Whisper: How to Hear the Voice of God … A Review

 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.”

  1. 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)
  2. 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)
  3. 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.
  4. 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)
  5. 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)
  6. 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)
  7. PainWhen 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.

My prayer

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 below, please tell us how God has whispered to you.
Have God’s whispers changed the direction of your life?




5 responses to “Whisper: How to Hear the Voice of God … A Review”

  1. Nellie Avatar

    God did speak to Balaam through a donkey. He allowed the donkey to speak in a language he understood. The word “she” tells us that, as God is referred to as “Father.”
    Next, the problem here is a lot of Christian babes always use books like this as better reference than the Bible itself. They get excited and when things wane down from mundane lifestyle, they go back to a “book” to help them get that high again.
    When a book excites you to where you don’t parallel it with the Bible, we can get off track by spiritual pragmatism. By this I mean, ‘if it sounds spiritual and good, it must be good.” This is how many of these mega-church preachers and “well known authors” get popular. They know people who are drawn to power will use no discernment to get what they are looking for. Hence, writers like him make money off books like this. Sadly, there are pastors who rather get much of their fill from outside the Bible today, mine included.
    Why do I say this? My wife and I bought these books left and right and we spent much time soaking in what we read, while our Bibles never moved, with the exception of going to church, where it was never opened. All we did was seek the magical route, which they all claimed they had and we needed to follow their way of interpretation. I finally woke up and threw away many books that actually drew me away from the Bible. Even the ones that enlightened certain verses but readily ignored the harsh ones. What does one expect from the prosperity gospel while ignoring Paul’s plight of great suffering for the advance of the kingdom. Same goes with the apostles willingness to be beaten, if it meant glorifying the Son.
    Batterson’s writings tend to focus on us and what a Christian can do to change God’s mind. Doing so, it makes God a servant to us instead of the opposite. We are to seek His perfect will for us and we can never dictate to God. Know the Word. Study it. Meditate on it. as J. C. Ryle said, prayer is communion with God. The best prayer I have ever encountered is silent. No words are spoken but the joy I felt, even in my sinful state, overcame me to seek Him more and perfect holiness (2 Cor 7:1).
    You want to learn how to pray? Read about Daniel, Nehemiah, Elijah, Moses, Isaiah and the other prophets. They spent much time with God.
    Mark Batterson is making money from this heresy. The prophets didn’t make a shekel. There is your difference between him and them.

    1. possesshispromises Avatar

      Nellie, Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I agree with you that we need to be Bereans and check out what people are teaching and writing with the Bible. Paul even commended the Bereans for checking him out. Yes, Batterson’s writing does tend to focus on how we can use the power of God on our behalf. I know from personal experience that prayer is powerful when it is focused on the Majesty of God and His will. I hesitate to call Batterson’s position as heresy. I believe that he thinks he is doing God’s will.
      I have slowed down my reviews on books, and stopped reviews with Chosen Publishers because of the focus on getting God to do what we want.
      You are right about learning how to pray by reading the prayers of Moses and the prophets. I would also add the prayers of David and Solomon’s consecration of the temple as well as Jesus.
      I do think that Christian books are helpful, if we consider them in light of the whole counsel of God reflected in the Scriptures.
      I do find that the American Christian Church tends to be “me” focused instead of God-focused, and I am very concerned about that. We want “feel-good” messages, like you wrote.
      This year, I asked the Lord to give me a focus, and He impressed upon me to “Consider Jesus.” This is making all the difference. Once we focus on all that Jesus is and does, His glory, His majesty, His love, everything else disappears, doesn’t it?
      I’m reading a book now, that I’ll be reviewing this week, on marriage, and it is prompting readers to focus on God, His majesty, and a relationship with Him first, and then upon His gift of marriage. It indicates that if we get right in our relationship with God, our marriages will go much better. Very Bible-based, very academic. Please watch for the review.
      Thank you, Nellie, for your comments. I look forward to more of your comments.
      May the Lord richly bless you as you draw near to Him and meditate on His word. Karen

  2. Ann Wilkinson Avatar
    Ann Wilkinson

    I want to read this book. I have read some of his others. Where can I finf it, it is not at Lifeway? Is there a reason?

    1. possesshispromises Avatar

      Hi Ann, You can get it from Amazon and Christianbook.com. The publisher is Multnomah, not Lifeway. You will enjoy reading it. May you increasingly hear the whispers of God and act upon what you hear. Many blessings. Karen

  3. […] how to respond. God often whispers. Ask the Holy Spirit to make you more aware of God’s whispers. “And after the […]

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