Listen. Such an important word but so many of us never really HEAR it. What does it mean to listen? I don’t want to insult anyone who reads this but have we truly learned to listen? I love digging down and doing the research before writing any post so when I looked up the word listen, the definitions were penetrating. Here are just a few of them that stood out to me. Listen: to give attention with the ear; attend closely for the purpose of hearing. To pay attention, heed; obey. To wait attentively for a sound. So with those definitions in mind, do we apply this to our lives consistently when it comes to listening for the beautiful voice of God?
It’s been stated over the years that the best communicators are those who are the best listeners! (Thank you, Zig Ziglar!) As someone who enjoys a thought-provoking and enlightening conversation, I have always felt I was a good listener. I have learned over the years what it takes to become a GREAT listener. I am humbled by the opportunity to talk with God every day, at any time, day or night. My conversations with God have gone to the next level once I learned to listen to HIM!
In most engaging conversations, we get so excited to share our perspective or point of view that we miss the “meat” of what someone is trying to share with us. We are preparing our answer or ideas and do not grasp the message that is being shared. I will admit, listening is hard! It takes practice but the results are well worth the effort; especially when it relates to talking with God.
Listen and Let Me Tell You a Story.
I had been reluctant to purchase a smartphone for many years. I would say, “As long as I can talk and text, that’s all I need from my phone.” Then as fate would have it, my trusted cell phone began to fall apart. Buttons fell off, I’d tape them back on. Finally, my phone became useless and I was forced to purchase a new phone. I went to the AT&T store and my eyes were drawn to a shiny new smartphone…oh Heaven forbid! The salesperson showed me the basics and I was totally impressed so I relented and purchased my very first smartphone.
I got home and excitedly plugged in my smartphone to charge as I went to sleep. Then my phone began to beep and click and make all sorts of unfamiliar noises. What was going on? The salesperson did not cover this. I would jump up every time I heard a beep! Did I miss a call? Did somebody just text me? What is happening? It has been two and a half years since I made that purchase and I am happy to tell you I absolutely love my smartphone! How did I ever manage before?
I have learned to sync my phone with my computer so I don’t forget to pay a bill or miss an appointment. (unless I forget to put it in my phone:) I now understand a click is just a Facebook post. A ding is an email to pleasingtothepotter.com, and a ding with vibration is a text message. So, there is no panic now. I’ve learned the meaning of the sounds because of time spent with this phone so I no longer overreact to the noise.
When it comes to listening to God, I am learning to listen to him in such an amazing way! There is something so comforting, empowering, and reassuring when you hear from God in His still small voice. I have learned to put aside negative thoughts. Throw away thoughts of worry and fear and just talk to Him. I share what is on my heart and stay quiet resting in God’s unfailing love. Let God reveal His purposes for you through the power of the Holy Spirit that lives within you.
I mentioned earlier that becoming a GREAT listener takes both effort and practice. I have applied these to my relationship with Christ and have been blessed to hear from Him on several occasions. Not audibly but spiritually I have heard from God as He provides me with wisdom. When you quiet yourself and let God speak you will hear from Him. He will bless you with wisdom, direction, comfort, encouragement, and most importantly love! So today I want to share with you 5 things you can practice to help in the process of listening to hear from God.
The Five P’s That Elevate Your Prayers
Prioritize your time with God.
I know we all have busy lives but it’s a necessity to prioritize our time with God. He is the one who allows us to wake each morning and blessed us with family and opportunities. It is ALL because of Him. By priority I mean make a point to spend quality time with God. Don’t rush through your Bible reading so you can check that off for the day. Pick a time and place where you can read God’s word and meditate. Ask God what do you want me to see today from His living Word?
Prepare your Heart to Listen.
When getting ready for an important conversation, we usually prepare ourselves to make a good impression. For a job interview or when making a sales pitch, you do research on the company to learn about them and see what they are about. Before going to God in prayer, I like to listen to worship songs or watch a quick Bible study I have saved on my DVR. My favorite though is to put my phone on silent and spend time soaking up God’s word! There is something special when it’s just you and God as you prepare your heart to hear from Him.
Pray with Perseverance and Purpose.
This is near and dear to my heart. As someone who had no feeling in his left side and could not even sit up on his own for months, I understand the necessity to persevere in prayer! It is easy to get discouraged and frustrated when you feel your prayers are not heard. As I share in my upcoming NEW BOOK, Jesus prayed constantly and continuously every chance He got and He encourages us to pray without ceasing. (1 Thessalonians.5:17)
Now He was telling them a parable to show them they ought to pray at all times and not lose heart.” Luke 18:1.
Jesus instructs us to not get discouraged and to keep on praying. He wants to communicate with us but we must be willing to listen!
Promise to Obey with Joy.
