How Do I Hear God’s Voice Clearly?

🌺  Written by Brittany Ann

You’ve asked God to speak to you clearly — so how do you hear God’s voice now? Follow these six tips to help you hear God’s voice, and to help you overcome common obstacles in the way.

How to Hear God's Voice“How do I hear God’s voice? What does it sound like?”

When one of my children asked me this question at bedtime, I couldn’t help but smile.

Yes, I was a very proud mama. But I also remember what it was like to wonder “How do I hear God’s voice clearly?” myself.

 

I shared in my other article, “How Do You Know When God is Speaking to You?” that when I was first learning how to hear God’s voice, I initially couldn’t tell the difference between God’s voice and my own.

God’s voice sounded distant, vague, and quiet. And what I now realize was God’s guidance and direction initially felt like random thoughts and ideas that would probably never happen. Back then, God’s voice certainly wasn’t certain, obvious, or clear.

Thankfully, I no longer feel that way today.

 

Now, God’s voice (usually!) sounds clear, comfortable, loving, and familiar.

I can recognize it easily and immediately because I’ve spent years listening, seeking, and obeying. Hearing God’s voice truly does get easier with practice. The good news is, it doesn’t have to take years for you to learn how to hear God’s voice clearly.

If you’re wondering, “How do I hear God’s voice?” here are six tips you can use today to help you hear the Holy Spirit speaking to you loudly and clearly as well. 

 

*This post contains affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase, I may make a small commission at no additional cost to you. This helps cover the many costs of running this site and allows me to help provide for my growing family. Thank you!

 

New: Discover Where God is Calling You Personally

Follow God's Will Book and Workbook

Are looking for more guidance in how do you hear God’s voice? Or do you feel confident hearing Him, but sometimes wonder, How do I follow God’s will for my life? I’ve been there too!

I share my experience with these questions in my brand new book, Follow God’s Will: Biblical Guidelines for Everyday Life, along with the Follow God’s Will companion workbook.

Practical, encouraging, and full of biblical truth, Follow God’s Will is designed to help you answer questions including:

  • What does God want me to do?
  • How do I apply the Bible’s instructions to my life today?
  • Where is God calling me personally?
  • How can I make a difference right where I am?
  • How should I navigate relationships with those who think, act, or believe differently than I do?
  • And so many more!

Want to start reading for free?

Simply enter your first name and email below, and I’ll send you an exclusive “first-peek” right away, right to your inbox!

 

1. Ask God to Speak Loudly and Clearly

 

The Bible tells us to ask God for guidance, and assures us that God will answer. The first and simplest thing to do when you wonder, How do I hear God’s voice? is to ask God to speak to you loudly and clearly. 

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. (James 1:5)

 

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. (Matthew 7:7-8)

 

It really is this simple: The first step to answering the question, “How do I hear God’s voice?” is to ask God for His clear voice and direction.

 

What if you don’t know how to ask God to speak to you?

 

If you’re not sure exactly what to say, try praying these words from 1 Samuel 3:10 — “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

This simple request has been huge in answering how do I hear God’s voice. It helps in two ways: First, it prepares me in expectant waiting — I know that God will answer, so I listen. And second, it opens space for God to reply.

For some women, asking God to speak loudly and clearly is an absolute no-brainer: of course you should ask for what you want! If this describes you, that’s fantastic — keep asking God to speak to you!

For some women, though, asking God so directly can be uncomfortable and even scary. Maybe you were taught that being direct is rude, and you should only ask for things indirectly. Or maybe you’ve experienced a toxic relationship where you were ignored or even punished for asking for anything.

I am so happy to assure you that God welcomes your requests. Remember that if you ask, God will answer.

 

2. Set Aside Time to Listen

 

You’ve asked God to speak to you loudly and clearly — so how do you hear God’s voice now?

The next step is to take instruction straight from the Bible and from Jesus: Set aside time to listen. We read about Jesus doing this constantly in the the Gospels.

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. (Mark 1:35)

 

One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. (Luke 6:12)

 

Often, something important happens right after Jesus prays — he walks on water (Matthew 14:22-33); he teaches his disciples the Lord’s Prayer (Luke 11:1-4); he is transfigured (Luke 9:28-35). I imagine Jesus listening to God the Father in these prayers. Maybe he was asking the Father to confirm his path, listening for reassurance, or poring out his own feelings.

Jesus set aside time to be alone with God, showing us how to pray too.

 

What if you’re struggling to find time to listen for God’s voice?

 

There’s no doubt that the busyness of our lives can be an obstacle to hearing God. Even Jesus had to get up super early, stay up late at night, and walk away from people when he wanted to pray. Jesus shows that if you want to listen to God, you have to be intentional about it.

The great news is, God will meet you where you are — so let’s figure out where that is! Grab a pen and paper right now, and jot down a few times where and when you can meet with God.

