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Hearing God’s voice and sharing what you hear for the purpose of encouraging another is the gift of prophecy in operation.  According to I Corinthians 14:3, this gift edifies, exhorts, and comforts; helps us build up or strengthen; and points us to the Word of God

Receiving a prophetic word is life changing.  Mark and I have received prophetic words that have shaped our faith and our fight.  We’ve received words that have given us healing, comfort and direction for the future and we’ve had our gifts and callings confirmed.  Some words have been public.  Many words have been private.  And some of the most pivotal words have been the ones God spoke directly to our own hearts in the midst of our private worship.

If you’ve never received a prophetic word, I have good news for you.  You can pursue God for a word for yourself.  He loves to speak to His children and He always has something to share with you.

So don’t wait for a public ministry moment or for someone else to see and hear on your behalf.  All believers can boldly pursue a conversation with God.

Here are my 5 favorite tips to help you hear God’s voice. 

1 – Be still

Settle down.  Get yourself in a position to hear God.  Gather everything you might want or need.  For me it’s a very practical list:  blanket, Bible, glasses, pen, journal and my cup of coffee.

2 – Worship

Use the first few moments to just turn your attention to the presence of God.  He is always with us, but I don’t always acknowledge Him.  I try to clear my mind a bit by thanking Him for loving me.  You can use worship songs, prayer, or writing in a journal – whatever helps you tune into the presence of God.

3 – Ask a good question 

Find a good question to ask God, and then wait just a moment.  Sometimes I ask a question and hear nothing.  Try again.  Ask a different question.  Still don’t hear?  Get more specific.  It’s like finding the exact radio frequency that God wants to use to speak directly to you. Sometimes there is a lot of static at first, then bits and pieces begin to break through and then suddenly you slip into the stream of His voice and you can hear.

4 – Write it down

If at all possible, just start writing.  As you write, set your heart to believe.  Sometimes the word is so dramatic and accompanied by such specific imagery that I can hold onto it without recording it.  Other times God is so subtle, specific and tender that if I don’t grasp it so quickly and I lose it.  It still brings life to me, but I lose the ability to steward it for my blessing over and over.

5 – Obey

Now we can become like Timothy and learn to use the prophetic word spoken to wage war in the spirit.  The more you thank God for it, believe God and battle with it, the greater will be the blessing and the manifestation of His word in your life.

Here are some resources for further study.

Can You Hear Me Now?  A recent blog about the power of hearing God and believing.

Principles of Prophetic Ministry – This is a 3-part teaching series designed to prepare you to operate in prophecy.  All three classes are terrific, but be sure to check out class #2 – My husband, Mark Greenwood is teaching. 

He Still Speaks, Embracing the Prophetic Today by Tom Lane and Wayne Drain.

The Power of a Whisper, Hearing God Having the Guts to Respond by Bill Hybels.

What is Presbytery? by Pastor Robert Morris – In this message, Pastor Robert defines presbytery and discusses the benefits of prophetic words.

Prophetic Ministry Training at Gateway Church, offering multiple equip classes and training opportunities to both educate and activate you in the prophetic ministry.

What’s your favorite tip for hearing God?