We forget that prayer is a conversation with God–a two-way street. We speak, God hears and also God speaks and we hear. If God speaks, will you listen? But how does God speak?
First is through his word—the bible is His words. Yet sometimes we could just read it through and it doesn’t mean anything to us. The word of God is seasoned and living, and could speak to our situations, circumstances and answer our questions. The bible won’t speak if you read it for just the sake of just reading it to make your daily quota of chapters and verses. Pray for the Holy Spirit to give you a deeper revelation of who God is, understanding and a seasoned word for you during prayer or your devotional time. Trying to understand God’s word with our own understanding can only bring us understanding as much we are capable of, but reading through the spirit will change our lives.
12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Secondly is through other people—sometimes God uses other people’s words to speak to our lives. God created us with the need of human interaction and community. Our lives are built not only upon God’s word, his teaching and commandments but also through the words of others and their exampleship. This is why fellowship is crucial to our Christian walk. Fellowship is beyond the food and fun. It’s the time of encouragement, of sharing testimonies and of building relationships. However, we need to discern words that people say—sometimes words could also be spoken with the wrong spirit and intentions, which could cause tearing-down and discouragement instead.
20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
Thirdly is through signs—such as dreams, events and the promptings of the Holy Spirit. As Christians, there is no such thing as coincidence—God is a sovereign God and knows from beginning till the end and everything in between. There are nudges of God around us. He speaks to us every day, in every way even though we don’t notice it. We need discernment and a sharpened sensitivity to the Holy Ghost to be aware of these things. This could be taken to the extreme and in a false spiritual and religious angle which could be detrimental to not only ourselves but to others around us. People could also use these ‘signs’ as license to do their will. If in doubt that it is God speaking to you through a sign—analyze it in light of the word of God and of preaching (and if it is against it is not from God because God will never contradict Himself), check the intents and thoughts of your heart and ask God to confirm it again.
“Ask the LORD your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights.”
Fourthly is through words of wisdom, visions, and prophesies. These are the words that we know are from God and are of season but are easily forgotten. We are encouraged once we hear it, but most of us won’t remember it at all. But these words are important—they signify the current state of your personal heart or the church as a whole (depending who the word was spoken to). As the recipient, we must take hold of this word, hide it in our hearts, and position ourselves to make it come to pass in our lives. God has spoken and it will come to pass, for God put his word above his name. Let’s claim these words and ask God to let his will be done. Be specific—quote God. God is only waiting for people to ask.
“2 Then the Lord answered me and said:
“Write the vision
And make it plain on tablets,
That he may run who reads it.
3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time;
But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
Because it will surely come,
It will not tarry.
4 “Behold the proud,
His soul is not upright in him;
But the just shall live by his faith.“