In the quiet corners of churches, under the solemnity of grand cathedrals, and within the sacred confines of our private spaces, millions of souls have whispered, cried, and even shouted their prayers, seeking a connection with God.
Throughout the ages, one question has persistently lingered, echoing in the hearts of the faithful: “Does God speak to us through prayer?”
God speaks to us through prayer, though not always in audible voices or clear signs. Divine communication is often a nudge in the heart, an unexpected circumstance, or an inexplicable peace during tumultuous times. As we open our hearts in sincere prayer, we must also attune our spirits to discern the subtle whispers of God.
Of course, the answer to the question is even more complex than that. At the outset, it’s essential to establish that our perception of communication is profoundly influenced by our human experiences. We are creatures of senses; we touch, see, hear, and feel. Thus, when we think of communication, we often anticipate a direct response, a clear voice, or an unmistakable sign.
However divine communication, especially through prayer, is often subtler, deeper, and more intricate than our typical exchanges.
The Bible is replete with examples of God speaking to His people. From the burning bush with Moses, the still small voice with Elijah, to the dreams of Joseph, we see that God indeed communicates. But it’s also crucial to understand that not every biblical figure heard God’s voice audibly or saw a visible sign.
In the New Testament, the Holy Spirit is described as our helper, our guide, and our comforter. The apostles, too, received guidance, discernment, and wisdom through their connection with the Spirit.
In our modern age, filled with distractions and noise, some might argue that God’s voice has become faint, or perhaps that He no longer speaks. However, could it be that the cacophony of life has made it challenging for us to listen? As we seek to unravel the mystery of divine communication through prayer, we must also ask ourselves if we are truly open to hearing, or if we are merely waiting for God to echo our own desires and wishes.
Prayer can be a difficult part of being a Christian. We’re told we need to pray, but not always taught how to pray. Many people give up because they feel like God isn’t speaking to them.
In this article, we will delve deeper into the multifaceted ways God might communicate with us, the importance of discernment, and the role of faith in perceiving His voice.
Does God Speak To Us Through Prayer?
Yes! The Lord desires an intimate relationship with you. The only way to have a relationship is to have a conversation. Relationships aren’t one sided! However, he’s only going to speak if you take the time to actually sit down and pray.
I think most people who say God doesn’t speak to them aren’t giving God enough time and aren’t attentive to His voice. This takes a lot of practice! Our relationship with God isn’t like our relationship with our earthly fathers. We can’t just call Him up and immediately hear the answers to all our questions.
We have to be disciplined enough to be consistent with our prayer life so we can learn what the Lord’s voice sounds like. Many people want God to speak to them like Moses, through a burning bush. This would make things so much easier for us! Unfortunately, it’s not the case for most of us.
God speaks to us in a variety of different ways. It’s not always the same every day. In fact, it might feel like he isn’t speaking to you at all some days. However, being a dedicated disciple isn’t based on how we feel. Even when it is hard, we must stay committed to communing with God.
What Are Some Ways God Speaks To Us?
We can find connection with God through prayer, but how do we know he listens, and most importantly what are some of the ways God communicates with us? Answering this question will help us open our minds and soul to Him and be receptive to his message.
The Bible is the Word of God. If you feel like God isn’t speaking to you, then the Bible is the best place to start! It is impossible for us to be followers of Christ if we don’t know who He is.
Oftentimes we seek God’s advice in prayer for how to respond to problems in our lives. We can’t possibly do this if we don’t know how God responded to His people in the Scriptures. You will probably find that an issue you are having in your life is, tangentially or directly, being addressed in the Bible!
Example #1: If you are sick and seeking healing you can turn to the following passages: Matthew 9:18-26 (Jesus Raises a Dead Girl and Heals a Sick Woman), 2 Kings 5 (Naaman Healed of Leprosy), Acts 3:1-10 (Peter Heals a Lame Beggar).
You may feel like the words being said to the sick in these passages are being spoken directly to you. You may feel seen and comforted after reading and sitting with these words. Both of these are ways God is speaking to you through Scripture.
