If you are on a spiritual path, it is not easy. There is no tangible proof that you are succeeding, no objects to physically hold on to. Temptations may try to lure you off your path. Worldly distractions are everywhere and worldly life can be so wearing that you stumble.
There are times when you will feel consoled by your faith and know that you are on the right path towards the Light and knowledge. There will be times when you feel desolate, lost and alone, possibly despairing. It is in times of desolation and suffering that faith is most tested.
You may feel like God is silent at these times, as though He does not care, and this adds to the despair. Do not give up your faith. More than ever, now is the time to hold tightly to faith. Trials and tribulations test faith.
They are spiritual opportunities to transcend, to learn and to discover inner spiritual resources that will lift you if you have stumbled, guide you from the shadows lining the path back to where God’s lamp shines and lights your way.
Faith and trust in God are your most essential weapons in a battle against despair or desolation. You have to truly believe that God cares. John 3:16-17 and Titus 3:3-7 refer to God’s love and desire to redeem you and your loved ones who may not be following him. Never ever give up believing in your God, for to lose faith is to lose hope.
Listening, truly listening, is hard enough when it comes to conversations with people who are present in person and audibly communicating with you, let alone when you are trying to communicate with an intangible being.
Listening is a skill. You need to clear your mind of other distractions if you are going to listen properly and understand what someone is saying to you. Messages can be couched in nuances, kernels of truth hidden in a barrage of language.
You listen with your ears but you understand with your mind. The mind is often clogged with lots of thoughts and these can be very distracting. If you want to listen to someone you need to pay that person undivided attention.
You assess the words, the body language, the tone of voice and you have eye contact, from which much can be sensed. You use logic and intuition. To truly understand a message, it is often intuition that serves you best. Gut instinct should never be ignored. It may be a sign from God.
If we now take listening skills into the arena of listening to God it is even more difficult, because there is no physical presence to assess body language. Although it is possible you may hear God audibly it is not particularly likely.
Tone of voice, eye contact and expressions are not available. It is crucial that you tune your mind into a different type of soundwaves. With a person you have sound waves that your ear is attuned to and which you are biologically wired to understand.
God is a spiritual being, so you need to tune into spiritual energy waves. Silence and stillness are desirable. Let your inner spirituality tune into God.
Take yourself away from material concerns and give yourself completely to the spiritual. In these ideal conditions, God can communicate with you and you with God.
In John 14:26 (CSB) we are reminded that the Holy Spirit is with us and informs our inner knowing: But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.
Also in Matthew 11:15: Whoever has ears, let them hear and John 14:26: But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
The very spirit of God is living in you, making you a temple of the Holy Spirit.
This is the other thing. Communication is a two-way process. No one likes to be talked at. No one likes to be exploited with constant demands for things, offering nothing in return. God is a spiritual being and He knows all.
He is omnipresent and omniscient. Your intention for seeking to connect with God is very important. He knows your intention. If you are merely exhorting Him for help with no love for Him, no devotion, He knows.
God has made it clear that He should be your priority in life.
Jesus passed this message on loud and clear when he said that to follow Him one had to let go of material possessions, place him above relationships with family and friends in Matthew 19:29: Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life.
You cannot just turn to God whenever you have a problem and beseech Him for help if, for the rest of the time, you are not living a spiritual life in devotion to God. God is not to be exploited.
There are a number of ways that God may be trying to communicate with you when you think he is silent. Let’s have a look at five of them.
When you pray with the intention of communicating with God it should be because you want to be in His presence, you want His company. Prayer is a direct form of communication between you and your God.
Enter prayer with awe and with longing to be in the company of God. He will know that this is why you have sought Him and He will respond in kind. Notice the inner feelings you experience during prayer.
Notice if you feel a warmth, or if a glow seems to emanate from within, or if a glow appears to surround you with comfort. Notice if a particular thought bubbles up in your mind. Notice, be observant to your mind, your heart, your soul.
Notice any change in atmosphere and how it makes you feel. Everything that happens during devout and true prayer is a form of communication, and you must be attuned to it.
Psalm 119:105: Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
Hebrews 4:12: For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing the soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Proverbs 30:5: Every word of God is flawless; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.
Romans 15:4: For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.
Philippians 4:6-7: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Matthew 6:6: But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
James 1:5: If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without fault, and it will be given to you.
Luke 5:32, 2 Corinthians 7:10 and Romans 2:4 reiterate how important it is to be open and honest with God. Confess any sin or unforgiveness. If you are not open and honest, how can you communicate with an all-knowing God and expect Him to trust in your faith?
1 Thessalonians 5:17, James 5:16 and Psalm 38:15 remind us to pray earnestly, to recite the word of God over circumstances, to pray for the Lord’s will, his perfect timing, and for patience to wait for answers.
Philippians 4:4, Habakkuk 3:17-19 and Isaiah 29:19 remind us that a prayer is an opportunity to give thanks.
God listens to the prayers of His faithful: Psalm 66:17-19 (CSB): I cried out to him with my mouth, and praise was on my tongue. If I had been aware of malice in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. However, God has listened; he has paid attention to the sound of my prayer.
Psalm 66:20 (CSB): Blessed be God! He has not turned away my prayer or turned his faithful love from me.
2. Silent Meditation in Nature
Find somewhere removed from material pursuits and worldly intrusions, sit silently, with eyes closed, and meditate in calmness. Free your mind of thoughts and let the stillness and silence reign supreme.
You may come away from your meditation feeling renewed and refreshed. If your resolve turns in any particular direction, notice this and consider it. It could be a prompting from God.
Lamentations 3:25-26, Exodus 14:14, Psalm 131:2 all refer to the need for a silent place away from distractions in order to listen to God.
Spiritual breathing can keep lines of communication open.
