When we pray, how do we know whether or not we are are hearing God speak to us or just our own imaginations?
Ultimately by faith. :o
Often you will find signs to your prayers in what other people say to you, signs that you see, things you might hear on the radio, things in nature that strike you, whatever way He chooses to nudge you or respond to you.
I think I understand. A few weeks ago some friends of mine and I were talking about some abilities that I have. The suggestion was brought up that I check out Wicca. I said that it goes against my Catholic teachings. Then, one night at work, I went out to darkest part of the facility grounds where the only light was the full moon and I raised my hands and asked for guidance and to be shown the right path. The next day I started seeing Catholic images everywhere! I saw priests, nuns, crosses, statues of Mary etc. I have never again thought about Wicca.
Is what you heard in line with Scripture, Prophecy, and the circumstances in your life? Is it in line with the Magisterium? Did you receive insight into a problem that you faced, a new way of perceiving an issue beyond personal knowledge?
What I find often happens is confirmation from other sources, sage advice from friends or persons with authority.
Personal example: Standing on a bridge and looking at the water below as I hear the words “Do not swim against the current.” Translation: Stop fighting the situation in which you find yourself. Later I would find in scripture the words, "Do not struggle against the current."
I am a strong swimmer. One day I was with friends who had a houseboat. Sometimes I need to pull away by myself. I found a stream and began to swim. The current was too strong for me to swim across. I returned to shore and rejoined my friends.
I’m not sure if this qualifies as a prophecy or not, but the very next night I had a dream where I was at work and off in the distance I saw four nuclear explosions. I told everyone to get down in to the ditch and I knew we were all going to die. As I started to burn I heard a gentle voice say “Will you give your heart to the Father this night?” I said yes. At that point I felt an amazing sense of peace and the next thing I knew, I was in a large dining room lit by torches and in the center of the room was a table full of food surrounded by my family and friends that have passed on. I believe I was given a glimpse of what the other side holds.
Good observations! :o
Prophecy is not as many people think a prediction of future events.
What you had was a vision that got your attention. Whether or not it foretells an event that may or may not happen in the future is irrelevant. You responded to God’s call and submitted your life to His will and were rewarded with a more pleasant vision along with "the peace that surpasses understanding."
I have learned to respond in prayer to certain events that I may "see."
One night I remembered an event from my own life, and asked “what would have happened if…” A similar event made the next day’s news because there was nobody available to respond as I had during the remembered incident. So yes, when such thoughts cross my mind, they become a direct call tor prayer.
a lot of the time… Most of the time?? we don’t…
i used to ask God what he wnted me to do… i would hear words in my head… and whne i acted on them… weird, often unpleasant things would happen (although no sin… to speak of ???] - at least not on my part… so hard to tell if it was God
i got tired of all the strife involved in this kind of thing … decided that if God wanted to tell me somehting, he would… without me “asking” in my all-too-human-totally untrustworthy kind of way…
and He alreayd told me everything i need to know anyway… through Scriptures… the Church…
frankly, i get tired of hearing people say stuff like “God wants me to have this job” or “marry this person” or whatever…
god speaks through our minds and hearts… circumstances… He shows us things without actually speaking to us in words
I thoght i was supposed to do this one thing… heard words in my head to do it… but then (among other things) realized i could not do it without help from someone else and there was no such help… so i wonder now if it was the devil… tend to think it was but still don’t really know… and no longer care…
i used to get very confusd and messed up in the head so just stopped asking such questions…
***all that matters is getting to Heaven… and helping others to do the same… . ***
Discernment is one of the higher gifts. I often talk with my parish priest about this and that is what he told me. He is very reserved when commenting on such things as possible visions, as have been the other four priests in which have helped me in the past 4 years. This is a link on discernment he sent me a couple of weeks ago. newadvent.org/cathen/05028b.htm. God bless your search, Tim
Every vision or message received must be submitted to the discernment process.
This process begins by verifying that there is a match between prophecy, scripture, and personal circumstances. Is the “message” in line with the Magisterium? Does it adhere to the commandments?
Most clergy are indeed reserved when it comes to commenting regarding visions. It is better to err on the side of caution than to present a vision/message contrary to the Word of God.
You don’t. But sometimes, it is unexpected, such as coming through another person, or an event in our life, something that cannot adequately be explained. Very seldom do we actually hear a ‘voice’. Sometimes it may be an inclination to do something in keeping with the Will of God.
I always keep this Bible passage in hand:
“And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still, small voice” (I Kings 19:11-12).