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Hearing God

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  1,231 ratings  ·  111 reviews
God Spoke to Me.
The Spirit Spoke to my Heart.
God Revealed the idea to me.

Being close to God means communicating with him-telling him what is on our hearts in prayer and hearing and understanding what he is saying to us. It is this second half of our conversation with God that is so important but can also be so difficult. How do we hear his voice? How can we be sure that wh
Paperback, 228 pages
Published October 1st 1999 by IVP USA Purchase Account (first published 1984)
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In honor of Dallas Willard's recent passing, I reread HEARING GOD. Filled with wise counsel and deep reflection, he begins with what should be obvious to all Christians: God wants to have an intimate daily relationship with us, one characterized by conversational communication. We are to expect God to guide, counsel, critique, and comfort us as he shapes us into his son's image. One mystery to me is why more Christian books are not preoccuppied with this very issue. How do we hear God and recogn ...more
I positively adore this book. It is written in a simple, plain style that anyone can read and understand, but it is best read slowly, as a topic of this magnitude is no small undertaking. The author takes on some controversial topics but deals with them in a gentle and logical manner; for example, the misconception that a life guided by God is easy or risk-free, or that divine guidance means were are singled out to be special. He plainly says that anyone can develop a conversational with God, an ...more
I have spent a lot of time with this book. I first had the privilege of being asked to review the audiobook from back in April 2012.
I listened to the book once, and knew that I had to get more info, so I purchased the ebook as well. Over the last 8 months I have listened to this book twice and read it once, working through it slowly and applying what is says.

Dallas Willard goes into a lot of depth on this subject and gives lots of practicals as well as the theology behind what
This was a perhaps too-timely read for me. I started reading it in November, and finished in January--reading it throughout my most confused months of discernment/decision making after returning from South Africa. It did seem a little too obvious to read a book titled "In Search of Guidance" during this time.

I knew from the outset that reading this book wasn't going to answer all my questions or give me some sort of formula that if followed would yield instructions on exactly what steps to take
Hearing God

Developing a Conversational Relationship with God

Dallas Willard

InterVarsity, 1999, 228 pp, ISBN 9780830822263

First published in 1993 as In Search of Guidance, this book provides a biblical and experiential understanding that clarifies what it means to live in an ongoing conversational relationship with God. Hearing God relates to a whole life in the will of God, including who God wants us to be as well as what he wants us to do. I found it the most helpful book for my spiritual life s
Josh Morgan
This review first appeared on my blog, Jacob's Café (

Hearing and recognizing God's voice is one of the most confusing, challenging, and central parts of life. Arguably, all people try to find and understand God's voice speaking to them at some point in life. Even for the most spiritually devout, God's voice is not always clear.

Dallas Willard wrote and recently re-released Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God to address the complexity of connecti
Pearlie Ng
I have been quite discouraged lately, and I felt my prayers were like monologues. I did try to listen and I did read the Bible but when it came to my prayers, it was like facing a wall.

That was when I went searching for good books on Christian living and spirituality and found Dallas Willard's Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God. I immediately bought a copy and started reading it straightaway.

It is an excellent book.

Willard firmly says that God do speak to us and we do
Eminently readable, practical, and profound, this book has the potential to change Christ's people individually and collectively if it were more widely read and integrated into ourselves.

