Q. I’ve heard and read many stories of people describing instances where they’ve felt the Lord’s presence during prayer or they’ve felt God “place something on their hearts” or they’ve heard Him speak to them. I am somewhat new to my relationship with Christ, but I have yet to experience an interaction with Him like these. I do spend time on my knees in prayer daily and I know he hears me because I’ve witnessed many answers to prayer. Is it normal that I haven’t had one of these one-on-one experiences with the Lord then?
A. With practice, Christians can acquire the ability to know when the Lord is “speaking” to them. Most often this involves developing a sensitivity to His gentle prompting, sometimes referred to as the Lord “placing something on our heart.”
You can learn to do this by acting in faith whenever you think He’s prompting you. For example, if you’re walking past someone asking for a hand out and you feel led to give something, ask the Lord if He’s speaking to you. If the feeling persists, act on it even if you’re not totally sure. Remember, you’re acting in faith and the Lord will always honor that.
Keep in mind that the Lord will never ask you to do something that’s wrong, or that is not consistent with His word. Over time you’ll become confident in your ability to know when the Lord is “speaking” to you. In John 10:27 Jesus said, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me.”