Hearing God When You’re Exhausted

I recently received a question in an email from a disciplemaker I’ve been laboring with and training. He asked an interesting question that I thought might help others:

Hi Jonathan,

Hope you’re having great results as you take advantage of the lingering warmer weather. Praying for that.

I’m continuing to try to grow in listening to the Spirit since that’s been pretty weak for me during the last few months, but one of the struggles I have is listening when I’m tired. Since you are experienced in both listening and being tired, I figured you might have some tips for how to work through that.

COOLDISCIPLE [name protected]



This is probably my best teaching on hearing/listening: http://sentlives.com/sermon-hearing-gods-voice/

…but listening while being tired is an interesting distinction.

Colossians 4:2 tells us to be alert in prayer, so some coffee may be in order.

I think Jesus and the disciples were tired a lot, especially when fasting, etc. Some practical things that help me when I’m tired:

  • Pace the floor.
  • Put on music (classical or instrumental if worship music is too distracting). [Elisha asked an ungodly king to provide some music when he was listening to God, “‘But now bring me a harpist.’ While the harpist was playing, the hand of the LORD came on Elisha” – 2 Kings 3:15 NIV]
  • Ask God specific questions.
  • Have a notebook handy, and force yourself to write down impressions (even if they are way off).
  • Pray out loud (get LOUD if you need to).
  • Alternate between listening time and reading the Bible aloud.

If I think of more, I will send some more thoughts.


Do you have any tips or tricks that might help others hear God and pray more effectively when they’re worn out? Post them in the comments.