Sunday

3 Ways to Hear God Speak

Have you ever heard God speak? 

If you ask this question, you’ll get a variety of answers. 


“I hear God speak all the time.” 

“I’ve never heard God speak.” 

“Sometimes I think I hear God speak, but I’m not sure.” 

“God speaks to special people, like Billy Graham, but he’s too busy to speak to ordinary people.” 

One morning recently I was struggling. Unexpected circumstances had pulled the rug out from under us, and a thousand thoughts were whirling through my head. 

“Lord, I need a word from you,” I prayed. 

Every morning I read The One Year Bible, so I opened it to the reading for the day. I began by reading 2 Samuel 22. The final words of the chapter were, “(God) is the tower of salvation to his king, and shows mercy to his anointed, to David and his descendants forevermore.” 

I know this passage was originally written about Israel’s King David, but my husband’s name is also David. Through this ancient passage, God reminded me that he would show mercy to my husband and my family. That God would send such a specific passage, with my husband’s name in it, was very sweet and comforting to me. 

On the way to church, I checked my email. My friend Heather, who had no idea what was going on in our lives, sent me an encouraging note, which she ended with a Scripture reference, Romans 15:1-13. I looked up the verses, and verses 4, 12, and 13 stood out: 

“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. . . . Isaiah says, "The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; the Gentiles will hope in him." May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” 

And when we reached church and settled into our Sunday school class, our teacher stood before the group and wrote four big letters on a dry erase board: H – O – P—E. 

Do you think God answered my prayer? And what do you think his message to me was? 

This series of events is a classic example of a few of the ways God speaks to his children. 


One of the most common ways he speaks is through his Word. When I opened my Bible that morning, I heard a personal and powerful word from the Lord. 

God also speaks through his people. My friend who sent the email had no idea our family was struggling; she simply obeyed what God told her to do—send Lori an encouraging email and share this Scripture passage with her. 

God also speaks through preaching and teaching. My Sunday school teacher presented material that someone had written and published years ago, but God used it (and her) to remind me to have hope, even when circumstances say otherwise. 

I began this post by sharing several responses to the question, “Have you ever heard God speak?” My recent experience demonstrated three ways God has spoken to me. 

I realize, however, that if I hadn’t positioned myself to hear him, I might have missed his voice. If I hadn’t read my Bible that morning, I wouldn’t have read the Scripture that used my husband’s name. If I hadn’t cultivated friendships with godly believers, I wouldn’t have received my friend’s encouraging email. If I hadn’t gone to church, I would have missed the HOPE-filled message from my Sunday school teacher. 

Our family experienced an unexpected challenge, but we were not unprepared. Because we had built spiritual disciplines into our lives, we were positioned to be able to hear God when he spoke. The reassurance we received bolstered our faith, calmed our fears, and reminded us that he is fully in control. And that, my friends, is what the Christian life is all about.

Have you ever heard God speak? How does he usually speak to you? Leave a comment below and join the conversation. If you're reading by email, click here to visit Hungry for God online, scroll to the bottom of the post, share your thoughts.



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11 comments:

  1. Spot on, Lori. God often uses other people to speak to me. It makes me pay attention.

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    1. You're right, Ellen. Anyone can be a mouthpiece, although what they say must always agree with Scripture for us to know it is true. I keep thinking of Balaam's donkey!

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  2. God just spoke through this blog post :) Lori, life is so overwhelming right now: a day job for the first time in 10 years, my commitments with my publisher, my husband's retirement, the kids' summer vacation, a new address, a new car... It's so crazy. I was just telling my husband before he went to sleep that I know I should have hope that things will get better but that I'm feeling 100% hopeless. Then I opened my email and had 229 unread messages. I was going to delete yours without reading, along with dozens of others, so I could work on a blog post that's due Wednesday night. But I couldn't bring myself to delete yours, so I unclicked it, knowing there would be something in it for me. Great message. And I really needed Romans 15. Thanks!

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    1. Oh, Patricia, I feel your angst. You are juggling a heavy load. And so many transitions! I'm so glad, though, that you found hope in the story of my own struggle with hopelessness. May God of hope continue to encourage you as you press on in faith for him. I'm praying for you today!

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  3. It's amazing that every question's answers can be found in the Bible. :)
    Thanks for sharing your story of faith. I hope whatever it is that made you struggle is now alright.

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    1. Wise words, Lux. We have such a limitless source of knowledge at our fingertips. We are wise to study our Bibles diligently and apply what we learn to our lives. Thank you for your kind words and well wishes. God is at work!

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    2. I often find that God speaks to me in the center of my chest. It sometimes sounds like my own voice in my head. Over time I've learned that it's God because it's always scriptural and usually reinforced through scripture or messages I may receive throughout the day. I invite Him to speak during our quiet time together.

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    3. I often find that God speaks to me in the center of my chest. It sometimes sounds like my own voice in my head. Over time I've learned that it's God because it's always scriptural and usually reinforced through scripture or messages I may receive throughout the day. I invite Him to speak during our quiet time together.

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  4. This was a very insightful message. You asked how God speaks to me well He usually leads me to scriptures. I may hear the reference or direction like "read John 12:11 or acts 3:16" . I would turn to it and see what it says then pray on what it is in the situation I need to know or how should I address the situation using this. It usually is spot on.

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  5. This was a very insightful message. You asked how God speaks to me well He usually leads me to scriptures. I may hear the reference or direction like "read John 12:11 or acts 3:16" . I would turn to it and see what it says then pray on what it is in the situation I need to know or how should I address the situation using this. It usually is spot on.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This was a very insightful message. You asked how God speaks to me well He usually leads me to scriptures. I may hear the reference or direction like "read John 12:11 or acts 3:16" . I would turn to it and see what it says then pray on what it is in the situation I need to know or how should I address the situation using this. It usually is spot on.

    ReplyDelete