How to Hear the Voice of the Holy Spirit In Your Life

by Crystal McDowell · Print Print · Email Email

Is it possible to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit? Jesus told His disciples, “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come” (John 16:13).

The Holy Spirit is available to those who have put their trust in Jesus Christ. He speaks to our hearts and leads us in the right direction when we learn to listen. The Holy Spirit has been described as wind (John 3:8), a dove (Mark 1:10), and a gift (Acts 2:38). The Spirit of God can be grieved and quenched by disobedient believers. However, it is possible to hear the voice of the Spirit when believers humble themselves to:

Be Quiet

“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest” (Mark 6:31).

We are sometimes too busy to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit. He is gentle and patiently waits for us to hunger for His presence in our lives. Being quiet before the Lord is more than just not talking. It’s quieting your anxious thoughts and meditating on His word as you wait to hear from the Holy Spirit. We need to find a good place where we can sit before God uninterrupted by other distractions.

The voice of the Holy Spirit is gentle and quiet—very difficult for us to hear when we don’t pay close attention.

The voice of the Holy Spirit is gentle and quiet—very difficult for us to hear when we don’t pay close attention.

Be Prepared

“Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him” (Mark 1:3).

We must take the time to reflect on our words, actions, and thoughts if we want to hear from God. Our sins keep us from hearing the quiet voice of the Holy Spirit. By confessing and repenting of our sins—we allow the Spirit of God to come into our hearts that has been cleansed by the Lord. The more we grow in our relationship with God, the more sensitive we become to the presence of sin. 

Be Aware

“To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32).

It’s difficult to hear from the Holy Spirit when we don’t know the Bible. We are most familiar with the word of God through the hearing and teaching of it. Also through personal memorization, meditation, and personal study—believers can know the truths of God’s word. Everything the Holy Spirit speaks to our hearts will line up perfectly with Scripture. Through consistent exposure of the Bible, we will gain greater confidence in hearing the voice of the Spirit.

Be Open

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1).

Faith is the foundation of our walk with God. We believe in Him even though we can’t see or touch the Holy Spirit. Our faith is demonstrated by our solid trust that God will lead us in the right direction even in times of the unknown. There needs to be an openness coupled with courage to stepping out in faith when following the direction of the Holy Spirit. The opportunity of faith emboldens us to grow up spiritually and become more acquainted with the voice of the Spirit.

Be Ready

“Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good,  to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone” (Titus 3:1-2).

Our faith in the Holy Spirit is evident when we are ready to obey even when it’s inconvenient. The readiness to follow in obedience gives us the assurance that we are moving in the right direction. The Holy Spirit empowers the obedient with great strength and peace in the midst of difficulty. Believers who hear from God make it a practice of their lives to obey His word. 

Be Patient

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Colossians 3:12).

Hearing from the Holy Spirit requires us to be patient and wait. The Holy Spirit can’t be rushed into our life situations. He knows the whole story from beginning to end and will move in the appointed time. We need to seek His peace and learn to wait on the Lord with an attitude of expectancy, not complacency.

Are you Listening? 

The voice of the Holy Spirit is gentle and quiet—very difficult for us to hear when we don’t pay close attention. We are connected to the Lord through the Holy Spirit allowing the sweetest communion. By choosing to humble ourselves in being quiet, prepared, aware, open, ready, and patient—we will hear His voice more clearly and we will trust Him more freely. The Holy Spirit is a gift of God’s grace to His people—open your gift wisely and be blessed in His presence.

Read this helpful article: How Do I Meditate on the Word of God?

Resource – New International Version Bible, The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblca, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. 

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

bert savarese October 4, 2014 at 9:31 am

This is so well stated. The Holy Spirit does want to be our conduit to the Lord, guiding us, comforting us and helping us understand the ‘realness’ & how alive God is today. He is not an abstract but a living Father who loves us more than anyone else possibly could. Searching for the Holy Spirit when I was in the pit was the turn around for me, realizing I could reach out to the Father for help and He would send His Holy Spirit to be with me, comfort me and give me direction for my life. Faith is so important; Trust is also! The hymn “Trust and Obey…. for there’s no other way…” is right.


Patricia Schneider October 4, 2014 at 1:06 pm

Hello, Crystal!
I so agree with our brother’s, Bert Savarese, comment! (And of course, your terrific article with Scriptures!)
It IS most difficult sometimes to make time EVERY day to be alone with our Father God through His Word; distractions come from every direction it seems! LOL! Yet, in doing so, what utter peace & joy settle upon one’s entire being and soul! Yes?

Have a fantastic blessing to share with you, my dear Sis! Last Sunday, my hubby Gary received a new kidney!! HALLELUJAH!!! PRAISES, GLORY AND HONOR BE UNTO OUR FATHER GOD, HIS SON, JESUS, HIS HOLY SPIRIT!!! BLESSED TRINITY, ONE GOD, THANK YOU!!!

