A question I have asked many times, and have heard many others ask as well is, “How can I hear God?” This brings up other questions, such as “How do I distinguish his voice from others?” In my experience, the ability to be still and listen to the Lord is greatly lacking in Christian circles today. Even for those experienced in this, it can still be difficult to “practice His presence”, to borrow from Brother Lawrence.
Two major hindrances I see to this are:
1. Most of us have been given an incomplete model of prayer. What we typically see from church leaders are public prayers that mostly praise God for who He is and ask God for things. While these are both fine to do, they do not model for us what it looks like to spend time quietly with the Lord, waiting for Him to impress His thoughts upon us. In the Gospels, Jesus is often found spending time privately with the Father in fellowship, yet this practice is rarely modeled in today’s Christianity.
2. In today’s ultra-busy, technology laden world, we are rarely able to unplug and simply spend time with our Lord, quietly sitting in His presence as Mary sat at Jesus’ feet in her sister Martha’s house and gazed upon Him and listened to Him speak. We simply cannot sit still (physically or mentally) long enough to listen.
Hearing God encourages us and gives us tools to learn the art of hearing God’s voice. The book is divided into five parts: 1) Checking Your Equipment, 2) Clearing Away the Clutter, 3) Tuning into God’s Channels, 4) Receiving God’s Signals, and 5) Fellowshipping with God Through Hearing His Voice.
I found parts 3 and 4 to be the most helpful for me. These sections really get practical and also deal with how our thoughts can discourage us against hearing God’s voice and what to do about it.
If you are serious about hearing the Lord’s voice, I highly recommend this book. However, I would consider this book only an introduction into the art of fellowshipping with our Lord and sitting in His presence. I’ll post another review soon that goes deeper into this practice.
Hearing God is also listed in Frank Viola’s 100 Best Christian Books here.