One very powerful way that the Lord speaks to us through prayer is through music. The beauty of praise and worship music always reminds me of God’s goodness. It also reminds me that He gave those specific artists the gift of singing/playing instruments to serve His kingdom.
Although many of us don’t have musical talents, listening to music helps me to hear the whispers of God telling me that He created me with specific gifts to serve His kingdom as well.
The Lord also speaks to us through song lyrics. There have been many times where I have a praise and worship playlist going and the right song starts playing with the exact words I need to hear.
In today’s world there is so much noise. Busy cities, social events, sports events leave little room for silence. We may not even realize that we are still filling our lives with noise even if it isn’t physically loud.
Social media, reading, or listening to music is all noise in our lives. These things aren’t bad, but they leave little room in our lives to rest in the silence of God’s presence. How can we possibly hear His voice if it’s so loud all the time?!
This can be a really difficult practice to develop. I sometimes find myself getting antsy in the midst of silence. I find myself turning on background music or an audio book when I’m doing the dishes to fill the silence.
The problem with this is that we are missing opportunities for prayer. Instead of turning on the radio in the car, we could be talking with God and hearing Him speak to us through prayer. We miss chances to hear His calming and wise voice.
“Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy” (Psalm 96:11-12, NIV).
I recently went out to visit my sister in Colorado. We went hiking and saw a beautiful waterfall. I was in awe at what a prayerful experience all of it was. The beauty and stillness brought me closer to the Lord. I was reminded that if he created the earth to look this gorgeous, how beautiful does He think I am?
All because I spent time in the mountains, I was able to hear the Lord calling to me and telling me how beautiful I am. If the world He created is this gorgeous, how much more beautiful are we who were created in His image and likeness?
He speaks through the beauty of the world he created. Simply spending quiet time in nature can help you hear the voice of the Lord more clearly.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27, NIV).
Sometimes when you share your worries, fear, or problems with God you don’t “hear” Him telling you how to solve these problems. However, this doesn’t mean He isn’t speaking to You.
A wise friend of mine once told me, “His will is our peace.” If you’ve come to a decision and you feel a deep peace about this decision, then the Lord is telling you that you should do it.
If you come to a decision and feel restless and uneasy about it, then it might not be the right decision. If you’re festering over an issue you thought you solved, it’s probably time to talk your problem out with God again and seek a solution that brings you peace.
Does God Forgive Us Through Prayer?
Yes! “The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him;” (Daniel 9:9, NIV). The Lord is sad when we sin. We separate ourselves from Him when we sin, but he is overjoyed to forgive us.
The Lord is so merciful. Just like the Scriptures say, even though we don’t deserve it, he continuously forgives us. All we have to do is ask. You must ask for forgiveness with a sincere heart and a resolute desire to sin no more (even though we unfortunately still will).
The Catholic Church has a formal prayer called the Act of Contrition. You can recite this prayer or use it to help you to come up with your own prayer asking God for forgiveness.
Act of Contrition “My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against you whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us. In his name, my God, have mercy.”
Like I mentioned above, after you ask for forgiveness and resolve to do better, you most likely won’t hear a loud booming voice telling you that you’re forgiven. Everyone is different, but a more likely scenario is that you will feel a deep peace in your heart. This peace is God telling us through prayer that He forgives us.
Prayer isn’t easy. It’s a conversation with God which can be hard since one of the parties is an infinite being. However, the Lord is faithful and we must be faithful to Him. Even when you feel like He isn’t speaking to you it’s important to keep showing up.
If you’re struggling to hear God speak through prayer try switching up how you are praying. If you usually read the Bible, or the prayers on our site, perhaps try listening to praise and worship music or vice versa.
When in doubt, just try to be comfortable with silence. The Scriptures say, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10, NIV). Silence can be awkward at first, but if you are filling your life with too much noise then you will never be able to hear God speaking to you through prayer.
If you want to pray but you’re not sure what to pray about, then feel free to look through the prayers we offer, or if you have other Christian questions or requests then comment below we would love to know.