In Psalm 46, God tells us,
"Be still and know that I am God",
"Cease striving, let go, relax, and know that I am God."
To hear God you first need to learn to be still. When you're still it's much easier to draw near to God and begin to hear Him speak in your heart.
His promptings are often gentle and if you're not still, you'll miss them.
If you struggle with this and your mind's busy, try jotting down the thoughts that come so that they're out of your head.
If you become conscious of sin, confess it so it's no longer in the way.
If your mind is still busy, visualise Jesus there with you.
The key is to be so focused on God that everything else fades into the background. When you become still you'll begin to sense God's presence.
By being still, I mean not doing anything other than making it possible to be in touch with God and experience Him.
When you become still it's easier to hear God. Spontaneous images will begin to come and you'll begin to hear God's voice in your heart as spontaneous thoughts.
When you enter the quiet place, take the first few minutes to become still. When you're still, you'll begin to sense God's presence.
Once you're still and you've quieted your thoughts, focus on the Lord. Visualise Him there with you and wait for Him to speak.
The more you practice becoming still, the easier it gets and the more quickly it all comes together.
God speaks in many ways and different people hear God in different ways. For many of us, God speaks through spontaneous thoughts, pictures, feelings or impressions. He rarely speaks in an audible voice.
Mark Virkler tells us that
"the definition of paga, the Greek word for intercession, is a 'chance encounter or an accidental intersecting.'"
When God speaks to you, showing you what He wants you to know or pray about, He often does it through paga, thoughts that come spontaneously, interrupting your own thought processes.
As you still yourself and wait, spontaneous thoughts will begin to flow and you'll find yourself having an inner conversation with God.
Look for the Lord there with you, and watch Him as He speaks to you. You'll find that if you look, you'll see. You'll begin to see spontaneous images in the same way that you receive spontaneous inner thoughts.
You might find that inner vision comes so easily that you want to reject it, thinking that it's just you. If you persevere and record what you see and hear, your doubts will soon give way to faith as you begin to recognise that what you're seeing and hearing is mostly from God.
It's a good idea to have a journal with you and record what you see and hear. Your journal is your way of saying to God "I value what you say to me." It's also a step of faith, showing that you expect Him to speak.
Write in faith, simply believing that it's God speajing to you. Don't censor what you're receiving. Let it flow. You can test it later, making sure that what you're hearing lines up with Scripture and even running what you've heard by a trusted friend.
You'll be surprised at how much you hear when you start to journal. You'll probably realise that God has been speaking all along but you just didn't recognise it.
Put aside any doubts you might have and trust that you really are hearing God. Trust that God is with you and speaking to you.
Are you ready to wait, look and listen? Are you ready to discover the joy of hearing God?
Afterwards, Test What You Hear
Things to consider when evaluating what you've heard:
Father teach me how to listen. Help me to be like Samuel who said, 'Speak for your servant is listening.' Let me be one of those who hear you in their heart. Help me to get used to the sound of your voice so that I can easily recognise when you're speaking to me. Help me to still and quieten my soul so that I can hear you more. Give me eyes to see and ears to hear.
Enjoy the adventure of learning to hear God's voice. My How To Hear God coaching guide is available on Kindle and as a paperback.