As with prayer, meditation is an opportunity to give thanks to God for all He has done, is doing and will do in your life and for those you love.
Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments. Mountains feature often in the Bible and it is not surprising.
God is felt more purely in nature, away from the distractions of mankind and his material ways. 1 Kings 19:11-13: And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind.
And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper.
13 And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
There are profound metaphors in nature and if you are receptive to them, God can communicate through them.
Psalm 8:3-4: When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?
Psalm 19:1-2: The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.
3. Let the Bible speak to you
Either look for passages in the Bible that deal with what you need to communicate with God about or open the Bible randomly and see if any particular passage captures your attention.
The words in the Bible were written a long time ago, but the message can be personalized if you read it that way. You need to be open to the hidden meanings, the promptings and the context.
You need to have an enquiring and intuitive approach to what the words could be trying to say in your personal context.
Hebrews 4:12, 2 Timothy 2:15 and 1 Thessalonians 2:13 talk about seeking God’s will by reading and studying the word of God.
1 Corinthians 13:13, Proverbs 23:17-18 and Colossians 1:3-5 remind us to keep faith. It is essential that you find time to reflect on God, no matter what you are enduring or experiencing in life.
Psalm 41:3, Joel 2:25 and Psalm 51:12 all emphasize that you must never give up believing.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (MSG): A sign that God is speaking to you is when the same type of verses or theme keeps coming up.
Matthew 4:4: Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.
2 Timothy 3:16-17: All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
4. Signs and Symbols, Visions and Dreams
How many times have you been mulling something over and suddenly a ray of light falls upon you and warms you, a bird lands right beside you and looks at you as though trying to reach you?
Have you been walking on a leaden day, laden with leaden thoughts, only to suddenly see a beautiful flower and feel its energy as a caress? Signs and symbols are there but you need to be receptive to them.
Psalm 77:11, Deuteronomy 7:18 and 1 Chronicles 16:12 exhort us to consider past lessons, to remember miracles you have experienced, times you have seen God move. Never forget when God has been there for you. Never let your faith slip.
Have faith in the fact that God knows, he has a plan for you and if you are open to his myriad ways of communicating with you, this plan will unfold.
God uses circumstances to open opportunities or close them off. In Acts 16:6-8 (NLT), God directed Paul and Silas: Next Paul and Silas traveled through the area of Phrygia and Galatia, because the Holy Spirit had prevented them from preaching the word in the province of Asia at that time.
Then coming to the borders of Mysia, they headed north for the province of Bithynia, but again the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them to go there. So instead, they went on through Mysia to the seaport of Troas.
There are many examples of God speaking to people through visions and dreams in the Bible.
Matthew 2:12 (NLT): When it was time to leave, they returned to their own country by another route, for God had warned them in a dream not to return to Herod.
Acts 18:9 (CSB): The Lord said to Paul in a night vision, “Don’t be afraid, but keep on speaking and don’t be silent”.
The Book of Revelation is a vision that God shared with the world through John.
It is surprising how little regard people pay to dreams. We spend a huge proportion of our lives sleeping. Why would you ignore messages that could be coming to you in these swathes of time?
God specifically says that he would speak to his people through dreams in Joel 2:28-29: And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions.
Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit.
Decoding Your Dreams by Jennifer LeClaire shares biblical advice for understanding and interpreting your dreams.
Job 33:14: For God does speak — now one way, now another — though no one perceives it.
God’s guidance can be seen in life events. Sometimes, God guides us by putting us in difficult circumstances. Trust that He is at work at all times in the everyday circumstances of life.
Have you ever encountered a stranger at just the right time when what that stranger says to you has a profound impact on what you are experiencing in your life at that time?
God can do whatever He wants. He is All-powerful. He can ensure you receive messages He wants you to receive.
Proverbs 13:20, Hebrews 13:7 and Proverbs 27:9 talk about recognizing when God is communicating with you. He may communicate through unexpected people or unlikely circumstances.
Be open to wise counsel that may come through family, friends, advisors, counsellors, medical professionals, legal counsel, or strangers.
Proverbs 1:5: Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance.
Proverbs 20:18: Plans are established by seeking advice; so if you wage war, obtain guidance.
Philippians 4:9: Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Colossians 3:16: Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.
Acts 8:29-31 (ESV): in this passage an Ethiopian eunuch received wise teaching: And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?”
And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
Always keep in mind that you must use discrimination to ensure that any counsel you receive from a stranger is coming from the right source.
God warns us of this. 1 John 4:1 (CSB): Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
When Lines of Communication are Down Find Out Why and Open Them
If you are desperately trying to communicate with God and He remains silent then consider if any of the following apply to you.
Mark 11:25 Are you letting destructive emotions like revenge, an unforgiving attitude, bitterness and deceit block your lines of communication? Deal with spiritual and emotional baggage and let the Light shine through.
2 Chronicles 7:14 Is sin getting in the way?
Proverbs 3:5-6 Are you letting a situation lead you astray? Recognize and embrace your pain and suffering and have faith it is teaching you spiritual lessons.
Repent of your sins, have remorse for them, try to make amends. Do not let past sins block the Light and the good that you may do in the present or in the future.
Ecclesiastes 3:7 and Romans 8:25: Are you being impatient?
James 1:5-8 : Are you trying to communicate with God openly and honestly?
Deuteronomy 1:30-32: Do you trust God with your life?
Are you open to the myriad ways that God may be trying to communicate with you (1 Samuel 3:9-10)?
Is God being silent or quiet (1 Kings 19:11-12)?
2 Chronicles 18:4: Are you seeking the counsel of a human before that of God? Beware the source of any counsel you receive that is not God’s. It may be a message from another force.
The following sites provide further information about communicating with God: