. So hang in there, and know that the process of learning to hear God will take some time, and perhaps much effort. Always remember that your Shepherd's greatest goal is to spend time with you, and that it is His eternal desire to dwell intimately with you. In other words, He desperately wants to communicate with you. Give Him that chance.

The Bible Renews Your Mind

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Step 1--Read God's Word Until It Gets Woven Into Your Thinking

Do you remember what I said about the baby knowing it's mother's voice? Should you be any different with your heavenly parent? Yet, how do you get to know His voice?

Start by reading His Word. Through the Bible, bit by bit, you will learn to see what is important to God. You will learn to know what kinds of words He likes to use, and how He approaches people. You will also see what kinds of things He doesn't like, and what kinds of things He refuses to say.

If you don't know where to start - after all, the Bible is a big book - go to the Gospel of John, and see what Christ says about Himself there. Learn to know how He thinks.

Keep reading the Bible, daily, if possible. Even a few verses a day can do wonders for your understanding of God. Read it until you hear it in your thoughts, and until it starts coming out your mouth. Then you can be sure that God's personal words to you will make some sense.

Step 2--Pray Consistently

Prayer just means communication with God. It is a two-way street. You speak, He speaks back. He listens, you listen. At least, that's the way it should be. Just like a good conversation between friends and allies.

But sometimes your heart needs preparation, before you can properly hear God, or even approach him with a right spirit. Therefore, I recommend starting out with praise. Let God know why you like Him, and thank Him for what He's done in your life. Don't be picky about what to thank Him for, either. He says in I Thessalonians 5:18 - "In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." This means that He has everything under control, and it is therefore appropriate to thank Him for all circumstances and all things, good and bad, that you notice in your life. You may not be able to see the reason for some horrible event, but God knows it happened, and He knows why. Thank Him for it. He can use it, and will if you give Him half a chance.

Often, as I give thanks for this or that, I find my heart yielding up grudges, irritations, or anger. Thanking the Lord for everything can cause me to see what I might otherwise have ignored, to the detriment of my relationship with Christ.

When you feel that your heart is secure in the knowledge that Christ has your best interests at heart, and that He is a keeper of His Word, then deliver up your burdens. Ask your questions. Seek His encouragement or aid. He'll not turn you down. Concerning asking for wisdom, he says in James 1:5 - "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."

Then wait. Learn to listen patiently, carefully, and with an open mind and heart to whatever the Lord may wish to tell you. While you are waiting, try not to interfere with His messages to you. Don't bother telling Him what He can and cannot do, as this is unproductive, at best. If you've asked for His help with something, then let Him help. Work with Him on it, even if His instructions scare you.

This doesn't mean that you shouldn't tell Him what you want. You should. Open your heart to Him. Be real, and be honest with yourself. He says in Psalm 37:4-7, "Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil."

There you have it. You have your work cut out for you. (So do I.)

Anyplace Will Do, with God in Your Midst

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Step 3--Pray Aloud With Other Believers

This is perhaps the most important step in learning how to hear God.

Start simple. Get together a friendly group of two to three dedicated believers (you being one of them), who are strong in their own prayer lives. Then, together, wait on the Lord. Your group can meet in person, or over the phone. E-mail doesn't work so well. It cuts down on the Lord's ability to integrate your group, and to capitalize on your specific strengths, weaknesses, and mindsets.

As a group, pray about one thing at a time. Take your time. God doesn't like to be rushed. Pause at appropriate points to seek His counsel, or hear His replies. Don't close the session until you know collectively that He has spoken to you. He will rarely give you all the answers you seek at one time, but He will nearly always give you something to go on - some little thing you can do or say that will move you forward in your situation(s).

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