You may need to create time:

  • Can you wake up ten minutes earlier?
  • Leave dinner cleanup to your family a couple times each week to drive to a park and sit alone?
  • What if you plan big and schedule an overnight or a weekend at a retreat center?

Or you may be able to use the time you already have differently:

  • Stop scrolling social media during sports practice, and listen to God instead.
  • Turn off the podcast during your commute and listen.
  • When you take your dog on a walk, listen.

You can ask your husband and kids for help guarding this time. As a bonus, prioritizing your own time with God can encourage your family to do the same for themselves — what an amazing example!

Imagine how it would feel to hear your kids’ question, “how do I hear God’s voice?” turning into, “Mom, I heard God’s voice!”

 

3. Consider Small Prompts You May Have Missed

 

Another way you can hear God’s voice clearly is taking another look around you. Are there signs and prompts that you’ve missed? What thoughts, ideas, opportunities, or circumstances are God’s voice?

One memorable Bible story relates how God caused a donkey to speak to a man named Balaam so Balaam would finally listen. Of course, a talking donkey is absolutely not a small prompt. But look at the whole story in Numbers 22:21-35, and you’ll see these subtle signs.

First, Balaam’s donkey turns off the road. Then the donkey squeezes so close to a wall that he injures Balaam’s foot. Finally the donkey simply lays down in the road and refuses to move. When Balaam beats his donkey for disobedience, the donkey asks him, “Don’t you know me? Do I usually act like this?”

The donkey’s out-of-the-ordinary behaviors were prompts that Balaam completely missed when they happened. Getting his foot smashed actually saved Balaam’s life.

 

What if you don’t know what prompts to look for?

 

I like to to think in terms of “green flags” and “red flags” when looking for small prompts in life. These flags can guide us when we pay attention to thoughts and ideas, to seemingly random coincidences, or to unexpected opportunities.

Green flags are positive signs that tell you to go ahead. Maybe it’s funding for a special project; or an opportunity to join a Bible study; or an opening to change jobs. Sometimes a green flag is super clear, and other times you may wait for additional confirmation.

On the other hand, red flags are God’s voice directing you away from something harmful. A red flag could be small, like seeing your calendar fill up with so many “good things” that it will sacrifice your family’s peace. Or a red flag could be bigger, like a feeling of unexplained discomfort around a certain person that actually signals a toxic relationship.

If you are wondering how do you hear God’s voice, look at your life with curious eyes. How is God speaking to you in subtle ways?

 

4. Obey What You Have Heard

 

After you’ve asked God to speak to you clearly, taken time to listen, and looked for small prompts in your life, it’s time to follow through. That’s right, you need to obey what you have heard.

Sometimes obeying God’s voice is easy, but other times it is the last thing we want to do. If you’ve ever felt this way, you’re not alone!

In fact, the whole book of Jonah in the Bible tells of a prophet who literally sailed in the opposite direction of God’s command. Meanwhile, the citizens of Nineveh were lost in sin because they didn’t know God’s word and Jonah wasn’t bringing it to them.

It was only after Jonah finally listened to God and went to Nineveh that the lives of 120,000 people were saved. Can you imagine the destruction if Jonah hadn’t repented of his own sin?

 

What if you really don’t want to obey?

 

I get it: obedience can be hard. As Jonah’s story shows, even biblical heroes sometimes wanted to run the other way.

But if you can’t hear God’s voice and aren’t sure why, it may be time to reflect on your own life. Resisting God’s voice can be a sign that there is a sin in your life that needs dealt with.

Ask the Holy Spirit to help you identify this sin and then help you get rid of it. Be open to what the Holy Spirit shows you, even if (especially if!) it’s not what you want to hear.

Maybe you’ve done this and don’t feel a clear conviction about sin in your life. But for some reason you’re still feeling stuck in just not wanting to obey. If this is the case, try revisiting your own story.

Ask yourself, when was a specific time that I obeyed God? What was the good that happened because of my obedience? Then turn the question around: When did I refuse to listen to God? What happened then?

Remembering God’s past work in your life can help you obey His voice now.

 

5. Ask Friends, Family, and Mentors for Feedback

 

If you’ve tried asking these questions by yourself but are still wondering, “How do I hear God’s voice?”, it might be time to look for outside help. Turning to trusted family, friends, or mentors can help you hear God’s voice.

The Bible story of Ruth tells of a woman who followed Naomi, her mother-in-law, to Israel after both of their husbands died. Ruth was from another country and so didn’t know Israel’s customs. She asked Naomi’s advice, then followed it right away. Naomi’s advice led to Ruth marrying a godly man and ultimately becoming one of the ancestors of Jesus!

When Ruth felt lost, she asked advice from someone she trusted with her life. People who love us can be amazing sources of insight, support, and encouragement.

 

What if you don’t know who you should ask for advice?

 

Sometimes it will be obvious whose advice you should seek, but this isn’t always the case. And if you ask too many people, or the wrong people, you may end up more confused than ever about how do you hear God’s voice!

If you’re not sure who to turn to, take a moment to consider the godly people in your life. The following questions can help you decide who you should ask:

  • Who knows me best?
  • Who can I rely on to offer godly (not worldly) advice?
  • Who is most knowledgeable about this subject?
  • Why do I want to ask this person instead of that person? (Examine your own motives!)
  • Is it the right time to ask for outside advice, or should I wait a bit longer?

And you can apply the other advice above! Ask God who to talk to, then listen for a clear, loud answer, or for small prompts. Be confident that if you ask, God will answer.

 

6. Be Patient

 

Have you done all the previous steps and still haven’t heard God’s voice? You may be asking “how do I hear God’s voice?” simply because God hasn’t spoken yet. Sometimes God answers your request with a simple, “Be patient.”

Do you know the story of Abraham? God Himself promised Abraham so many descendants that he would be a “great nation”… but Abraham had to wait until he was one hundred years old before his heir was born! And his wife Sarah was ninety-nine! (Genesis 21:1-5)

But during the decades that Abraham waited for God’s promise, he kept living his life. He dealt gracefully with some situations, but not so gracefully with others. All this time, though, he continued to seek God, to listen to Him, and to grow in his faith.

 

What if you feel stuck while you’re being patient?

 

If God is telling you to wait, you can trust that this answer is for the best (even when it’s hard!).

While Abraham was waiting for God’s promise, he could not see God’s hand moving behind the scenes, or how he needed to grow. Reading Abraham’s story years later, though, we see how he matured and how his faith grew because of his patience.

If you feel stuck waiting right now, ask God how you can grow while you wait. Maybe God is giving you time to grow in a habit of prayer that will shape the rest of your life. Maybe you have struggles that are holding you back from joyful living, and while you wait you can seek help from a therapist.

Yes, God invites us to actively seek His will, but don’t stress if you don’t always hear His voice. If you ask, God will show you how to use this time to grow in patience, love, and faithfulness.

 

Ready to Discover Where God is Calling You Personally?

Follow God's Will Book and Workbook

If you want to explore more deeply how do you hear God’s voice, or if you have heard His voice and you’re ready for next steps, I have a great resource for you!

My brand new book, Follow God’s Will: Biblical Guidelines for Everyday Life, along with the Follow God’s Will companion workbook.

Practical, encouraging, and full of biblical truth, Follow God’s Will is designed to help you answer questions including:

  • What does God want me to do?
  • How do I apply the Bible’s instructions to my life today?
  • Where is God calling me personally?
  • How can I make a difference right where I am?
  • How should I navigate relationships with those who think, act, or believe differently than I do?
  • And so many more!

Want to start reading for free?

Simply enter your first name and email below, and I’ll send you an exclusive “first-peek” right away, right to your inbox!

 

In Case You Missed It

 

Equipping Godly Women is passionate about helping you seek God’s will for your life. Check out these related blog posts for even more practical ways to find, hear, and follow God’s will.

 

How to Know God’s Will for Your Life

How Do You Know When God Is Speaking to You?

How to Share the Gospel (Without Being Weird or Pushy)

How to Memorize Scripture (Quickly and Easily!)

 

Have you found yourself wondering, “How do I hear God’s voice?” What has best helped you hear Him? Use the comment section below to share a time when you knew beyond a doubt that God was speaking to you!

 

Join the Discussion

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  1. Thanks I really needed to hear that today! I appreciate your response with this issue. I will seek ways to hear God’s voice daily.

  2. Thank you for the wonderful article, really needed to hear this message! Some things I knew but many new ideas. I really appreciate the biblical reference. I have been struggling with God's direction recently and I am conflicted with a crossroads in my faith. I am going to try putting these ideas into action.
    God Bless

    1. So happy to hear that this article gave you some tips and ideas of things to do to hear God’s voice.

  3. Its amazing how God gives us different perspective about how to hear from Him. I enjoyed reading this. I had to realize God was speaking to me through family and friends. At first I couldn't understand how is He speaking to them but than I realize it was some things I'd ask God that they had no clue and the answer would come from them. The Bible, People, Dreams, and Books are the easiest ways I recongize Him speaking but like you stated we have to be patient and wait at times to hear us because he does not speak the way we often speak.

    God bless.

    1. You are right – God does speak to us in all different kinds of ways. It is hard to be patient while we wait to hear from Him but we can hold strong in knowing we aren’t alone while waiting.

  4. Advice must come from whoever is most knowledgeable, and that might be a professional. If it's the right advice it will be "godly" regardless of who it comes from.

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