You read your Bible. You pray. You talk to God on behalf of the the people who asked you to remember them. You are burdened by those who don’t yet know Him. And you’ve even become consistent, doing this thing every day.

But do you actually hear from God?

This is something that’s been on my mind lately.

Of course, there are many ways we hear from God—through friends, in the normal goings on of our day, and by being directly involved in His work.

But there’s another way—a way that’s mostly overlooked.

And that’s in prayer itself.

It’s overlooked not because it’s obscure, but because it requires more effort. The examples of hearing from God I listed above are all passive. But sitting still and focusing only on listening is active.

It requires effort.

And so, for this reason, it’s often overlooked.

But there’s great value in making the effort–stuff like hearing words from your Creator, etc.

So here are three quick things you can do that will help you to become a better listener.

3 Practical Ways to Listen to God:

1. Save it for the end

Don’t try to do active listening at first. Begin with your reading time. Even do the asking and thanksgiving and praising parts first. Wait until you are in the right proximity to begin active listening.

It’s like getting close to the radio tower before you start tuning the dial.

2. Go in small bits

Once you feel ready to start, don’t push it. Shoot for something like 60 seconds. (60 seconds is a lot longer than it seems.)

Then stop.

If you have time, do it again before you finish. But if not, try again tomorrow. You’re building a habit, and you’re getting yourself used to doing this. You’re thinking about the long game.

3. Visualize God

This one’s trickier, because there’s no concrete way to describe it.

When Isaiah was brought before the throne room in Isaiah 6, he heard from God, and it changed his life.

A practical way to hear from God is to visualize being in front of Him, at His throne room.

One last thought here.

It’s tempting to listen for what you want. I want such-and-such, and I’ve been asking God for it. So I’m listing to hear about that.

But don’t.

I mean, don’t just.

The goal is to be open to whatever God wants you to hear.

The more you practice this—and it is a practice—the more you’ll find yourself living in step with your Savior, following the path Jesus left for you and me.

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