In this post, Scot McKnight calls attention to the recently-published book by anthropologist T. M. Luhrmann, When God Talks Back: Understanding the American Evangelical Relationship with God (2012, Knopf, 464 pages). Based on ten years of research at two separate Vineyard churches (Chicago and Palo Alto), Luhrmann studies how people listen to God and respond to what they believe He is saying to them. She address the issue from a social science perspective, not opining on the existence of God or the reality of His speaking.
The comment thread to Scot’s blog post provides some other resources on the subject of how to hear God.
Do You Hear God?.
This is a lengthy but well-written piece written by Zev Chafets for the New York Times Magazine in September of 2009. I’ll give you the closing paragraph in hopes that you’ll want to read the whole essay. Perhaps without intending to, it demonstrates the centrality of Jesus when it comes to prayer…and therefore everything else as well.
There are some 300,000 churches in America, and I could have picked any one to attend on Easter morning, but I liked being in this one. Especially the kids. They didn’t need Reverend Henderson’s prayer techniques, or the high-tech mantras of the Brooklyn Tabernacle. Their prayers weren’t Rabbi Gellman’s suburban Jewish prayers of Thanks! offered to whom it may concern. They didn’t pray to de-center their egos or find transcendence or to set off on a lifelong therapeutic spiritual journey. They prayed to a God with whom they were on a first-name basis, and they believed their prayers gave them power, which they used on behalf of their asthmatic sisters and infirm grandparents and a kid they knew with burns on his body. Sitting in church on Easter morning, I realized that I was probably never going to become a praying man. But if, by some miracle, I ever do, I hope my prayers will be like the prayers of the kids I met at the Love church in Berkeley Springs. Straight-up Gimme! on behalf of people who really need the help.
The Right Way to Pray? – NYTimes.com.