When we seek to hear from God, we must be ready for His answer whether we like it or not! God knows everything and He wants the best for us so when He speaks we must obey his leading. Sometimes His answers seem odd or don’t make sense to us but it is imperative to be obedient. The reason I added “with joy” is because we show respect to our Savior and we should feel blessed to hear from God!
What Christ did for us on the cross, he did willingly because He loves us. We honor Him when He speaks to us and we should obey him humbly with joy! One of my favorite life verses is found in Proverbs. I read it repeatedly as a young child but now I realize the importance of applying these verses to my life daily.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to thine own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6.
It’s so easy to focus on the first part of this passage but it’s the middle portion I repeat over in my head. God tells us don’t focus on the “little” that we know or can see but to TRUST Him completely. Acknowledge God in everything especially in your conversations with Him. When you are willing to do that, God will reveal what’s best for you!
Praise God for His Blessings.
Before I rush into sharing my prayer requests, I thank God for working in my life and the lives of those I love. He continues to bless me in so many ways. I love sharing with my readers how God continues to transform and mold me into the man He desires It’s humbling that God chose me to be a part of His family and I am thankful for the daily conversations we have.
Listening to God is a privilege. Remember to whom you are speaking with when you go to God in prayer. When you prepare your heart, pray with perseverance, and make God a priority, you WILL hear from Him. He will share with you things beyond your comprehension. God asks us to trust in Him, rely on HIS wisdom, and rest in the PEACE that only He offers. Will you make it a point to listen for God today?
Are you Listening?
Horace Williams Jr is the oldest son of a pastor who went to be with Jesus in 2020. He is an award-winning author and amateur chef who loves Jesus Christ. His passion for Christ inspires readers to draw nearer to the God who loves them.
30 thoughts on “How to Listen for the Beautiful Voice of God”
I used to think I was a good listener, but over time I’ve discovered I have a long way to go! ha. Being a great listener doesn’t come naturally, but yes, it is something worth cultivating. Thanks for the tips, Horace! I want to hear God better and more clearly with each new day.
I resisted getting a smart phone for several years too. But once I did, I was just like you: it’s a wonderful thing. 🙂 Have a blessed week!
Listening was something I cultivated because of my shyness Lisa.
I’ve always preferred just staying in the background observing and listening to people. Once I got to know you,I would open up but I wanted to see whom I was opening up to first. Now I want my relationship with Christ to grow so I make it a priority to listen. It is an amazing feeling when God reveals something to you in those quiet moments. Truly inspiring! Thank you for stopping by..it is always a pleasure to hear from you. These smartphones are so cool huh? Have a wonderful week as well and may God bless you and yours!
Horace! What a GREAT analogy! I know my smartphone’s bells and whistles .. who is calling … what alarm is for what thing … OH! That I would be as attentive to the Holy Spirit’s promptings in my life! Sharing across social media!
Thank you Diane for your visit and sharing! I was really “freaking out” when I first got this phone. Nowadays I don’t jump up because I hear a certain click or ding. I really love it when I hear God speak to me. I now know the other is just “white noise” trying to distract me from His will so I try to listen intently for His voice;)
Great post! Learning to listen, especially to God, is so important and you give good advice. I still don’t have a smartphone but I’m listening to what you say about the benefits.
Thank you for visiting and your comment Carly. By the way, getting a smartphone has simplified things in many ways. More importantly, I am learning each day the importance of listening to God in every situation. I would much rather wait and listen for Him instead of moving forward on my own. He has shown Himself faithful and I am blessed. Thank you again for visiting here today. Blessings.
These are wonderful tips, Horace. Listening is incredibly important. I think so many of us could use some help in that area. I’m really trying to work on the 1st tip you shared, prioritizing my time with Him. That really has to be the 1st step. I’m sad to say He’s been pushed out far too often over the years with daily tasks that are so much less important than Him. Thanks for your inspiring words :).
Amen Candace I hear you! Things will pop up that we need to take care of but I notice I get so much more during my time with Him, when there are NO distractions. Whether it be early morning or late at night, I want to be focused in on hearing from God. It is so good to hear from you today. I hope all is well with you. Have a wonderful week and blessings to you and yours!
Horace, this is such an important topic. I, too, spent many years saying I didn’t need a smartphone and when I finally broke down and bought one I realized how distracting it can be! Thank you for this reminder than we need to stop, to make the time and listen to God’s voice. He’s waiting to speak to us! What an amazing gift. Thank you for this.
Welcome back Abby! Always a blessing to get your insights. i am so glad you enjoyed the post. Yes, I am learning that the world will not stop because I missed a tweet, post, or text. I do love the simplicity that the phone has added at times. Most important though our Savior wants our time and our hearts. I look forward to hearing want He wants to share with me each day. Thank you again for stopping by. I hope you have a fantastic week and continued blessings to you and yours!
Oh to listen more closely… Chatting comes with ease. Listening? Well, that’s one I could stand to work on. Good tips, Horace, for learning to listen – truly listen.
