How do I hear God’s voice?

by Christine Leow // May 14, 2024, 12:18 pm


God speaks to us personally and, in stillness and silence, we can hear His voice. Photo by Marc-Olivier Jodoin on Unsplash.

Is it possible to hear God’s voice? Yes, because God speaks.

The Bible begins with an account of Creation. The entire process is all about God speaking things into being. “And God said” appears again and again.

The Old Testament is replete with accounts of God speaking, presumably in an audible voice, to patriarchs (Abraham), prophets (Moses) and priests (Samuel). 

By the New Testament, others could hear God’s audible voice. He spoke aloud about Jesus twice – once at His baptism (Matthew 3:16-17, Mark 1:10-11, Luke 3:21-22) and once during His transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-8, Mark 9:2-8, Luke 9:28-36).

So why do we seem to have so much trouble hearing God for ourselves? How can we hear God speak to us personally?

Here are 7 steps to help you hear God’s voice.

7 steps to hear God’s voice

1. Know the different ways God speaks

Just as we have various ways of communication – email, social media, texts on multiple platforms, phone, face-to-face – God also communicates in different ways.

And just as we choose from the different communication methods to achieve different purposes, so does God.

God speaks to us personally through a still, small voice.

Firstly and most importantly, God speaks through the Bible. He does this primarily to transform us (Hebrews 4:12), as well as to guide and guard us.

Next, God speaks naturally through our conscience, pointing out wrong moral choices and acts. He does this to steer us away from an immoral lifestyle that may hurt ourselves and others.

God also speaks supernaturally through angelic visitations, visions, dreams and prophetic words. He does this at significant points in our lives or when He really wants to get our attention.

How to hear God

Part of learning how to hear God is learning the difference ways God speaks. Photo from

Finally, God speaks to us personally through a still, small voice. He does this particularly when we seek Him in decision-making, direction and specific actions, but also to build an intimate relationship with us.

2. Be still

What does God’s still, small voice sound like? And why does He speak to us this way?

God’s voice is not an external, audible voice. Not usually, at least. Instead, because we have the Holy Spirit in us, God’s Spirit speaks to our spirit (Romans 8:16). That is why it is a small, internal voice.

Because God’s voice is a quiet one, we need to be quiet to hear it.

Because God’s voice is a quiet one, we need to be quiet to hear it. No wonder God tells us: “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)

Find a time and place where you can be in stillness. Ideally, it should be a time when you are not too exhausted, and a place with no distractions. This means putting away all digital devices and distractions.

Be in a posture that best relaxes you (although lying down might put you at risk of falling asleep). Then breathe deeply and slowly. Meditative music can sometimes help.

3. Quiet your mind

It is in this stillness that you can learn to quiet your soul. Here is how it works.

As you try to be still, you might find your mind straying. We live in a noisy world that often intrudes into our inner world even when we try to be quiet.

How to hear God

Being silent is one of the first steps to hear God because God speaks in a still small voice. Photo from

These first thoughts that intrude into our minds are usually influenced by our flesh, our past, our thoughts and emotions, our physiological impulses (whether we are hungry or tired) and inputs from our five senses.

Keep a pen and a piece of paper by you to jot these down so you can clear your minds of them. 

4. Immerse yourself in God’s presence

After you have quietened your soul, meditate on Scripture, worship God or focus on the cross.

Persist till you feel a peace, warmth and quiet within you. That is the presence of God. The Psalmist says that it is so tangible, you can almost taste it (Psalm 34:8).

“It is within this inner stillness … that the Spirit of the living God speaks most clearly to our spirits.”

W Philip Keller wrote in Solitude for Serenity and Strength: “It is within this inner stillness, within this utter quietness, within this sweet solitude, that the Spirit of the living God speaks most clearly to our spirits.

“It is there, alone with Him, that He makes Himself real to us. It is there we ‘see’ Him most acutely with the inner eyes of our awakened conscience.

“It is there He communes with us calmly through the inner awareness of His presence, speaking to us with ever-deepening conviction by His own wondrous words.”

5. Identify and filter out your own voice

Often, as we sit in silence, our inner self surfaces – our innermost thoughts, intentions, feelings and attitudes. Recognising these as yours helps you distinguish your own voice from the voice of God.

Concerns may also arise. Bring the matter up to God in prayer. Explore the intentions behind these concerns.

How to hear God

As you learn how to hear, commit to God in prayed the issues that surface. Photo from

For example, you may be contemplating a change of jobs. In prayer, discern why you are thinking of leaving your job. Is it because of an inability to get along with colleagues or a desire for a better pay?

Surrender all these – your life, your desires, your concerns – to God. Clearing all these helps filter out our own desires and allows us to distinguish between our own voice and God’s.

6. Listen

With all these interferences cleared, you can move into a deeper calm and be engrossed in God’s presence.

Now is the time to listen. At this point, you might want to try a method developed by St Ignatius of Loyola.

As with communication in any relationship, it gets better with practice.

The Ignatius method invites us to first look at one thing above all: our own interior dispositions, or the intentions that are behind a decision. This is like the previous step of identifying our own voice.

Then when faced with two possible choices, consider one of them as if we must follow it, and stay in that state for a day or more.

Then evaluate how our heart reacts to that choice. Is there peace? Is there harmony with the rest of our own decisions? Is there something inside that encourages us in that direction or away from it? Then repeat the process with the second choice.

Do this prayerfully, in surrender to God and openness to the Holy Spirit.

7. Practice and persist 

If you have come this far, congratulations!

Often, even after you have done all these steps, God doesn’t speak. It is fine. Just enjoy being with Him.

Surrender all these – your life, your desires, your concerns – to God.

Or perhaps you may have only heard a portion of what God wants to say to you. That initial inkling is a starting point. Go back to God and seek Him again.

If you did not make it through all the steps, it’s okay. You can always try again another time.

As with communication in any relationship, learning how to hear God’s voice gets better with practice.


Salt&Light Word in Season: How does God reveal Himself in silence, solitude and meditation?

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What does it mean to be a Christian?

About the author

Christine Leow

Christine believes there is always a story waiting to be told, which led to a career in MediaCorp News. Her idea of a perfect day involves a big mug of tea, a bigger muffin and a good book.