Today and tomorrow, I’d like to give you some tips I have personally found helpful in hearing God more accurately and more frequently.
Write it down. It’s not only good to keep a prayer journal, but it’s vital. I keep paper and pen handy wherever I go, because God does not confine speaking to just my allotted prayer time. When I get a chance, I transfer my quickly jotted notes of what He said into my journal.
When we write down what God says to us, we are sending Him the message, “What You say to me is extremely important, Lord. I want to have it noted exactly right, so that I can remember it correctly, cherish it, and ponder it.”
It is not possible for the best of memories to recall accurately all that God has said to us. And when you have promises from the Lord and they don’t happen immediately, the tendency is to get discouraged, question what you’ve heard, or get the details mixed up. If you write it down, these problems can be avoided. When discouragement or confusion shows its face, you have the solid evidence of what you heard in your prayer journal to cheer yourself with and to help build your faith.
I frequently reread my promises and use their evidence on paper to contend for them in prayer. Promises must be birthed through pleading them before the throne, and having them written down certainly helps the process.
Don’t strive or obsess about hearing God. If you are having difficulty hearing God’s voice, you may be compounding the problem by trying too hard. This is a very common hindrance. Tell God often that you long to hear from Him and to accurately discern His voice, but then leave it to Him. Relax. It will happen. Relax!
Don’t overdo second-guessing what you have heard. Once you have heard something that you think is from God, don’t analyze it to death. “Did I hear God, or didn’t I hear God? It sounded like God, but then, it also sounded like it could have been just me. I never heard Him say anything like that before, so it must just be me. Oohh, it sounded like God, but what if it isn’t, and I am deceived?”
Do yourself a favor, and just stop that! You will kill the flow and get yourself all confused if you keep it up, and it is really unnecessary. Time will bear out whether what you heard was really God or not. If it is a major decision you are hearing about, you should get counsel from those you are accountable to anyway, so if you just aren’t sure, ask them before taking the big step.
Keep in mind that when you first hear something from the Lord, the sense of it being Him might be pretty strong, but that sensation will fade in days to come. This is normal. Just because the feeling you had with the word fades does not mean it wasn’t God in the first place.
Don’t despise the method God chooses to speak through. Some people have difficulty hearing God because they want it to happen a certain way, and if it doesn’t happen the way they want it to, they reject what they are hearing. If Sister Susie hears audible voices every morning before breakfast, they only want to hear audible voices, too. (Never mind that Sister Susie is constantly hearing audible voices, and it might be time for her to have a medical checkup!)
Naaman, the Syrian general, almost missed his healing from leprosy, because Elisha told him to wash in the Jordan River, and he had expected Elisha to say fancy words and wave his hands over him instead (2 Kings 5:11). Don’t miss your word from God because you have a preconceived notion of how God ought to speak!
More tips next time.
Also available as paperback or e-book (discounts available for quantity orders):