Thanks for stopping by Kristi…yes I think God was trying to tell us something when He created us 1 mouth…2 ears;) Have a blessed day!
Horace, such an important topic. In our busy world with so much noise, it’s hard to just listen. Like you’ve mentioned, I’ve been the one who’s so excited to share my perspective that I miss the essence of what someone’s saying. I’ve been working to be in the moment, and fully engaged in the other person. It’s not always easy, but it’s rewarding.
When it comes to listening to God, I’m seeing that I need some still space in my days. I always have to pray for His help in calming my heart so I can hear His words for me. 🙂 This in itself is a discipline.
Thank you for visiting and your perspective to Jeanne. I’m glad to read you enjoyed the post. Time with God in prayer is so essential to the Christian’s spiritual life. We have to make it a priority to hear from our Savior. I too have struggled at times to calm my heart but there is no one better to listen to than Jesus! Thanks again for visiting. Have a fantastic week and may God richly bless you and yours!
Awesome post, Horace–and a beautiful blog filled with inspiration! Be still–one of my life verses. Great list for listeners, too. So blessed to visit here today. Looking foreward to dropping by again.
So nice to “meet” you Kathryn and thanks for visiting. I’m glad to read you enjoyed this post…you are welcome to stop by anytime. May God continue richly bless you and yours!
I like to think I’m a good listener, but I know my mind wanders at times. “When we seek to hear from God, we must be ready for His answer whether we like it or not!” Yes, yes, yes. It is so easy to pray about something but when it is not what we want, we sulk. Jesus did so much for us when He died on the cross, we should be willing to obey humbly with joy.
A new book, I’m so excited for you, Horace, I can’t wait until you are finished with it. Have a wonderful weekend, my friend. Thank you for sharing this encouragement with Thankful Thursdays.
Yes we all can improve when it comes to not only listening but the willingness to obey. Thanks for stopping by Lori. I am very excited to work on this book. I pray God will give me the wisdom and direction. I know it can impact lives for His glory. I hope you enjoy your weekend. Blessings to you and yours,friend!
All of this is so good and full of practical wisdom! God never tried to make it hard for is to hear Him. So glad you are back with #FreshMarketFriday…I’ve missed you!
Thanks for visiting Crystal! I’m glad you enjoyed this post. God desire to communicate with us we have to be better at listening. Glad to be a part of Fresh Market Friday. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday and have a great week! Blessings.
Thank you for these words on listening. In our fast-paced, media saturated world, it is easy to streamline what we listen to. But many times we are not making the best choices in what we actually listen to. I really needed to be reminded to pray with perseverance and purpose. I give up too easy when I feel I am not getting the answer I want or when I am not “hearing” anything. Our whole journey with God is one of perseverance. Now I just need to stick with it. I was blessed you came to visit my blog today.
Thanks Mary for visiting and your comment. I’m glad you like the post. Yes we need to be intentional in our listening and continue in our prayers with perseverance. God will give us the strength to persevere when we seek Him. Thank you again for visiting today. I hope you have a wonderful week and blessings to you and yours!
I love the comparison of learning to hear the “voice” of our phones to learning to hear the voice of God! What great imagery and so true! We need to train ourselves to listen to and for Him, learning to interpret the ways in which He communicates with us! Your 5 strategies are spot on!
It’s always so good to see you join #MomentsofHope each week and share your hope-filled posts! You bless me! I love seeing you as a part of Blessed Transgressions now, too!
Blessings and smiles,
Thank You Lori for visiting and your sincere comment. So blessed that you enjoyed this post. I am training myself to listen to my Savior’s sweet voice. It is so comforting when we hear from Him. Thank you again for the opportunity to share at Moments of Hope. Your encouragement means so much. Have a wonderful weekend and blessings to you and yours,friend.
You’re right, Horace, listening to God is a privilege. I love it when I hear God speaking to me and my heart. I keep replaying in my mind what he’s said, and I write it down because I don’t want to forget. I want his words to seep deep inside of me – and I want them to make a difference.
Amen Rachel. Writing it down is a great idea! I feel so encouraged when I hear from God even though sometimes it does not make sense. He asks me to trust Him. God is continuing to use you for His glory Rachel. Thank you so much for visiting. Your heart for God is evident to me and so many I’m sure. I hope you have a fantastic weekend and may God continue to richly bless you and yours!
Your photography is stunning.
Thank you Linda. I want photos/images to reinforce the message of my posts. God bless!
I love that suggestion to prepare our heart to listen. I know sometimes I come to God ready to pour out my heart – but it truly when we listen that we grow. Always love your wise and discerning words, Horace. What a treasure you are to the kingdom!
I know what you mean Tiffany! I am learning to come to the Lord ready to listen for a word or words from Him. It is so comforting and reassuring when I hear His still small voice. Thank you for stopping by. Always a blessing to hear from you. I hope you enjoy the rest of your week. May God bless you and yours in all your endeavors!