Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Larry Kreider's new book, Speak, Lord, I’m Listening: How to Hear God’s Voice Above the Noise, (Regal Books, 2008).

God is always speaking, but you may not always be hearing Him. If you're not hearing from God regularly, it could be because you're limiting the ways you listen for His voice. God speaks in a wide variety of creative ways, so you need to be open to hearing from Him however He chooses to speak to you.

Here are some of the many different ways you may hear from God:

The Bible: God may cause a portion of Scripture to jump off the page for you while you’re reading it. He may make you aware of how it applies to your life right then and use it to lead you in a particular way. The Bible is your final authority – the standard by which you should check everything else you think God may be saying to you. Remember that nothing God says in any other way will ever contradict what He says in the Bible. Get to know the Bible well by reading and studying it often. Be sure to keep the context and original intent of Scripture passages in mind.

A journal: Writing down your thoughts in a journal, then reading the record, can help you understand more clearly how God may be speaking to you. Whenever you sense something that may be a message from God, write it down to preserve it. Then pray about what you’ve written.  You can also write out your prayers to God in your journal.

Meditation and contemplation: Choose a Scripture verse or passage and reflect on it over and over in your mind. In the process, God may reveal its deep meaning to you. Ask the Holy Spirit to renew your mind as you think about God’s Word in a focused way.

Praise and thanksgiving: You open yourself up to hearing from God when you praise Him for who He is and what He has done, and thank Him for it. Praise and thanksgiving invite God’s presence into your life. Choose to praise and thank God no matter what your current circumstances. Acknowledging that He is in control in all situations will draw you closer to Him and help you recognize Him at work.

Surrender: Giving up your own efforts to run your life and trusting God fully with it puts you in a position to hear from God well. Ask God to help you learn to wait, rest, and be content, so you’ll be able to surrender.

Confession: Confessing your sins to God with the intention of repenting of them and asking God to change you for the better will help you hear God’s voice. Confession removes sin that keeps you from hearing God’s voice clearly. When you confess sinful attitudes and behaviors – even small ones, since they can grow into bigger problems – you unclog your pipeline to heaven.

Worship: Worship is a lifelong conversation between you and God. When you live to please God – giving Him your focused attention and love in all parts of your life – you put yourself in a good position to hear from Him.

Asking in prayer: Don’t hesitate to ask God to speak to you. He cares about every detail of your life, so pray about everything, and expect Him to respond. Approach God through prayer with confidence, knowing that He wants to hear from you and will be sure to answer at the right time. Remember that God provides on a day to day basis, so pray each day to keep your relationship with Him fresh and growing.

Peace: Peace is a confirmation that you’re hearing from God. God will give you peace if He wants you to move forward in a particular direction. If you lack His peace, don’t go ahead anyway. Wait until the right decision becomes clear – and it will be clear when you experience God’s peace.