JesusWalk® Publications

Listening for God's Voice
A Disciple's Guide to a Closer Walk
by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson

Listening for God's Voice: A Disciple's Guide to a Closer Walk
Book front cover | back cover

God can get anyone's attention by shouting. For example, on the road to Damascus, a loud voice and a bright light turned his arch enemy into a disciple. But most of the time, God prefers to speak in a softer voice, one that we can miss if we're not listening carefully.

This study is designed to provide both scriptural underpinnings and practical help to assist disciples in listening for God's voice, which is usually experienced as a strong impression in a believer's mind and spirit. The goal is to help you become aware both of words he might speak to you, as well as his promptings or nudges.

The author begins by exploring how Jesus listened to the Father and becomes an example in this for his disciples. Elijah's "still small voice" is the spring board to examine God's voice in words and sentences. Next, incidents in the Book of Acts are analyzed to understand how God often leads in promptings and the simple word, "No." Samuel's words, "Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening," provide a glimpse into the heart preparation necessary to respond appropriately to God's voice. Finally, we examine how Gideon's fleece served to confirm God's leadings, as we seek to discern his voice from the competing voices of the world, the flesh, and the devil -- as well as one's own conscience.

Since developing such a sensitivity to God's voice is a learned skill or art, not mastery of some body of content, this study provides practical assignments designed to help move you a place where you actually hear and respond to God's voice. Necessary elements of this practical approach include establishing a daily Quiet Time, securing a notebook, finding a mentor (if possible), and working with a spiritual partner, with whom you can interact as you begin to learn what God's voice and whisperings sound like.

Each of the five lessons contains a major scripture passage to study plus related verses, four or five discussion questions, a summary of lessons for disciples, and a practical assignment. Initially developed as an online study, this book is ideal for personal spiritual development, use by a teacher or small group leader, and for sermon development.

Here is an abbreviated table of contents for the book:

Listening for God's Voice (107 pages)

  1. Listening as a Biblical Pattern (Mark 1:35; John 5:19). Discusses the examples of Jesus' own dependence upon the Father, how he ministered in the power of the Spirit, promises of the Holy Spirit to us (John 14-16), and how the Spirit reveals the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:9-16).

  2. Recognizing God's Voice (1 Kings 19). Explores how God speaks in words and sentences to guide and encourage his servants. A study of Elijah's "still small voice," plus words of encouragement to Paul and others.

  3. Nudges and No (Acts 8:26-40; 16:6-10). Many times God's voice is in more in promptings or nudges or just "no," rather than in articulate sentences. We examine Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:26-40), Paul and Silas seeking where to preach (and not to preach) on the Second Missionary Journey (Acts 16:6-10), David inquiring of the Lord, and other everyday nudges.

  4. Heart Preparation for Listening to God (1 Samuel 3:1-10). Now we explore heart preparation for listening for God, beginning with the boy Samuel (1 Samuel 3:1-10). Emphasizes a willingness to obey and follow instructions, the subtlety of pride, and the centrality of the relationship rather than the supposed "novelty" of God's voice.

  5. Discerning God's Voice (Judges 6:36-40). Discusses how we can confirm that it is God speaking, rather than one of the other voices in our heads -- the world, the flesh, the devil, or the conscience. Examines Gideon's fleece and asking for signs, working with a buddy or mentor, knowing the scriptures, and clarifying our own desires, etc.

Detailed Table of Contents

Participant Lesson Handouts (PDF, you may reprint free for each class member)

A number of people have been blessed by this study already:

  • "Now experiencing God in a new way." -- Charmaine Mendez, Jamaican Pentecostal
  • "My wow moment was when I realized that He speaks to me, but this time I knew His voice!" -- Miekie Lombard, South African Pentecostal
  • "Amazing gift of academic and intellectual stimulation together with spiritual insight and up-to-date practical application." -- Wesley Loane, Methodist pastor, United Kingdom
  • "Changed my life as I understood why Jesus went to a solitary place.... I give this study 5 stars out of 5!" -- Gerry Willerton, Vineyard Christian Fellowship, Canada
  • To see more click here.

This study is available in book format (below) or at no cost delivered via e-mail over a five-week period.

  Listening for God's Voice: A Disciple's Guide to a Closer WalkPaperback format, US $12.95. Length 107 pages. Must be ordered through The paperback size is 7.5 in  x 9.25 in.  (ISBN: 9798861927956; AISN: B0CJDKMC9T)

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Kindle e-book formatKindle E-book format, US $8.49. You may purchase this version directly from Amazon USA  or from national sites below. This is read using a your Kindle or a Kindle Reader program installed on your computer, tablet, or phone. It cannot be printed out (Amazon ASIN: B077XR68VD).

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PDF E-book format, $8.49. 107 pages. You purchase this PDF e-books and can download it within minutes. You can read it on your computer in PDF format if you like, or print out a single copy on your printer, either 8-1/2 x 11" or A4 paper. To make multiple copies, get reprint licenses below. No tax is charged on e-books. PDF e-books are ordered directly from the author at JesusWalk Publications. (Remember: If you plan to print this out, your total cost will be the $8.49 for the PDF plus the cost of printing -- paper, ink, toner, etc.). In some cases the paperback might be a better value.)

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Reprint license to make copiesReprint License, $1.50 per copy. This allows you to print additional copies for your own group. Once you've ordered this item, set quantity field for the number of reprints you plan to make and click on "recalculate." One license is required for each additional copy you make beyond the initial book you purchased. This reprint license prohibits sale of the book to individuals outside your local area or congregation. You'll probably want to order a single copy of the e-book also, so you'll have the text from which to reprint. So if you have a group of 6 people, you'll need to order one e-book (for the first reprint) and 5 reprint licenses.

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Copyright © 2024, Ralph F. Wilson. <> All rights reserved. A single copy of this article is free. Do not put this on a website. See legal, copyright, and reprint information.

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