In 2015 I commenced a Doctor in Ministry focussing on people’s experience in hearing God’s voice (Read about it here: The Wacky, the Frightening and the Spectacular: Researching our Experiences Hearing God’s Voice). Study at this level involves reading everything that’s available about hearing God experiences in the contemporary church.
The literature spans all sorts of viewpoints from the negative to the positive and the pragmatic to the academic. One author believed that claims to hearing God’s voice was elitist and fraught with so many dangers that we shouldn’t even contemplate that God speaks today! Another book discussed how God spoke in the first century church – always a great place to start, even when the relatively few records we have in the Scriptures (and outside them) make it challenging to resolve some of the current debates. A third book takes you inside a congregation’s hearing God experiences from an anthropological and psychological perspective. That one was quite brilliant, but left me with a significant headache as I took some time to process the content!
There are also some fabulous books out there that are a less academic but still thoughtful and well-researched which I will share with you here in this post. These books have some great insights, solid biblical grounding and helpful stories to illustrate how God speaks today. One of the best things about reading about the experiences of others is that you begin to recognise the same voice heard through multiple expressions and contexts. God’s nature and character is consistent, but his creativity is never-ending and his methods often surprising. I encourage you to keep listening to and learning from the journey of others as you seek to know God’s voice in your own life!
Here are my top 5 hearing-God’s-voice books:
1. Deere, Jack. Surprised by the Voice of God. Michigan: Zondervan, 1998
From the first time I heard this man speak in my church over twenty years ago I’ve been impressed by his ministry. This book is a classic. It combines some fabulous hearing God stories with rock-solid theology. Written by a man who was once a die-hard skeptic that God spoke today, it contains one of the best blends of practical wisdom and biblical teaching I’ve heard. An easy read, but definitely not lacking in depth.
2. Gentile, Ernest B. Your Sons and Daughters Shall Prophesy. Michigan: Chosen Books, 1999.
This book is one of the few scholarly texts on the topic that is written by someone who is both an academic as well as a practitioner of prophetic ministry. In my experience there are few books that combine the two perspectives as well as this one. So if you want to go a little deeper, or if you are a theological student who enjoys a more academic approach to Scripture and history, this one’s for you.
3. Jacobs, Cindy. The Voice of God. California: Regal Books, 1995.
Well known prophetic leader Cindy Jacob gives a solid overview of how to hear God’s voice in this book, but with a little more focus on those who have a gift of prophecy or are called to the prophetic ministry full-time (in the ‘office’ of a prophet). She is particularly concerned about how this gift is tested and how it operates in the local church. Great for pastors and leaders.
4. Kelsey, Morton. God, Dreams and Revelation. U.S: Augsburg Fortress, 1991.
When I first started hearing God’s voice in dreams, this was my go-to book. Written by an incredibly well-researched and insightful author and Episcopal priest, it is by far the best treatise on dreams and visions I’ve read. This pioneer work gives a thorough background and history of dream interpretation and explains why hearing God in dreams and visions is largely rejected by the contemporary church. A readable and insightful account on hearing God through dreams, though you will need to look elsewhere for the ‘how-tos’.
5. Hamon, Jane. Dreams and Visions. U.S: Regal Books, 2000.
This book is a good user-friendly introduction to the topic of hearing God’s voice in dreams and visions. It has plenty of interesting and helpful examples that will help you understand your dreams. There’s some good biblical teaching as well as practical guidelines on how to hear God’s voice in this way.
and just one more…
Harris, Tania. God Conversations. U.K: Authentic Media, 2017.
God Conversations will be my first full-length book and is due for release with Authentic Media in June 2017. With a unique mix of memoir and teaching, it’s not quite like any of the ones listed above. My goal is it to inspire and equip you to recognise God’s voice in a fresh and creative way.
The GC team and I are very excited about this book and are believing that God will use it to touch thousands of people’s lives. Will you pray and believe with us? Imagine what God could do if every Christian across the planet was able to recognise and respond to God’s voice! We’re praying that God will use this book to help us achieve just that!
What’s your favourite hearing God book? How has it impacted your God conversations? Include a recommendation here: