If you were to go outside on a spring morning when all the different birds in the neighborhood were singing, it would be impossible to single-out one bird and hear just his unique song. If you wanted to identify a specific bird and his song you would need to spend time watching and studying that particular bird. Before long, identifying that bird and his song would become easier.
Learning to hear God’s voice is much the same process as described above. To hear God’s still, small voice from all of the other much louder voices around you takes time, study and practice. You need to spend time getting to know Him through His Word - listening to what He has to say about Himself in order to distinguish His voice from all of the other voices. When you are praying and want to hear His answer, ask Him to make it really clear to you. Ask Him to shout and He will. He wants you to know His voice and to learn to recognize it.
As you grow in your ability to hear God correctly, you will make mistakes. The key is to learn from those mistakes and keep growing in learning to hear Him. With much practice, you will be able to hear God more confidently. However, it is unlikely that you will ever hear Him perfectly until you are no longer living in the flesh. When you are telling others what you think God is saying it is important for you to say, “to the best of my ability to hear God today, this is what I think He is directing me to do.” This will keep you humble and aware of your weakness as you learn to hear God.
Walking with God by John Eldredge (Desiring God)
Walking with God leads to receiving his intimate counsel, and counseling leads to deep restoration. As we learn to walk with God and hear his voice, he is able to bring up issues in our hearts that need speaking to. Some of those wounds were enough to break our hearts, create a rift in the soul, and so we need his healing as well. This is something Jesus walks us into- sometimes through the help of another person who can listen and pray with us, sometimes with God alone. As David said in Psalm 23, He leads us away, to a quiet place, to restore the soul. Our first choice is to go with him there-to slow down, unplug, accept the invitation to come aside. You won't find healing in the midst of the Matrix. We need time in the presence of God. This often comes on the heels of God's raising some issue in our hearts or after we've just relived an event that takes us straight to that broken place, or waking as I did to a raw emotion.
Teach me your way, O LORD,
and I will walk in your truth;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.
I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart;
I will glorify your name forever. (Ps. 86:11-12)
When we are in the presence of God, removed from distractions, we are able to hear him more clearly, and a secure environment has been established for the young and broken places in our hearts to surface.
(Waking the Dead
From the book Desiring God by John Eldredge: