Guidelines for Hearing the Voice of God

Satan does not want you to hear God’s voice because your partnership with the Lord can wreak havoc on his Kingdom. Knowing that you must fight the enemy as you enter your time alone with God will help you to stay true to your commitment. The following guidelines are tools to help you win the battle:

  1. Bind the voice of the enemy. When you pray, Satan will try to interfere. So, before you start to pray, bind his voice. Do this in the name of Jesus. Then trust the Holy Spirit. He will lead you and guide you into all truth. (See Matthew 16: 19; John 14: 26; 15: 26– 27; 16: 13– 15; James 4: 7– 8; 1 Peter 5: 8– 9.)
  2. Submit your own will and reasoning to the Holy Spirit. Many times, your own will and reasoning get in the way of what the Spirit of the Lord wants to share with you or communicate to you. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. (See Psalm 119: 104, 125; Proverbs 3: 5; 16: 3; 1 Corinthians 2: 14– 16; James 4: 7– 8.)
  3. Turn off your own problems. This is not always easy, but it is necessary for true communication. Concentrating on your own problems forms a “static” that can interfere and bring confusion, causing a mixture of interpretation. (See Psalm 37: 5; 42: 5; 43: 5; Proverbs 3: 5; 14: 30; Isaiah 26: 3; Philippians 2: 4; 4: 6– 7; 1 Peter 5: 7.)
  4. Give your undivided attention to God’s Word. Focus your mind on what He is saying; hearing is passive, while listening is active. This will require mental effort and attention. Satan will fight you on this because the more revelation of God’s Word you have, the more of a threat you will be to the kingdom of darkness. (See Psalm 37: 7; Proverbs 4: 4, 20, 23; 1 Corinthians 2: 10– 12; 2 Corinthians 10: 5.)
  5. Limit your own talking. After you have petitioned the Lord, take time to be still and wait upon Him. You do this in the same way you would carry on a conversation with a precious friend. (See Numbers 9: 8; Psalm 18: 28; 27: 14; 31: 24; 37: 5; Song of Solomon 2: 14.)
  6. Write it down. Listen to your inner thoughts and ideas. The Spirit of the Lord will speak to you through impressions or pictures in the theater of your mind. When this happens, write them down, because with time there is a tendency to forget. And the Lord might want to add more later. Soon you will begin to see that what you have written fits into a pattern. As you continue to pray and see the answers to your prayers, certain pictures will take on a special meaning for you. (See Exodus 17: 14; Psalm 16: 7; 36: 8– 9; 37: 5; 77: 6; Proverbs 9: 10; 16: 3, 9; 1 Corinthians 2: 9– 16.)
  7. Don’t argue mentally. When the Spirit of the Lord speaks, you may tend to argue with yourself and say, “That’s just me, or my imagination.” But as you check your written notes, God will give you confirmation from previous times with Him, or He could be giving additional “witness” to His future plans. (See Isaiah 46: 10– 11; John 16: 13; 1 Corinthians 2: 16; 2 Corinthians 13: 1; Philippians 2: 5.)
  8. Wait upon the Lord for the interpretation. Don’t try to figure out impressions when you receive them. Wait upon the timing and wisdom of the Lord. (See Psalm 27: 14; 37: 7; Proverbs 2: 6; 16: 3; Daniel 2: 22– 23, 28, 30; John 10: 4; Ephesians 1: 17; Colossians 1: 9.)
  9. Don’t get ahead of (or lag behind) the Holy Spirit. Often when the Lord shows or tells us something, we get so excited that we run and share it, but the Spirit of the Lord is not finished with us yet. Let Him develop the thoughts He gives you; wait until you know He is through. Don’t try to make things happen. Proverbs 16: 9 says, “The mind of man plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.” (See Jeremiah 10: 23; 1 Corinthians 4: 5; 2 Corinthians 4: 6; 2 Peter 3: 9.)
  10. Be trustworthy. The Lord will share with you just as you share with a friend. He expects the same from you that you expect out of the one with whom you share your personal confidences. The more He can trust you with deep and intimate things, the more He will entrust to you. (See Genesis 18: 17– 19; Numbers 12: 7– 8; Psalm 25: 14; Isaiah 45: 3.)
  11. The Holy Spirit speaks through music. There are times in the mornings when you wake up with a song on your heart, such as “Only Believe.” Listen to the words; during the day, it could be the very key you will need to build your faith and lead you to victory. (See Exodus 15: 1; 2 Chronicles 20: 21– 22; Psalm 32: 7; 40: 3; 42: 8; 138: 5; Ephesians 5: 19; Colossians 3: 16.)
  12. Pay attention to your dreams. The Lord often speaks in dreams and visions (word pictures). Eventually these dreams will fit into a pattern, and certain pictures or circumstances will begin to mean something that will help you to interpret what you have dreamed. Not all dreams are of God; those that are will stand out and leave a deeper impression on you. You will be able to remember them beyond just waking up in the morning. Remember to write them down; this is the only way you will be able to recall the details. Even if you do not understand the dream, write down what you think it means to you. (See “Journaling: Recording What You Hear,” chapter 6.) (See Job 33: 14– 16; Daniel 2: 19– 23; 4: 18; 7: 1– 2, 7, 13; 9: 21– 22; 10: 14, 21; Matthew 1: 20; 2: 13.)
  13. Don’t be afraid of silence. Sometimes the Lord is silent. Don’t become upset if you don’t hear anything when you pray. Often the Holy Spirit just wants to worship the Lord. When you have your heart clean before Him, then there is nothing wrong. He just desires that you come and bask in His presence because you love Him and want to be with Him. Be still and know that He is God. (See Psalm 45: 11; 46: 10; 96: 9; Song of Solomon 1: 4; Isaiah 12: 2– 3; 30: 15; 50: 10.)

The Holy Spirit is the One who leads us into God’s truth. And when the Holy Spirit speaks, His voice is unique to everyone. Thus, the more you understand the Holy Spirit’s personality through you and others, the more clearly you will be able to discern God’s truth.


The above notes were taken from the book, “Becoming a Prayer Warrior” written by Elizabeth Alves.