Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Prayer and Hearing God (PrayerLife)

Flowers, in Rockford, Illinois

Prayer is talking with God about what we are doing together. OK. But is it possible to hear God speak to us? How can we discern whether what we are hearing is really God, or not? My 3-step suggestion is:
  1. 1. Spend much time alone in the presence of God.
  2. 2. Saturate yourself with the Scriptures. (Meditatively read them and study them.)
  3. 3. Hang around people who do #s 1 and 2.
An excellent book to read on this is Dallas Willard's Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God.  

See J.P. Moreland's blog entry On Hearing From God: Two Perspectives. Moreland's two suggestions are:
  1. "First, one can learn to discern God’s voice like one learns anyone else’s voice—through practice, trial and error; and in the case of God, with Scripture as one’s guide and as one’s primary way of familiarizing oneself not only with correct propositional boundaries, but also with the tone and texture of God’s speech."
  2. "Second, I think we should take heart from the fact that, often, God speaks to us and we are unaware that it is happening because God will at times speak to us in our thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations in a way that “sounds” like our own."
See J.P.'s entire post for examples. He concludes: "We should take great comfort in the fact that, if we make ourselves available to Him, God will speak to and through us in many ways of which we are not aware."