Because what Willard has laid out here is so compelling, there are some areas I wish he would delve into further, as well as a couple of minor quibbles. I would have benefited from more on the voice of Satan, especially as The Accuser; and on the apparent silence of God, particularly as it relates to unrepentan
Jonathan B
I really wanted to like this book, but went away disappointed. I wasn't satisfied with the way he expressed the role of Scripture as the Word of God, although he claims in the book itself to have laid emphasis on it. He definitely speak about it, but I don't think it was expressed in the proper order or with the proper emphasis. He also comes at the subject with a very strong view of man's autonomy which I didn't appreciate. He said a lot of true things, but none of it struck me as particularly ...more
Adam B.
I loved this book. It was very appropriate timing to choose this book over Lent, particularly as we had some big decisions to make and really wanted to hear from God on them. Thanks to Dallas, I feel a bit more equipped to recognize God's voice when he speaks.
Brandon Halvorsen
A must read for learning how to hear God's voice as well as maturing in the Christian faith. Dallas Willard not only makes the case for God still speaking today, he addresses the many roadblocks that get in the way of hearing that voice. He also challenges us to remain steadfast in our walk with Christ when we hear Him and when we don't and to take up the work of walking with God in conversational relationship and reality; to learn God's voice and appreciate it while not being "spiritual hypocho ...more
Isiah Velasquez
Dr. Willard has written a life changing book for those who crave a greater understanding for how God operates in his part of our two-way communication. I would recommend getting the latest edition so that the reader can perform each lectio divina exercise after finishing each chapter.
Blake Chenoweth
If you want to read a book about maturing in the Christian faith and about growing in your prayer life this is the book for you. I read part of this book a few years ago, just never finished it, but I was glad to finish it now especially because even though it starts out a little slow for me, some of my favorite moments were in the second half of this book. Dallas Willard is continuing to write his way into my heart. I loved The Divine Conspiracy and this is just the second book I have read by h ...more
Adam Shields
Short review: This is a classic book on hearing God. And I think it will be reading in another 25 years as well. There are others books that tread the same ground. And some of them are about as good. The strength of Willard is his grounding in historical Christianity, his strong biblical and theological understanding and his awareness that no one will ever really fully understand God. So he is humble in his presentation, not because he is unsure, but because he knows that we are fallen.

I think t
Paul Dubuc
Dallas Willard's book, Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God, has the most practical, wise and biblically sound reading I have ever done on the subject of divine guidance. It's a book worth reading over and again for those who wrestle with the problems of how God communicates with us personally: Is it presumptuous to think that God would want to communicate with us directly? Isn't the Bible an entirely sufficient revelation of God's will for any and all Christians? What ...more
Alexis Neal
Here's the thing. It all comes down to what you mean by 'hearing' God.

Willard argues that our relationship with God should be conversational, that He should (and does) speak to us on a regular basis, if we can just hear Him. After all, the rest of our relationships are characterized by communication--why would our relationship with God be any different?

And I agree with him . . . up to a point. See, I believe God does speak to us. I just think He speaks to us first and foremost through His Word.
Willard writes about all the different forms that God's word takes. God speaks through his written word as well as in our thoughts and perceptions with His unobtrusive, still, small voice, and it all happens in a relationship with Him. There are no mystical techniques we can use to conjure up a message from the Almighty, like a “cosmic gumball machine”. Communication comes in building a relationship with the One in whom we “live and move and have our being”.

Willard bases his study in the author
The 2nd 1/2 of this book gets to the heart:

What we want, what we think, what we decide to do when the word of God does not come or when we have so immersed ourselves in him that his voice within us is not held in distinction from our own thoughts and perceptions-these show who we are: either we are God's mature children, friends and coworkers, or we are something less.

We must resolutely resist the tendency to blame the absence of a word from God automatically on our own wrongness. And we must e
This was a topic that intrigued me. Many people say that God "told" them to do this or that, and I always wondered how that worked. Willard's book seemed like just the thing to put the questions to rest.

I listened to the audio version of the book. Willard bounced around a bit, dealing with a variety of topics related to the idea of hearing God. This sometimes made it difficult to follow, but not too bad.

The place where he really lost me, however, is near the end of the book, where he says that t
Benjamin Vineyard
One of the best books on prayer that I've read. Willard does an excellent job of taking us through the details of how God speaks to us both in scripture and in ordinary life events through prayer.

The book focuses mostly on listening to the small, quiet voice of God, like the one that Elijah heard on the mountain.

This voice will never contradict Scripture, and the person who truly is in love with God, and has their heart set on being a disciple of Jesus, will naturally be spending a lot of time
I have found it to be a book full of good thoughts and strong ideas. I have also found it to abound in his beliefs, which he sets against other beliefs (such as mine) or which he doesn’t even seem to realize might not be universal.

