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4 Practical Steps to Hear from God

4 Practical Steps to Hear from God

I have two young sons who tend to talk a lot, especially about topics I’m not particularly interested in, like Minecraft. I try my best to listen so I can connect with their interests, but often my brain is focused on something different from their topic of conversation. They may be talking, but I don’t pick up on what they are saying because I’m not really listening.

These interactions with my kids have recently made me think about my relationship and conversations with God. Over the years, I have experienced God speaking to me at times, but it has never been consistent in my life. I started to accept this as normal until God recently challenged me to build new disciplines that would help me position myself to hear from Him more. Now I recognize that just like with my kids, God had been trying to talk to me, but I had been prioritizing my worries and to-do lists more than listening for what He was saying. As I began to shift my priorities, I heard Him more and more.

God wants to speak to you too, but are you listening and paying attention? If you are struggling with hearing from God regularly, here are four disciplines to develop that will help turn up the volume on your spiritual ears so you can hear Him more clearly.

1. Consistent Bible Reading

A woman reading a Bible, the Bible is translated into its 700th translation

Photo credit: ©Joel Muniz/Unsplash

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

God has given us a book full of words directly inspired by Him for us, which is why this is always the first place to go when wanting to hear from Him. While it’s not impossible for Him to speak to you through something like a social media post, if you really want to position yourself to hear from Him more, consistency in reading the Bible is key.

Many people set the bar too high at first and try to start reading an hour a day right off the bat, and then quickly burn out and end up quitting. Maybe you have 30 minutes a day to read your Bible, or maybe you only have ten, but even just ten minutes a day over six months equates to 30 hours total, and 30 hours is better than zero hours. Something is better than nothing, and consistent somethings every day add up. It’s not always the amount of time or number of chapters you read each day, but rather it’s the heart posture of leaning in to hear from Him.

Practice: Use a Bible Reading plan to guide you when you read each day. The YouVersion phone app has so many to choose from, and you can pick one that fits your schedule. Many plans mix Old and New Testament verses each day, which can help prevent you from getting stuck in Leviticus for a month and then quitting because you get bored (we’ve all been there).

You can also take your reading plan one step further by doing it with others, like your spouse, kids, or a friend. My church does a yearly Bible reading plan together each year, and choosing to join in on this has been so powerful for me. It has helped keep me on track, knowing that others were reading the same thing I was and that I could talk about the days’ verses with them on any given day.

2. Daily Prayer

Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. (John 5:19-20a)

Jesus was fully human when He was on earth, so He had the same physical limitations that we have. He did not have some “secret portal” to hear from God that we don’t have. And while He did have the advantage of being sinless, thus likely experiencing less hindrance to hearing, how He heard from God are the same ways we do today.

Jesus was consistently in prayer and talking to God. He knew what God was doing and where He was leading because of His regular communion with Him through prayer. In the Gospels, we often see Jesus going off by himself or with a few disciples to pray, especially after ministering to crowds of people. In doing this, He prioritized seeking what could only sustain Him- communion and conversation with His Father.

Practice: The posture of prayer can have many different expressions. Praying while driving in my car alone helps me connect to God so much more, so I practice regular “prayer drives.” Others may pray in a closet, pace around the house, or write out their prayers. Prayer doesn’t have to (and shouldn’t) look the same every time you pray. The important thing is to find which ways help you engage the most and incorporate those into your regular routine. As you start to engage more in prayer and hear from God more, it will increase your desire and commitment to do it even more.

If you struggle with prayer due to wandering thoughts or a lack of focus, try choosing a Scripture or an attribute of God to think about and meditate on when you pray. This will help your mind focus.

3. Authentic Community

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Eccl 4:9-10 ESV

A dangerous line of thinking lurking in current culture says that having a relationship with God is entirely a private and personal matter and shouldn’t be shared with others. While there is some truth that God calls us to pray and cultivate our relationship with Him in a secret place (Matthew 6:6), the importance of authentic relationships with other believers permeates the Bible. One reason is that God will often speak to you through others (as well as speak to others through you.) When you face discouragement in your life, anxious thoughts can easily crowd out your ability to hear from God. When you encounter those times, do you have anyone in your life who will speak God’s truth to you and lift you up when you fall?

Intentionally living life in relationships with other believers will enable God to use those people in your life to help you reframe your situations and help you see Him at work amidst your struggles. Friends, leaders, and mentors can give insight into similar situations they have faced and remind you of God’s faithfulness through it all. Even conflict in relationships can be God speaking to you, bringing things up He wants to work on in you. For example, when someone says something that rubs you the wrong way, and you immediately take offense, it could be God wanting to show you something in your soul that He wants to heal.

Practice: There are many different ways to be intentional with cultivating relationships in your life. Being part of a church is essential, but simply attending services weekly, or even joining a small group, won’t necessarily be enough to produce these kinds of close relationships. My husband and I have been in small groups for years, and we have built many life-long friendships as a result, but we’ve also been in groups where the connection only happened one night a week and never went very deep.

The regular, intentional connection with others takes things to another level. It could be a one-on-one coffee date once a month, a weekly phone call, regular texting throughout the week, or even dinner together with your families regularly. The method or frequency doesn’t matter as much as the intentionality of building the relationship and being open to sharing about what God’s doing in your life.

4. Regular Recording

Photo credit: ©Unsplash/Joao Silas

I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done. Psalm 143:5 NIV

If I’m going to the store and need to get three or fewer items, I typically can remember what those items are once I get to the store, but I have to write out a list if I need any more than three items. Our brains aren’t that great at remembering multiple things, which is why we make lists, use post-its, and have reminders on our phones. It’s the same when we begin to hear God speaking to us more, and it can be easy to forget what He has said to us.

The discipline of recording this in my life, in my case through writing it down in a journal, has been such a big part of my journey of hearing from God more. I make sure to write down whatever I hear or sense from the already mentioned disciplines: Scriptures that stand out in my Bible reading, things I hear/sense God saying to me in prayer, and things other people say to me that impact me. The specific journal I use has a dedicated space for writing down how God has revealed Himself to me each day, leading me to ask and pay attention to the answer daily. If I don’t have an answer on any given day, I read the previous days’ answers to remind myself that God is still moving in my life.

Instead of leaning into discouragement and getting stuck in a pattern of negative thinking day after day, this practice causes me to stop and reframe daily. Doing this day after day consistently for months has helped me be open to hearing from God more than I ever have before.

Practice: Dedicate a few minutes a day to record what you feel that God is saying and doing in your life. You could write it in a physical journal, type it on a computer, or whatever format works best for you.

If you don’t feel like you have anything to write down, then write down and pray a simple prayer like, “God, please speak to me and help me hear what You are saying.” That prayer will help position your heart to continue to open more to what God is speaking to you. God longs to speak to us even more than we want to hear Him, so when we position ourselves and desire to listen to Him more, He will be faithful to speak to and guide us.

For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. (Psalm 33:4 NIV)

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Westend61

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5 Ways to Engage with What God Is Saying

Cortni Marrazzo lives in Spokane, WA with her husband Jason and their two elementary-age sons. She recently completed her bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in Religion and Communication from Liberty University. She is passionate about local church ministry and encouraging and inspiring people toward God’s Word through writing and speaking. You can find more of her writing and contact her at or on Instagram ( or Facebook(

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