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Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God
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Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  2,822 ratings  ·  226 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 that can also be so difficult. How do we hear his voice? How can we ...more
Paperback, 228 pages
Published October 1st 1999 by IVP Books (first published 1984)
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4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,822 ratings  ·  226 reviews

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Jacob Aitken
We all get nervous when people say “God spoke to me.” And sometimes rightfully so. Willard deconstructs both sides of the reaction and gives us a tour-de-force in philosophy as well. While we Evangelicals want to preserve the Bible’s integrity and maintain sane spiritualities, we don’t want to hyper-react in the opposite direction, and so Willard begins:

The goal is not hearing an audible voice from heaven, but cultivating a relationship that rests upon divine guidance. It is a humble dependence
Jun 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 18, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was a group read for a Sunday morning Bible class in our church, and oh man, did I struggle to finish this. I simply did not enjoy Hearing God. At the risk of belaboring the point, here are a few reasons:

Philosophical/theological incoherence
Willard is writing to a mainly evangelical audience, which seems to limit where he wants to go. In other words, the book consistently reads like someone with more progressive views having to stuff them into a conservative/fundamentalist framework. The re
Jan 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Alexis Neal
Jun 21, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion, audio
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.
Nov 16, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016, religion
Among the books I've read about Christianity, this was one of the most challenging. None of it really went down easily, and it prompted some serious introspection. This one will be on my mind for a long time.
Jan 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.

Theme: "I have tried to clarify what hearing God amount
Adrian Mitrovasili
Apr 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Refreshing while insightful. Willard is at times difficult to read and to follow in the line of thought but with patience his writing brings clarity and depth. Hearing God is a book that I recommend to anyone who tired of all the superstition and fake spirituality, but longs for a constant, continual relationship with the Lover of our soul, Jesus Christ.
Apr 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book and would certainly would recommend it for new believers or for those believers who want to deepen their relationship with God. Willard's direction is solid and trustworthy and will resonate with those who seek God.
Meghan Armstrong
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
A transformational read for me—precisely timed, welcome. Thank you, Jesus.
Benjamin Shurance
Wisdom, in no small portion.
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Dallas Willard is an author I respect and appreciate. It is refreshing to read a book that resonates with my soul. While there were a few parts of this book that felt like wading through treacle, for the most part, I found it lifted my heart to God. While I have already grown to have an confidence that God is communicating with me, Willard builds a gentle, but sound case for the whys and hows of conversing with God. I appreciate how he breaks down misconceptions and brings new expectations. He e ...more
Aug 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: guidance
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
Josh Morgan
May 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Aug 22, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Jul 31, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Adam Shields
Jan 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Brandon H.
Dec 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
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
Gerald Thomson
Dec 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
I have a great deal of respect for Willard and his way of thinking through scripture. In Hearing God, he lets go of much of the intellectual side of his faith and concentrates on how God speaks to us. This book will open up the prompting of the Spirit for many as Willard argues that God is not through speaking to people just because the Bible is complete. This book is not an easy read and will likely take multiple readings, but Willard will get you to look at scripture and the Spirit in ways you ...more
Michael Hinnen
Jan 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Such a phenomenal book and a must read for anyone who wants to develop in their relationship with God. Willard offers wisdom throughout the book on the primary ways God speaks, and offers practical advice on how to hear Him. I would recommend this book to anyone, but don't try and speed through it. Cherish each chapter and use each chapter to grow in your own personal conversation and relationship with Him. 5+ stars
Jeff Bjorgan
Feb 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fantastically clear, broad in its application, and hopeful for those that are a cautious about the over-zealous, but deeply desiring a conversation with God. Highly recommend!
D.j. Lang
Mar 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
When I started the book, I didn't think it would end up as a 5 star book -- good, maybe 4 stars…I liked the writing; I agreed with Willard…but as I moved through the last half of the book, I just could not read it slowly enough. Yes, slowly enough. I had to stop and just wonder at what I had just read. I want to read this book again, I like it that much.
Rachael Rennard
Jan 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book took much longer to read than I anticipated. It is so full of wisdom and scripture that my recommendation is to take it in slowly, digesting a bit at a time. I have never read a book on the topic of communication with God that has been more profound. It will become a book that I reference and re-read over and over.
Adam Shaeffer
Apr 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
Justin Camp
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Willard makes simple what others make confusing. After reading this book, you’ll realize that hearing God’s voice is one of the most normal things in the world—and that you’ve been hearing Him your whole life. Must read.
Alexander 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.
Paul Birch
Aug 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful practical exploration of listening. Copious notes:
There is no avoiding the fact that we live at the mercy of our ideas.
13% of atheists pray
UFO syndrome. Lily Tomlin says “when we speak to God we are said to be praying, when God speaks to us we are said to be schizophrenic”
Surely this relationship is a two way conversation
Sometimes today it seems that our personal relationship with God is treated as no more than a mere arrangement or understanding that Jesus and His Father have ab
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  • The Good and Beautiful Life: Putting on the Character of Christ
  • The Deeper Journey: The Spirituality of Discovering Your True Self
  • Spiritual Classics: Selected Readings on the Twelve Spiritual Disciplines
  • Opening to God: Lectio Divina and Life as Prayer
  • Letters by a Modern Mystic
  • Answering God: The Psalms as Tools for Prayer
  • A Testament of Devotion
  • The Signature of Jesus
  • The Critical Journey: Stages in the Life of Faith
  • Keeping the Sabbath Wholly: Ceasing, Resting, Embracing, Feasting
  • Invitation to Solitude and Silence: Experiencing God's Transforming Presence
  • Prayer
DALLAS WILLARD was a Professor in the School of Philosophy at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. He taught at USC from 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 wer
“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.” 130 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.” 37 likes
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