Hearing God

14 03 2008

Several people have spoken to me recently about how they long to hear God speak to them, but how they never have. Some say they’ve prayed all their lives and never felt God’s presence. Do you think that anyone can learn to hear God’s voice?  Or are some people more sensitive to the spiritual realm than others? Just as some people have better eye-sight than others, are some people just naturally more open to hearing from God than others? I’ve always assumed the former, but I’ve started to wonder whether the latter might be true on some level.

Barbara Doubtfire writes that “Hearing God’s voice is an intriguing concept/experience.  I think the simplest way I view it is that so many experiences, when I reflect on them, are ‘as if” God has spoken….experiences of fulfillment (feeling full)…of penitence…of a shove to change direction…a ‘knowing’ – out of the blue but with certainty …”

The Jesuit priest Gerard Hughes puts it in his classic book God of Surprises, “God is mystery, a beckoning word, and He calls us out beyond our narrowness … The journey to God is a journey of discovery and it is full of surprises.”

I think that God speaks to people more than they realise. I remember when I first recognised that the soft, gentle ‘niggle’ in my mind was God’s voice. I then realised that he had been speaking to me for a long time, I just hadn’t fully understood that it was him.

For those who want to hear from God, I think they could pray and ask God to help them recognise his voice. Jesus’ words at the end of John 9 seem to indicate that he opens and closes people’s spiritual eyes, so I imagine this applies to people’s spiritual ears as well.




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