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

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  3,873 ratings  ·  306 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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Average rating 4.17  · 
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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
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
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
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
Caleb Stober
Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
A beautiful book. I wish someone had given this to me, or better yet, taught me its principles 10 years ago when I first began struggling with the concept of knowing God.
Jeanne Higgins
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Diving deep into Hearing God

This is a well-written, well researched, thoughtful and intelligent discussion of how to hear God and how to live more fully in the spiritual realm. Great insights. This book is weighty so devote time. Do the lectio divina. Don't rush through it. Pray throughout it.
Shaun Lee
Nov 02, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The target audience would be novice readers as the depth of theology is kept at an accessible level and the material is easy-to-read. I picked this book because many other authors I've read quoted from Willard, and guessed that he must be a giant in this area of theology. However, I did not enjoy the read as much as I thought I would; I did not find the content engaging or soul-piercing. I wish that the content wasn't expanded, because many chapters provided for a rather tedious read; it may be ...more
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
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
Reinier Terblanche
Jun 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It took me months and months to read, think and work through these pages. And I think I have barely scratched the surface. It has greatly developed the way I think about spiritual direction and how God communicates with us. It has inspired me to become the kind of person that not only hears God's voice with clarity but lives in daily conversation with him, and beyond that, to experience ever-increasing union with Jesus.

"The best book on divine guidance I have ever read. I recommend it highly."
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.
Jan 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion, 2016
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. ...more
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. ...more
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian
Really terrific book: I've been wanting to read a book about this subject from this perspective for a long time, and this was exactly what I needed. I will be thinking about this for some time I expect. I need to read more books by Dallas Willard. ...more
Benjamin Shurance
Wisdom, in no small portion.
Meghan Armstrong
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
A transformational read for me—precisely timed, welcome. Thank you, Jesus.
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is incredible. I wish I had read it years ago.
Brett Leyde
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful and inspiring. Definitely helps to remove some mystery and doesn't empower individuals to prooftext. Good time spent! ...more
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
Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Dallas Willard has been on my to-read list for a while, and so I was quite delighted to see this book in my husband’s audible library. Although I found the narrator a little uninspiring, the content was fantastic. Biblically and theologically sound, with a beautiful emphasis on the relational aspect of discipleship and with plenty of practical examples and suggestions. I enjoyed the structural approach to the subject, addressing different aspects and questions fairly systematically. I am now on ...more
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Like so many other books that I've read over the past 41 years as a Christian, Hearing God was another verification of the truth of my walk with Jesus. I could never have survived without this living and loving relationship with Jesus. "Hearing God" explains how this majestic and almighty God desires a relationship with us and that it really can be had. Many people over the past two millennniums have experienced this intimate walk with our Beloved. Again, Dallas Willard did an excellent job in w ...more
Apr 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars, rounded up (which I usually don't do). The book, in general was good, full of truths and excellent principles, but the last two chapters were probably the most helpful. They were sort of a "and if you DON'T hear from God, here is what is still right and true, and He is still good." Seems simple, but that part resonated with me.

Willard also talks about how hard it is to take the spiritual (invisible) world seriously, when the visible world presses so intently on all our senses and unde
Emily Isbell
Apr 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Excellent, practical, encouraging, and full of truth for the mature believer on cultivating a dynamic relationship with God.
Dina Horne
Jun 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Powerful. But hang in there cause this is no walk in the park. Some of the chapters can get quite heady. Willard shows his academic focus in philosophy. But he uses great illustrations and frequently has lectio divina exercises to give the reader the opportunity for reflection. There are also helpful discussion questions at the end of each chapter.
Chapters 8 and 9 are a great reward for making it to the end. Don’t give up! I don’t know that I’ve ever worshipped the Lord while reading a book as
Paul Dubuc
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
Aug 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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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

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