Thank you, Crystal, for letting God shine through you and sharing your godly wisdom with us all!
Love, forever your Sis in Christ Jesus ~ Patty


bert savarese October 4, 2014 at 10:41 pm

Patty: So happy your husband got the kidney he needed! God is always on time, eh?!

(Ms. Bert) Mother of Eric


Patricia Schneider October 5, 2014 at 8:38 am

My dear SISTER, Bert,
Thank you for your kind words! (I am sorry I thought you were a ‘brother’ instead of a ‘sister’ in Jesus. Oops~!)

Hubby Gary is doing beautifully! He’s been transferred from Allegheny General Hospital to West Penn Hospital (both in Pittsburgh, PA) for rehabilitation. Just got off the phone with him; he might be coming home sooner than the 2 weeks!! YAY! To say we miss him is an understatement! LOL! (Our son, Christopher, our dog, Pepe & me.)

YES, INDEED!! Our Father God has PERFECT TIMING!! Every day I remind myself to seek “God’s Will, His Plan for me, and to cheerfully, patiently wait upon His Perfect Timing.” (The latter part is most difficult for me, Bert. God knows what an impatient brat I can be. Groan~.)

God’s wonderful blessings & His sustaining graces be showered upon you, Bert, and your family!!
Forever your Sis in Christ Jesus ~ Patty


bert savarese October 5, 2014 at 1:54 pm

I am so grateful for this blog on the Holy Spirit. Oddly, though I went to church all my life, I never understood the HS (called the Holy Ghost when I was growing up); guess I had just missed that part. This was when I was much younger & I grew up seeing God as the big cop in the sky! I always thought of him, not as loving, but wanting to catch me making a mistake & then he would zap me out of anger! I lived in fear of this God I believed in… until I was 52 & met the Holy Spirit of God…. what a revelation that God is watching over me, not to zap me but to guide, comfort, love and be with me ALL the time! I had a real turn around in my understanding, of hear the Holy Spirit speak to me often. Once we hear/know the voice of God, the Holy Spirit sent to help us after Jesus death, then there is no denial or turning back. He says his sheep hear his voice and he SO wants a personal relationship with each of us, individually. What a gift!!

So glad to hear the good news of your husband! How wonderful!! My son’s middle name is Christopher & we had our Jolie the Poodle! Our son is in the homosexual lifestyle and though he did not choose it, he is caught up in confusion about the roots of his bondage. Would you please pray (and put him on any prayer warrior partners you know) for Eric tro come to know God/Jesus. He is an unbeliever. I want him to hear the Holy Spirit, too! Most especially to know what Jesus did for him and how much God loves him. My son is clueless and will not let me speak about God/Jesus/’religion’ – he is willing to go into counseling with me with a Christian counselor. I am searching for one who will do long distance counseling with us. I pray for God to bring me to the RIGHT counselor who can challenge Eric’s non belief.

I hope your husband gets home sooner! This had to have been an incredible trial for ya’ll. Was he on a doner list for a long time? Here is my email address so we can keep in touch! God bless you all!!


email: [email protected]


Patricia Schneider October 6, 2014 at 12:33 pm

Hello, Crystal! This is for Bert Savarese. OK?

Hello, my dear Sis!
It wasn’t until I was born-again in God’s Spirit that I truly got to KNOW & LOVE our Father God. Like you, Bert, I hadn’t the foggiest idea of exactly WHO or WHAT PURPOSE the HOLY SPIRIT was!
(This site, “What Christians Want To Know,” is mainly ‘responsible’ for my being born-again in late 2011/early 2012. Forgot to write down the exact date! LOL!)

Having been baptized & raised Catholic, back in the 1950-60’s, we were discouraged from reading God’s Word, the Bible. If we had any spiritual questions, we were to ask a priest or nun. Their answers only befuddled me more, (actually, made me angry.) Left that religion at age 15. Will tell you more when I email you. OK?

Already have your & Eric’s names in my “Prayer Board” tablet. Will also add Eric to a prayer group I share on Facebook.
While praying for you & Eric earlier, I was filled with great HOPE, Sis, that Jesus’ Holy Spirit will lead you both to the perfect counselor! (Our son, Christopher, also is an unbeliever. Please keep Chris among your prayers, Bert?)

email: [email protected]

God bless you, Bert, and your family!!
Love, your Sis in Christ Jesus ~ Patty


Cleopatra Adams January 8, 2020 at 4:25 am

Thank you for the study my faith in God is strong I believe and trust the Holy Spirit with in me.
However I have grandchildren that was raised in the church refuse to trust in the Lord for guidance I continue to pray for them. My son’s believe but have trouble trusting as so does my daughter I tell them to pray while I keep my faith that God will come in to there hearts and filled them with his understanding and change there way of thinking all things come of the oh Lord I believe and trust there will be a change and a continually growth for Jesus, the Father and Son thank you for the encouragement I need prayer to be stronger in my ministry and putting all my learning in front to speak and teach God words not my own but his words speak in the spirit knowing God is pleased.


George gudoi August 22, 2021 at 12:54 am

all your massage is good


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