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Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God Paperback – October 1, 1999

72 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Few books have challenged me like this one. I would urge every serious-minded Christian to read it . . . at your own risk." (Bill Hybels, author of Too Busy Not to Pray)

"The best book on divine guidance I have ever read. I recommend it highly." (Richard Foster, author of Celebration of Discipline)

"Willard wonderfully encourages us to listen for God's voice, and then to respond and obey. This is a book of great encouragement and helpful insights into the arena of God's direction in our daily living." (Ted W. Engstrom, president emeritus, World Vision)

From the Back Cover

From a close associate of Richard Foster, here is a profound understanding of how to hear God in today's busy world. The Christian claim that it is possible to have a personal relationship with the creator of the universe is increasingly under threat in the modern world. With the sound of society and the speed of living increasing year by year, is it really possible to hear from God and be in communication with him? Dallas Willard says an emphatic "yes". In this ground breaking book, he reveals how "hearing God" is actually possible. He explains how to listen for God's voice in unexpected places, how to experience the "still small voice", and how to become a mature person of discernment. Richard Foster says this is "the best book on divine guidance I have read" Bill Hybels says "few books have challenged me like this one" This book will profoundly affect every reader --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 228 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Books; Later edition dated 1999 edition (October 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830822267
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830822263
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #361,424 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

205 of 211 people found the following review helpful By Craig Atencio on February 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
I first read In Search of Guidance because of the great experience I had with Willard's other book, The Spirit of the Disciplines. In Guidance we are presented with non-trivial explanations on how to align our lives in such a way as to be open to the direction of God. I was particularly impressed with the depth of the book. Before even stating how we are to hear God, Willard discusses the role our beliefs have in the matter. This seems so obvious, but it is so often overlooked. It is obvious because if we do not believe that God speaks through events and other happenings we will always be waiting for the quintissential lighting bolt of inspiration. Willard also discusses the role our very lives have in communion with God. He states that if we are not living lives in alignment with God's will it will be pretty hard to hear God, since in essence we are ignoring Him in our very being. Thus Willard elaborates on two themes that I have not found in other books. Only after this discussion does Willard launch into how we come to recognize God's voice - not normally in a thunderous clang but in the small whisper leading us to right action. This was especially important to me because I have had much contact with Christians who seem paralyzed if they get no momentous sign from God after a few prayers. But Willard tells us that sometimes - believe it or not - a person may not hear that big bang and make a decision and still be following the will of God since whatever choice they make will be in accordance with God's will, granted that they are living a life in close communion and alignment with God. I commend Willard for this penetrating book. At least for an engineering mind like mine it made great sense and certainly explained the totality of my interaction with God in asking for guidance.
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119 of 122 people found the following review helpful By Zossima on June 25, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is easily the best book on finding God's will I have ever read. It succeeds because Willard recognizes there are no formulas. The way to find God's will is to find God and learn how to converse with him. Willard argues that in seeking God's will, we generally are asking the wrong questions: "What job should I take?" "Whom should I marry?" Those questions are legitimate but should be secondary to desires to have a deep relationship with God. It is in that relationship with God that the questions of our lives get answered. Willard then explores what the Bible teaches regarding ways in which God communicates with us. Excellent.
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67 of 70 people found the following review helpful By David Lerner on June 18, 2002
Format: Paperback
In "Hearing God," Dallas Willard runs through the prison stuffing keys in all the cell doors, inviting us to turn the key and be set free from our preconceived notions of when and how God speaks to us. Make no mistake, this is no light summer reading, and it will require a lot of time to digest everything he has to say. I recently finished reading this book, and I feel as if scales have fallen from my eyes. Willard is pointing us toward what life can be like if you would only have confidence in the fact that God wants to speak to you, if only you would know what frequency to tune your ears to (I know, that's a horrible analogy, but it's the best I can come up with while staring at a computer monitor).
Trust me, please, read this book prayerfully and with the full expectancy that God will open your eyes to all that is truly going on around you. It will forever change you...
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81 of 86 people found the following review helpful By FlyManFly on November 18, 1999
Format: Paperback
Dallas Willard's consistency over many years of writing becomes incredibly clear as you read this re-release. Contrasting this earliest book to The Divine Conspiracy (1998) and The Spirit of the Disciplines (1988), one sees how well Dr Willard's work holds together. Each book emphasizes a theme and each stands strongly on its own (you'll note he is not your "book a year" kind of author--lot's of quality here). I am on my 3rd read of this in about a year and continue to chew it thoroughly. Hats off to IVP for re-releasing it (though I like the original title better). I commend it to readers tired and frustrated with much of what is taught about prayer and where they are and God is in all of it. Dr Willard has been given a great gift and he shares it freely here.
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Richard Dugan on September 12, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is not a book on figuring out the will of God, though knowing and doing what God requires is discussed as an essential aspect of having a relationship with Him. This is not a book on prayer, though prayer is discussed as the essential medium for a personal relationship with God. It is about living with God as a shaping force in our lives. The genius of this book is found in that it describes a relationship with God. It tells us what life in relation with God looks like. Willard suggests that it is our difficulty in hearing the voice of God (the word of God) that hinders our relationship with Him. The book answers the question of whether or not we actually can hear the voice of God, how God speaks to us, how we can know it is really God, and how we are to respond when God speaks.

Having a conversational relationship with God is grounded first and foremost in faith. We must trust in the One who holds the future, who reveals His will, and who wants to take up residence in our hearts. We must believe that God wants all of this for us. A conversational relationship with God means that we cultivate a heart that is able to hear God speak. We are able to know and sense God's presence with us. We are aware of God's presence in our circumstances, we are able to hear the Still Small Voice of the Spirit, and we are able to read the Bible in such a way that it shapes the manner in which we live. Like any relationship or any form of communication, this takes time, maturity, practice, and skills. Willard provides insight into all these areas.

There are no quick roads to blessing in this book. Willard provides no shortcuts because God offers none. He merely asks us, "Do you trust God enough to care about what He says, listen for what He says, and then live according to what He tells you?" May it be so.
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