Prayer involves you talking to God, but it also involves God talking to you. God speaks to us and guides us in several ways. In relationships we communicate with each other in many ways. For example, when my wife talks to me sometimes its verbally, through the phone, by email, text, hand written note, or through others (she will have one of the kids relay a message to me from her). In a similar way, God talks to us through several ways. With this in mind, I want to introduce some ways God talks to you. This is the part of prayer where God speaks and you listen.
God speaks through the Bible
God’s Word is God’s voice. In His Word He will tell you things about heaven, hell, marriage, finances, emotions, evangelism, worship, and relationships that are true. The Bible is God’s instruction manual on how He wants His people to live. This is why 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right” (NLT). God will guide you and give you direction through His divine Word. Listen to what God is saying through the Bible.
God speaks through godly counsel
Proverbs 12:15 says, “The wise listen to others” (NLT). God says that wise and smart people get advice from others. Before you start dating someone, before you get married, before you change jobs, and before you make any major financial decisions seek godly advice. God will speak direction into your life through those godly advisors: listen to what God is saying through them.
God speaks through nature
God speaks about His greatness through His creation. The Psalmist declares, “The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display His craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make Him known” (Psalm 19:1-2, NLT). God designed creation to declare His glory. Sometimes you need to get away from your life and get out in God’s creation and take a look at a mountain, stare at the ocean, observe a sunrise or sunset, or get out at night and gaze up at the stars and let God speak to you through His creation reminding you that He is bigger than you are, bigger than any problem you have or will ever face. Go outside and hear what God has to say through His massive creation.
God speaks through circumstances
A lot of times we refer to this in terms of “opened and closed doors.” Sometimes God will speak through situations and circumstances in your life. Paul was referring to these circumstances in Romans 1:13 when he wrote, “I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, that I planned many times to visit you, but I was prevented until now…” (NLT). Pay attention to those open opportunities and closed doors, it may be God speaking to you about what He would have you to do.
God speaks through the Holy Spirit
Every believer has the Holy Spirit living within them. God deposited the Holy Spirit into your life when you became a follower of Christ. God will speak to you through His Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “When the Father sends the Advocate as my representative – that is, the Holy Spirit – He will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have to you” (John 14:26, NLT). Later Jesus would say, “When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13, NLT). So God has placed His Spirit inside of you to speak truth and direction into your life. God is speaking. Listen to Him as He is talking.
God speaks through your conscience
The Holy Spirit will often use your conscience to guide you about what is right or wrong, what you should do or not do. Paul referred to this when he said, “With Christ as my witness, I speak with utter truthfulness. My conscience and the Holy Spirit confirm it” (Romans 9:1, NLT). When Paul was talking about obeying governmental authorities he wrote, “So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience” (Romans 13:5, NLT). The implication is, God will often use your conscience to tell you what to do or what direction to take.
When seeking God’s voice and direction on a matter, you must remember that all the above will agree together. You will not have 4 out of 6 saying one thing and two saying another. God’s voice is always unanimous no matter how He speaks.