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Preparing Your Heart to Hear from God

Every day, we hear conflicting messages as our culture tells us to do, say, or act differently than what the Bible commands. We long to hear from the One who speaks truth and will never let us down, but how do we hear from God and know what He’s telling us?   

It can be challenging to know how God might be speaking, and there are often periods in our lives when we feel that God is silent and distant. However, a dry season doesn’t mean God isn’t working and has nothing to say to us.  

How Does God Speak to Us? 

As we study the Bible, we find that God spoke in various ways throughout history, and there were periods when He was silent. Despite this, He was always working to bring about His plan of salvation through Jesus. Similarly, there will likely be times when we might not feel God speaking as clearly as others, but He is still working. God speaks and works on His timing, and He’s never early or late.  

While we can’t force God to speak to us, we can prepare our hearts. How do we posture our hearts to hear from God, demonstrate we are listening to God, and invite Him to speak? 

Posturing Your Heart to Hear God’s Voice 

Sometimes, we think God will speak to us in a loud, booming voice from the sky. However, that is typically not the case. In 1 Kings 19, the prophet Elijah heard and saw several loud things before he heard God speak. He experienced a great wind that shattered rocks, but the Lord was not in the wind. An earthquake and fire came after the wind, but God was not there. Instead, God spoke to Elijah in a still, small voice. Similarly, God often speaks in small, subtle ways that require us to be still, pay attention, and listen. 

Here are 6 ways you can prepare your heart to hear from God.  

  1. We can prepare our hearts to hear from God by slowing down and making time. 

“Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” —Psalm 46:10 

It can be easy to miss what God says when we are swamped and overscheduled. Slowing down and taking intentional time to hear from God allows Him to speak to us in exciting ways.

2. We can prepare our hearts to hear from God by reading His word. 

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” —2 Timothy 3:16-17 

God gave us the Bible as His primary way of speaking. It’s our job to open, read, and act on what we have learned. If we read Scripture, we will see that God reveals Himself to us on every page. Reading the Bible helps us saturate our hearts and minds with God’s Word. 

3. We can prepare our hearts to hear from God by praying.  

“My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning I will direct it to You, and I will look up.” — Psalm 5:3 

We cannot expect to hear from God without seeking Him first. God invites us to deepen our relationship with Him through prayer.  Prayer is designed to be two-way communication, so we need to regularly ask God questions like, “What do you want me to do in this situation?” and “What are you trying to teach me?” along with “How can I be more like You?” and “What are you revealing to me about Yourself?” We must be willing to change and act based on God’s response to those questions and what He speaks to us through the Holy Spirit.  

Image of a man looking out in nature and being still before God.

4. We can prepare our hearts to hear from God by serving. 

“As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” —1 Peter 4:10 

Serving others softens our hearts to hear from God. Effective service requires dependence on God, and God uses that dependence to teach us some of the biggest lessons in faith. When we serve, we learn how to walk humbly and love others as Jesus did.  

5. We can prepare our hearts to hear from God by reflecting on who He is. 

“I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, and on Your wondrous works.”  —Psalm 145:5 

Throughout the Psalms, David and other writers call us to meditate on God’s character, nature, and faithfulness. One great way to reflect on God’s nature and works is to journal about things you have learned and how you have seen God work. Writing these things down helps you acknowledge all God has done in your life. As you reflect on His faithfulness, you will foster a heart of gratitude and expectation for God to work again.  

6. We can prepare our hearts to hear from God through obedience. 

“This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.” —2 John 1:6 

Obeying Christ is an essential part of positioning yourself to hear from God. Jesus showed us how to walk out love for God and others, and if we refuse to do the same, our hearts likely aren’t open to hearing more of what God has to say. Extending love and forgiveness to others puts us in a posture of humility so we can hear from God.  

It’s easy to say we will put these things into practice. However, we can become discouraged when we do all the right things but receive radio silence from God. What should we do when we feel like God is silent? 

Silence Does Not Indicate Absence 

As you wait for God to speak, it’s important to remember not to take matters into your own hands since that never produces the outcome God desires for our lives. There are many stories in the Bible about people waiting on the Lord, including when Abraham and Sarah waited 25 years for the birth of the son God promised them. 

When we experience periods where God is silent, we must remember that His silence does not indicate absence from our lives. These seasons can allow God to grow your patience and trust in His plan for your life. God’s timeline isn’t our timeline. Isaiah 40:31 says, “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”  When we wait for God to guide us, He will strengthen us. Remember to keep persistently praying and have faith that God is listening. He loves you, and He wants the best for you. 

Takeaway 

We can’t force God to speak to us, but if we position our hearts toward Him through obedience, stillness, prayer, reading the Bible, and serving, we can learn more about God and be ready for all He has in store. Going through times of waiting to hear from God is vital to developing patience in us and dependence on Him, both of which are key in the journey of becoming more like Christ.