For example, on page 152 he quotes Eph. 5:25-27. “…just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or
Despite the fact that this book took some time to absorb, I think the author did an amazing job at laying a foundation and then expounding upon the subject of communication with the Divine. The book begins by explaining that in order to communicate with God you must have an accurate understanding of His character. It includes a chapter of explanation for those who cannot believe that such communication is possible. The author uses both scriptural examples and personal testimonials to show that c ...more
Dave Johnson
this is a decent book on hearing God's voice. i like the way the author writes, mostly, as tries to take everything back to scripture, and he thinks of all the arguments and makes clear responses to all of them. my biggest problem with this is that it's mostly about the "why" and not the "how". methinks that if you are reading this book, you already believe that God speaks to us in the first place and don't need to be further convinced. and for most of the book, he doesnt really address the "how ...more
I really enjoyed this book. Dallas Willard writes very well, and the depth in which he goes regarding how to hear God practically, as well as the theology and philosophy behind it are valuable. He addresses items that cause barriers in conversation with God, and also emphasizes the relational nature of conversing. One of the best books that I've read in awhile, and definitely the best instruction on this topic.
Dallas Willard was, by far, one of the most brilliant minds devoted to faith in Jesus Christ. When I read somewhere that "Hearing God" was part of a trilogy of books (including "The Divine Conspiracy" and "The Spiritual Disciplines"), I had to read it to complete the trilogy. I am so very glad I did. This book is the most complete, well-organized, and thoughtful explanation of how a follower of Jesus Christ can hear from God. The very idea that we can live having regular, intimate conversation w ...more
Oct 11, 2010 Laura is currently reading it
Shelves: periodic-read
I just read chapter 5 of this book. I often read books "jumpy" like this, but I really liked what Willard had to say. First off, he acknowledges that we are silly to imply God only speaks through his word now that we have the bible. This is something I strongly agree with. God has proven to talk to his followers all throughout the word and does not ever state that He no longer will talk to us directly. That is something we have implied.
He addresses the maturity that is required by an individual
J M Padoc
This book is a very balanced view on having a conversational relationship with God. I thought the content was very worthwhile, and while I might pick nits here and there with some of Willard's perspectives, overall, I found much food for thought and a lot of mature spiritual teaching in the book.

I will confess to struggling with this book at times. For whatever reason, the writing just didn't grab me, even though I found the content interesting and valuable. I skipped the exercises and reflectio
(1/3 through book)

I always expect good things from Dallas Willard, but I wasn't particularly interested in this book because I've heard plenty of sermons & lectures about hearing God's voice. When the audiobook was offered for free, though, I had to download it. I'm so glad I did! Willard's treatment of the subject is deeper and more scriptural than any I have ever encountered. It both affirms my own experience of hearing God's voice and offers excellent guidance in teaching others how to he
I've been a big fan of Dallas Willard's for awhile now and he didn't disappoint me with this book. His books are often a meaty read, and while the message of the book boiled down to the somewhat obvious idea that in order to hear God you must first be in relationship with God, this one similarly delved deeper into this topic than just this simple statement. His analogies were helpful, reminding me that it would be difficult to recognize the voice of someone who is stranger to me, whose method an ...more
Dallas Willard does an excellent job at helping the reader understand this deep subject. His thoughts are concise and biblically sound. This book is best read slowly, with time to digest each section. I really liked his idea that hearing God is only PART of our relationship with God and cannot be an easy step-by-step process to making decisions in life. One of my favorite quotes from this book: "Generally speaking we are in God's will whenever we are leading the kind of life he wants for us. And ...more
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DALLAS WILLARD is a Professor in the School of Philosophy at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. He has taught at USC since 1965, where he was Director of the School of Philosophy from 1982-1985. He has also taught at the University of Wisconsin (Madison, 1960-1965), and has held visiting appointments at UCLA (1969) and the University of Colorado (1984).

His undergraduate studies
More about Dallas Willard...
The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life In God The Spirit of the Disciplines : Understanding How God Changes Lives Renovation of the Heart The Great Omission: Reclaiming Jesus's Essential Teachings on Discipleship Knowing Christ Today: Why We Can Trust Spiritual Knowledge

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“We live in a culture that has, for centuries now, cultivated the idea that the skeptical person is always smarter than one who believes. You can almost be as stupid as a cabbage as long as you doubt.” 79 likes
“In many cases, our need to wonder about or be told what God wants in a certain situation is nothing short of a clear indication of how little we are engaged in His work.” 17 likes
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