Build An Intimate Relationship with God to Discern His Will

Build An Intimate Relationship with God to Discern His Will June 20, 2024

How does God speak to your heart? Are you able to hear him and act on your feelings? Photo courtesy of St. Patrick – St. Anthony Church


Do you want a more intimate relationship with God? Do you listen for God when praying and how does he respond to you? Often, we pray the words and we don’t always listen or look for the response. God communicates to us in many ways and at times we may miss his response. How do I know whether the decisions I make are following God’s will? Let’s take a look.

How Does God Respond To My Prayers …?

One of the most important concepts I have learned in training to be a Spiritual Director is:

God will use ANY means at ANY time to lead, guide, and interact with us!

Think about that for a moment. Our God who is everywhere and always active in our lives, will use any MEANS at any TIME to lead, guide, and interact with us.  So what does that mean to us as Catholics? Catholics tend to be very prayerful people. We have prayers for many different situations and when all else fails, we have the Our Father prayer that is perfect for every need. The question is what are we praying for, and how do we know if we make a decision as to whether that decision is God’s will for us or us deciding what is best for us?

From a personal perspective, I was in a situation where I applied for the diaconate and felt that is where God wanted me to be. I told myself, “if this isn’t my door it won’t be open to me.” Well, I was shocked to find out that wasn’t my door. I had prayed over it, and felt this was what God had intended me to do. What did I get wrong? Going back to the original concept, was I aware of all the ways God may have responded to my prayer? In hindsight, God was right. He led me to where He intended for me, and where I feel comfortable that I am fulfilling His purpose. During my prayers to discern if the diaconate was right for me, I had this uncomfortable feeling that I did not understand. I attributed this to anxiety over making the decision. What I didn’t understand at the time was that God communicates to us through feelings, as well as thoughts, voices, visions, other people – any means possible to help us understand His response to our prayers.


What is Spiritual Direction and how can it help me be closer to God? Photo courtesy of Spirituality+Health

God’s Will Use ANY Means at ANY Time To Speak To Us!

Anxiety can certainly be a way that God tells us to look deeper at what we are praying about. God gives us peace, not stress and anxiety. If you have a feeling whether it be positive, or a negative uncomfortable feeling, that may well be God communicating to you. Bring that feeling to prayer. God can be very persistent, so if we have a recurring feeling that may be God asking us to look deeper into this feeling with Him in prayer. Have you ever had a thought or a vision just pop into your head about something you may have been thinking or praying about? Maybe hear a voice in your head tell you something that was on your mind? How about if you encounter someone in your day-to-day life that validates something you have been thinking or praying about, or offers a different perspective? These can all be ways in which God interacts with us.

The key to understanding how God interacts with us is to be aware. Once you become aware of God’s active presence in your life you may be surprised how often you see Him. This awareness may bring you comfort and a level of peace you may not have experienced in the past. We become more aware of God’s presence by building a more intimate relationship with Him. If you are interested in learning how to be build an intimate relationship with God and be more aware of His presence in your life, spiritual direction is a ministry that may be able to help you.

Spiritual Direction is a process in which one believer (director) “journeys” with another believer (directee) to help the directee grow in intimacy and communication with God, and to deepen awareness in the directee to God being active in their daily lives. The director is a spiritual companion to the directee and meets with the directee on a regular basis to discuss prayer and where God may be present in the directee’s life events.

Personally, I have found this to be life changing and have similar feedback from many others I have encountered in this ministry. If you have any interest in learning more about spiritual direction you can respond in the comments, or email me directly at As always, comments are not only welcome, but encouraged and I will respond back as quickly as I can.


About Dennis McIntyre
In my early years I was a member of the Methodist church where I was baptized as a child and eventually became a lector for the church. I always felt I was a very faith-filled person, but that something was missing. My wife is Catholic and my children were baptized as Catholic and this helped me to find what I was looking for to be part of something so much bigger than myself walking together with Jesus. I was welcomed into the Catholic faith and received the sacraments as a full member of the Catholic Church in 2004. I am a Spiritual Director, and very active in ministry serving as a Lector and Eucharistic Minister in addition to providing spiritual direction. I have spent time working with the sick and the terminally ill in local hospitals and Hospice Care centers and found these ministries to be very difficult, but extremely rewarding. You can read more about the author here.
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