Whisper: How to Hear the Voice of God
A Review of Mark Batterson’s New Book
Whisper: How to Hear the Voice of God by Mark Batterson came just at the right time for me. I am studying The Lord’s Prayer and other related prayers in the Bible. Whisper is about power-filled prayer that begins with listening for God’s whisper.
It’s listening as Samuel did and responding to the whisper, “Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:10
Batterson challenges the reader to pray those seven words. A changed life is his promise.
“When someone speaks in a whisper, you have to get very close to hear. In fact, you have to put your ear near the person’s mouth. We lean toward a whisper, and that’s what God wants. The goal of hearing the heavenly Father’s voice isn’t just hearing His voice; it’s intimacy with Him.” (pp. 9–10)
Christians have been taught to pray — to have a conversation with God. Yet, we haven’t been taught that prayer also includes listening to God. In fact, we can pray more effectively, if we respond to God’s whispers.
We have formulas that prescribe how to talk to God, but Batterson shows that God is not a God of formulas. He varies His whispers to fit the need of the one receiving the whisper.
God spoke to Moses through the burning bush, to Belshazzar through handwriting on the wall, and to Balaam through a donkey. Today, God still speaks in various ways. The greatest way that He speaks is through the revelation ofJesus.
Batterson has identified seven ways God whispers to His children. He called them “Seven Love Languages.”
- Scripture. “The apostle Paul described Scripture as ‘God-breathed.’ When we read Scripture, we’re inhaling what the Holy Spirit exhaled thousands of years ago. We’re hearing the whisper of God in breath tones.” (p. 65)
- Desires. “If uniqueness is God’s gift to us, then individuation is our gift back to Him. And it starts with hearing and heeding the voice of desire.” (p. 93)
- Doors. God whispers to His children to step through an open door, like telling Moses to lead the Israelites across the Jordan River on dry land. “But Moses had to extend his staff first. The priests had to step in the river first. Only then did God part the waters. Faith is taking the first step before God reveals the second one.” (p. 98) Batterson also discusses closed doors.
- Dreams. “The dreams God gives us are for us, but they’re never for just us; they’re for everyone who will be affected by and inspired by them.” (p. 120)
- People. “We all have a cloud of witnesses, and that cloud consists of anybody and everybody who has influenced our lives . … He [God] wants to use them to speak into our lives, and He wants to use us to speak into theirs.” (p. 131)
- Promptings. “The Spirit often stirs us in the same way that we’re called to spur one another toward good deeds. It’s the motivation to stop, to start, or to change.” (p. 160)
- Pain. “When Jesus was on the cross, He felt furthest from the Heavenly Father, yet that is when He was closest to accomplishing God’s purposes. We shouldn’t be deceived. When it seems as if God is letting us down, He is setting us up for something that may be beyond our ability to comprehend at the present moment.” ( p. 176).
Batterson fills the book with interesting historical examples of God working in people’s lives, and he sprinkles in personal examples of his prayer walk with God and National Community Church.
This is a well-researched book, and one that prompted me to examine how much I was listening for the whispers of God.
Are you listening for God’s whispers?
I received a complimentary galley copy of the book from the publisher for my honest review.
Our Heavenly Father, thank You for Mark Batterson and the insight You have given him about prayer. Bless him and expand his borders in order to proclaim Your love for others. I pray that Your children who are called by Your name will become more aware of Your whispers and respond in Your perfect will. Thank You, Father, for Your whispers of lovingkindness, for they endure forever. Amen.
In the Comment Section, please tell us how God has whispered to you.
Have God’s whispers changed the direction of your life?