How can I hear God speaking to me?

How easy do you find it to listen to God when he speaks to you? Do you even think that God does speak to us as individuals?

With all the changes that have been going on in our lives recently we've been praying for God's guidance a lot. What job should I apply for? What church and homegroup should we attend? Which furniture should we buy?

It has made me reconsider how I listen to God.

Although there have been times in my life where I have known that God has spoken to me directly, quite a lot of the time I'm not really sure if I'm hearing God right. I follow the path I think he is calling me to, but the whole way along I have a mild panic that I'm completely missing the point and going the wrong way.
In hindsight I can't see a path in my life that I have followed that turned out to be wrong, or had experiences that God didn't use so I don't know why I worry so much about it. I should probably trust God more.

But practically, how do I actually hear God?

Prayer is an obvious answer here. Prayer isn't just our 'to do list' for God, it's a conversation between us and our creator. And that means if we stop talking occasionally and listen we might hear what he has to say to us in return.  God's answer might come immediately or it might take a while. He might speak to us directly, through a bible passage or maybe through an 'impression' or thought that we hadn't had before.

The majority of experiences I've had of God's guidance have been through the latter. I honestly think that God often gives us desires and longings that point towards his plan for us, but that does leave things open for our own feelings to get in the way. Mostly I just end up pursuing an idea or course of action and I'm never 100% sure it's God's will for my life until it's followed through and I can see how God has worked. I push the door and wait for him to open or close it.

I've been praying a lot about my work situation recently; I'm really not sure where God wants me and it's making me feel quite unhappy. The other day after praying that God would make his intentions clear I began reading my bible and a particular verse from Isiah 51 jumped out at me.

“Hear me, you who know what is right, you people who have the law in your hearts. Do not fear the reproach of men or be terrified by their insults. For the moth will eat them up like a garment; the worm will devour them like wool. By my righteousness will last for ever, my salvation through all generations.”

I knew it was from God immediately.
Although I don't like to admit it {to myself or anyone else} I care a lot about what people think of me. Since moving to Cardiff I've been fretting about not having a job, and mostly that's because I feel like people are judging me for being unemployed. I feel like people judge me for only looking for admin work. Sometimes I get frustrated that I gave up the opportunity to do more academic work in favour of working in a church office when I graduated because now I'm only employable as an administrator; even though I know that God wanted me working for that church and they were some of the best years of my life. Most of the people we have met so far in Cardiff are doctors or lawyers and are very career driven. I'm embarrassed that I just want to raise a family and support my husband.
But why?! I get so worried as to how people perceive me that I end up forgetting what God wants, and that his plan will be the best for my life. Who cares what other people think?

Anyway, back to the job...
After reading this verse I realised that the majority of the reasons I was thinking of applying for certain jobs {notably a full time post with the Prince's Trust} were based on trying to save face; I felt like I had to have a 'good' full time job to prove my worth. So I went back to the drawing board and noted down what I wanted to achieve in my life;

My short term dreams included being a good support for my husband, learning more about God, keeping the house clean, cooking healthy meals, having time to be a good friend, getting involved in my local church and volunteering at the hospital.
My long term dreams included having a family and being a vicar's wife.

Sure, I want to be busy and I want to feel useful - but in all of those dreams I don't see anything about having a certain career, so why am I getting so hung up on jobs?

So I decided not to apply for the full time position. Part of me thinks that I'm crazy but I'm going to have much more time to follow my dreams and desires if I only have a part time job. My only continuing concern is that the temping jobs I'm currently doing are really quite simplistic, and I love to be challenged so I feel frustrated sitting around with nothing to do. However I really feel that God told me just to stay where I am for now, so I'm praying that he's got something more permanent and challenging around the corner.

I'm back in that limbo of thinking and praying, hoping that I have listened to God correctly but not being 100% sure until I can look back on the situation and see how God has worked.
Trust Rachel. Trust.

Do you find it easy to listen to God? Do you find it easy to hear him speak? I'd love to hear your thoughts.


  1. The most important thing is that you really want to know God's Will. He will honour that. Just hang on in there. Push the door when you think it might be right and He will open it or close it. Sounds easy doesn't it!! Keep trusting.

  2. Hi Rachel I wrote a really long reply to thi and then it got lost... I would love to talk about it with you properly and i should go and do work because i've got lots to do but pleae please... remind me... i really want to talk to you about this. love you lots... ring me if you have the chance or text and I'll ring you 07889134722 love you. xxx

  3. It will come together. My friend just got a great job in London after looking for quite a while. I think it is just a case of pushing doors really. I hope you find something (you're not the only one looking for a job either! I am too!) xxx

  4. Hi! Thanks so much for visiting my blog and commenting! It sounds to me that your goals for your life are just what God has called you to do! I don't think there is any greater call for a woman than to be a supporter of her husband, and to raise Godly children, and impact future generations! You can even do so much ministry through your home! May God use you greatly!


  5. (I'm a bit behind w/ my Reader!) I love this post. It's so honest, and it's probably how every person feels about hearing God. At least it's just like me. I always wonder if I'm creating something or if God is orchestrating it Himself. I am like you where I figure he'll keep it from happening if it's really not what he wants me to do. And like a previous commenter said...he'll honor the fact that you WANT to do His will. He will lead you if you want him to, even if you don't feel like he is. That's what I think at least. :) Oh, and he uses friends in my life to speak to me I think. And something else I heard was that God doesn't expect you to jump at the first thing you 'hear'. You will know it's God speaking to you when whatever it is keeps getting highlighted in your life. You know what I mean? We're praying for you!