How does one learn to listen to God? I pray often but I feel that I am the only person doing the “talking.” When I ask God for advice, I try to listen for an answer but I am never sure it is from God or from me. Any advice or personal experiences?
I feel like a good priest can give answers…and reading the Bible…whenever I have a problem, i look for a passage that pertains to the problem…
Usually, I find that the reason I can’t quite hear God talking back is because there is simply too much noise. Both external and internal. When is the last time you not only prayed, but spent a day with God? Turn off the tv, the radio, all the muck in your own head to do with everything you have going on, get away from everyone in your life, and just be silent and alone with God. If you have the means, I would very much recommend going on a silent retreat. If you’re near enough, the Passionists have great retreats.
My dear friend
God doesn’t talk much but when He does the effect can be profound. It’s good to just have a few moments of silene in our prayer to see if He has something to say. He may not, but occasionally He will. A quiet whisper in our souls. He speaks to us through the church, Pope, bible, spiritual director, and other Godly people and sometimes even pagans and even the rest of creation such as the environment too. God speaks in many ways, we just have to recognise it when He talks to us. Hope this helps.
May God bless you and make His will known to you:thumbsup:
I feel you aborodki, it is hard to hear God’s still small voice. It takes a lot of diligence. The first thing is to have faith. We must believe that God will speak to us and not doubt. Pray with expectation. The second is put scripture in mind Learn to read it in a meditative way. Remember that it is a living and powerful word (Heb. 4:12) and that it is able to divide soul and spirit. This is somewhat mysterious, but you see we hear and experience God in our spirit and not in our soul. His Spirit speaks to our spirit. Normally we operate in the soulical realm during our day. By use of the scripture we can tune our spirit into His voice. The soul and the carnal nature only get in the way. To begin, I would recommend a little book called “Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ” by Jeanne Guyon, a 17th century French nun. It is published by Wittaker House. I think you may find it on Amazom. It is the best and most practical instruction I have found.
Often times I hear people tell me, " I was praying to God for this thing or that thing and a few days later “this or that thing” happened…[what a coincidence]".
It’s good to be cautious that we don’t simply look for the answer that satisfies us but, it is also advisable to not second guess God’s answer to our prayers.
Remember that God is a good father and He knows what is best for us. So don’t always assume that what you consider good for yourself is what God also considers good for you.
There are many ways to listen to God. You asked about how to learn. Your heart obviously seeks God and it seems you know there is a way that will draw you closer. In the most important and most difficult parts to acquire, you are already on the path now. Do not downplay where you are right now.
The following is what I have done to help me learn something that seems more and more the province of God.
These practices are not numbered because numbering might indicate a step-by-step process — which is not what is intended. The practices might be best seen as pieces of a puzzle. Anyway, here are the components or elements of what I sense in my efforts to learn to listen to God:
— Thinking about God, his characteristics, his works through history.
— Thinking about my relation to God in time and eternity.
— Thinking about why the world’s ways are not my goals.
— Bible reading for study, knowing the text and its meaning.
— Entering God’s stillness. This is like silence, but it is not silence. This is not a soundproof booth, but what I call God’s silence — hard to find. The dimly lit abbey church in the evening, a mountain, and a small island were the last three places I entered such silence. None were soundless, but all were completely still.
— Lectio Divina. For me this is slow prayerful reading of the Bible until a passage causes me to stop and meditate and rest in the sense received. I may keep this sense, reviewing it for days.
— God’s illuminations of an ineffable joy. Of God and by God.
I also have problems with this. I have tried listening to God during a silent time during my prayers and sometimes I’ll “hear” something but I never know if it is my own mind telling me whatever it is I am “hearing” or if it is God.
Firstly, get the thought out of your heads that God speaking to you is something rare or unusual. He speaks to you all the time! Through creation, through His Word, through His Holy Spirit and through the many saints that are either translated or still walking around.
If you really want to hear God, then you must be a good listener. Spend time meditating on Him - His Word, the Rosary, the saints and all the works He has done. Meditate on the Lord!
*John 10:11, 15:13, “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep… Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
I would like to challenge those who believe that the Lord does not speak frequently with mankind. I would like to see some proof for this because all the evidence is contrary to such a conclusion. Why would Christ humble himself so and suffer so if His desire was merely to ‘chat’ occasionally with humanity. Who can read Psalm 23 and not find comfort in our Lord’s continual guidance and eternal care?