“I don’t think God is real,” my son said to my husband.
“Why is that?” my husband asked.
“Because I can’t hear him when I pray,” my son replied.
My husband fished for an example of a Berenstain Bears book when Brother Bear learns a lesson about prayer, but my answer was more personal. It definitely got my son’s attention.
“I struggle to hear God too,” I told him. “In fact, I shared this with a friend recently and she gave me a book called How to Hear God’s Voice. I’m reading it right now.”
“Really?” my son looked even more confused.
“Sure. Learning to wait for God to answer is something even grown-ups need to work on.”
At that point, given his age, I decided that was enough of an explanation for one day. He looked satisfied in the uncertainty of it. Once he could accept this, like so many things in life, as a learning process, he let go of his need to know what was going on.
I resolved to let him know, slowly, in natural nugget-sized portions, how and when I saw God or heard his voice.
And I kept reading.
How do we hear God’s voice?
Mark and Patti Virkler suggest a process of four practices:
“Good morning, Lord. I love you. I give you this day. What would you like to say to me?”
Then, in order to reflect on what you hear from God and write down in the journal, they recommend identifying spiritual advisors. These are close friends with a solid biblical orientation who are sensitive to the voice of the Spirit of God, who are willing to commit to you, who are relating to spiritual advisors themselves or who are equal to or ahead of you in the area you are asking about. They recommend engaging with two or three advisors so that together you can discern God’s voice.
I love the reminder to seek Christian community and to engage together in prayer. I am grateful to the friend who lent me her copy of this book and to other friends who come alongside me to pray with me and walk through life together as we grow in our understanding of the Lord, keeping in mind Jesus’ words:
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27)
Here you will find a catalog of my writing and reflections.