“If prayer is when you talk to God, meditation is when you listen to God.”
One of the most prevalent questions among the Christian sect is, “how can I hear from God?” or “How can I hear from the Holy spirit?” The answer is simple: Meditation! Meditation is ‘one’ of the ways we can hear God speak to us.
There are many ways God speaks to His children, but meditation trains your brain to focus and position you to receive the word. It also trains your ears to differentiate between God’s voice and the voice inside your head (your thoughts).
The scriptures say in Job 33:14 – For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not.
God is always speaking to us, but we miss it most of the time. We miss it because we don’t recognize His voice. We don’t recognize His voice because we don’t stay long enough in His presence. Therefore, His voice is drowned out by other voices and the endless thoughts of our mind.
Most people can pray, but not all can position themselves to hear from God. When you pray, you should always expect God to say something. Prayer is a two-way communication. Therefore, sit still for a few minutes or even hours, if you expect to hear God speak concerning your situation.
What is Meditation?
Prayer is when you talk to God, and Meditation is when you listen to God. The act of meditating on God’s word in the Bible is what will help you to hear the voice of God.
The more we read and meditate on the word of God, the more we program the word of God into our subconscious, which drives our behavior, attitude, and perception towards life.
Benefits of Meditating on the Word of God
From the scriptures, God explained the benefits of meditating on His word in Joshua 1:8. Also, in Psalm 119: 97 to 104, David also explained how meditating on God’s word benefited him and can benefit you today if you do the same.
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
Psalm 119:97 to 104
O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.
Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me.
I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.
I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.
I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word.
I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me.
How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.
How to Meditate and Hear God Speak?
In The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren describes meditation as Focused thinking that takes serious effort – and rightly so.
Pick a verse in the scripture and reflect on it repeatedly in your mind. If you know how to worry, then you know how to meditate. The difference is that when you meditate, you ponder on the written word of God.
The goal of meditation is to allow the Holy Spirit to activate the life-giving word of God. The Holy Spirit takes the verse (Logos) upon which you meditate and turn it to Rhema.
According to Bible Study Note, the logos is the general word of God that communicates his ability to do something or his general will on a matter, while a Rhema is the word the Holy Spirit quickens to a specific person for a specific situation.
For instance, If you meditate on Phillipians 4:19 – But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory through Christ Jesus, at some point, during meditation, the Holy Spirit takes over, and you start hearing God’s voice speaking to you about what to do to access fresh supplies all the time. It’s called the wisdom of God!
Let me mention that some or most of the time, the instructions you hear from God may not make sense at all. He may say to give all you have to access fresh supplies for all your needs. Crazy, right? But if you obey the instruction that comes from meditation, believe me, you will get an avalanche of fresh supplies for all your needs.
If you were meditating on a healing scripture, you might get crazy responses like Elisha gave to Naaman. Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean (2 Kings 5: 10). During meditation for healing, God could say, jump up, and be healed. Trust me; it doesn’t have to make sense. Just do what He says.
Tips to Meditate and Hear the Voice of God
- Set aside at least 30 minutes a day, after praying, to quiet yourself and sit still before God. No distractions at all. I recommend doing this late at midnight or early hours of the morning. The quiet state allows you to hear clearly and receive wisdom.
- Ponder on the verse of the scripture that speaks particularly to your situation. A soft background worship song can be good. But if you feel distracted, turn off the music.
- It’s okay when your mind drifts away. Bring it back to focus. The more you meditate, the stronger your attention becomes.
- Start seeing yourself in possession of the thing you want (healing, new car, house, wife, husband, job, children). It can also be a spiritual gift like healing power or even more members in your church. See yourself laying hands and healing the sick. See an overflow in your church. See yourself winning the business contract. It’s called imagination!
- At a certain point during imagination, the holy spirit will take over, and you begin to see things that you normally wouldn’t imagine; when you get to this place, congrats! You are close to hearing the voice of God.
- Now, you start to hear God speak to you through the pictures the Holy Spirit is showing you. Sometimes, it can be one word, but it comes with all the understanding you need. Sometimes, the word can come as light. There are times when God will refer you to a story in the Bible. Either way, when God speaks, you will understand. There’s a joy that comes when you hear Him speak. That’s how you know it’s God.
- Give thanks lavishly when you get a response! Thank God. Rejoice and dance in His presence. Then do what He says.
Let me quickly say that there are times when you will get an instant response when you meditate; other times, it will take days, weeks, months, and even longer. However, be consistent! There will also be times when His response will be different from what you’re asking. If you get a different response from your request, still do what He says. There may be a connection between what you are asking and what He’s telling you. After all, His ways and thoughts are higher than ours (Isaiah 55: 8 – 9).