How can I experience God?

· author: Thomas · reading time: ca. 10 min.

Christian faith can be compared to a relationship. This includes shared experiences, memories and time for each other. Practically, God shows himself in many situations: Not only in prayer and Bible reading, but also in other people or in nature.

The best image for Christian faith is a relationship. Without taking this comparison too far, what comes to mind when you think of a relationship? What would you not want to miss out on with a good friend or your spouse?

You spend time together, have shared memories of these experiences and also plans for the future. You take time for each other because you want to get to know each other better, and you regularly share your experiences, thoughts and feelings.

Now what does this have to do with God, whom you can’t even see? If you have never experienced it, you probably find it difficult to imagine. Therefore, in this article I give a few examples of how life with God can look practically.

Maybe you grew up with a very scientific worldview, in which all phenomena were explained with predictable cause-and-effect laws. I hope that I can give you an idea of where there is still room for God’s intervention today.


Everything begins with prayer. Prayer is not simply a pre-formulated text. Prayer is a conversation. As Christians, we can talk to God as if we were talking to a trusted person. Jesus himself said to His followers that they were not his slaves, but his friends. (Further reading: John 15:15)

If we consciously thank God for positive experiences, this can noticeably change our attitude already. Often we then ask God for certain things – for others (some remember this as intercessory prayer from church), but we may also bring our own requests before God.

Prayer is therefore the basis for experiencing the work of God in our own lives and for observing it in people around us. But even praying itself can relieve and strengthen us, if we pray in the firm certainty that God is really listening to us.

We can pray in many situations: in church services, in a cell group, in the family, with friends, but also alone in a quiet room. Especially there is a good opportunity to share and reflect on very personal thoughts and feelings with God.


As Christians, we believe that God has walked on this earth in the form of Jesus and will return one day. At the moment Jesus is in heaven and we cannot simply meet him in person as the first Christians were able to do some two thousand years ago.

But God has made provision and left us with the Bible many events, facts and promises through which we can meet him at any time. Bible study is not primarily about acquiring theological expertise, but about getting to know God more closely as a person.

As soon as we read the Bible not only when we are looking for the solution to a particular problem, or because as a “good Christian” one reads the Bible regularly, but out of genuine curiosity about God, the image we have of God can come alive.

For some, a fixed date and a coffee helps, just as one would make a date with a friend. If one reads the Bible regularly, a “cycle” can develop from prayer and Bible reading, in which one gets inspiration from the Bible for concerns for which one has prayed before.


While two thousand years ago Jesus was personally invited to dinner and had one or the other, often controversial, conversation with the people of that time, today God usually does not speak with an audible voice from heaven.

Nevertheless, I believe that God can “speak” to us through thoughts – in prayer, while reading the Bible, in everyday life. This is then not an audible voice speaking in English, but rather an idea, an idea to do or say something in a certain way.

I think you have to be careful to claim that you received a thought directly from God – whether that was really the case is usually only seen afterwards in the result.

However, even today we can’t say for sure why one person had a certain idea and another didn’t (more about this in the “Coincidence” section). That’s why I see this as a place where God can do His work. Thoughts are at the beginning of our actions and have a great influence on them.


God uses us humans to implement his plans in the world. In doing so, God does not simply move us back and forth like passive pieces on a chessboard, but he lets us actively cooperate when it comes to making his message visible and tangible here on earth.

Not everyone is given such a great commission as Moses and is supposed to proclaim the Ten Commandments to an entire nation, but I am convinced that God gives each of us – through the Bible, through spontaneous ideas - something by which we can express our faith very concretely in our everyday lives.

Acting for God can take very different forms depending on the situation – whether we are making an important decision in our lives, helping to settle a conflict between two people in our environment, taking on a specific task in our church, or simply “just” giving money to a good cause.

All actions inspired by God allow us to experience Him: By seeing changes in our own lives, by growing personally in the tasks God sets for us, and also by seeing changes in the lives of others, we recognize God’s action in the world.


As a Christian, I do not believe in coincidence, but in the living God. In our lives, there are always microscopic occurrences that can have an enormous impact in the long run.

What job offer we signed, what city we moved to, such decisions are often based on those small moments when we met a certain person, got a tip from acquaintances, and so on.

In such situations we have the impression that we have been “in the right place at the right time”. The resulting events in turn set the course for which people we will meet in the future and which decisions we will then make there.

This effect also exists in reverse: It does not always manifest itself so blatantly that we miss an airplane that later crashes – but also such things that do not happen, do not go according to (our) plan, can set the course for our lives.

Without God, life can only be described as a chain of events that are seemingly strung together at random. We then often talk about “luck” or “fate” and are glad not to have been “in the wrong place at the wrong time”.

As a Christian, I see the power of God even in these little things. He can foresee exactly what effect a small encounter today will have in the future.

Therefore, God can also intervene in a guiding way through encounters with other people, when there is no “miracle” that would be visible from the outside. He uses every little experience as a puzzle piece for the big picture of our life.

Church service

Most church members here in Germany attend a church service for two reasons: on high holidays such as Christmas or on personal life events such as their own wedding or the baptism of their children.

The more regularly we attend a church service, the more we give God the chance to share a “newsworthy” message with us there that has real relevance to our everyday lives in this moment.

A good church service is a combination of many points that I address in this article, which is why I highlight only three points here:

As in our own Bible study, we meet God in service primarily through a Bible text that forms the basis for the sermon. Moreover, the sermon itself is an interpretation through which the Bible text becomes more applicable to our situation today.

If we believe in Jesus, we can be sure that God will stand by us, even if we don’t always feel that way. Regardless, the music in worship gives us the opportunity to perceive and express emotionally the hope and joy we have in God.

Church service is also a time of fellowship with other Christians. On the one hand, during the service: the Lord’s Supper in particular can remind us consciously of two things again and again: the grace of God and also the feeling of belonging together as a worldwide community of Christians …


… On the other hand, fellowship with other Christians before and after the service can also encourage us. When we comfort each other, forgive each other, encourage each other and so on, we can also experience comfort, forgiveness and encouragement ourselves, just as God has assured us.

God can work through others just as He works through ourselves. It is not only pastors or the leaders of Christian camps who can speak “special” words to us. The advice of our brothers and sisters in faith can also be an answer to our prayers.

In the end, any person, Christian or not, in any place in the world, can become a guide for our lives with what they say, do, or don’t do. Here, too, something like a cycle happens. When we bring our experiences in the world before God again in prayer, he helps us to understand everything properly.


Not only other people, but also impersonal nature can open our eyes to God. There are various aspects of the environment created by God in which we can in turn glimpse something of God’s attributes – a few suggestions:

If we consider the great number of stars and galaxies that exist in our universe in relation to the few living creatures that dwell in it, God must have created the world with an almost lavish generosity. This abundance in the universe can give us a sense of God’s lavish grace.

In nature, there are ingenious “constructions” in many places that one can only marvel at. Today we take Velcro for granted, but eighty years ago its “inventor”, Georges de Mestral, only came up with the idea because many burrs got stuck in his dog’s fur while he was out walking him.

Also the compass, swimming fins or sonar existed in nature with migratory birds, ducks and dolphins long before humans also made use of them. From this we can see that God is behind things as a directing intelligence. This can also remind us that God has a thoughtful plan for our own lives.

But even simply beautiful natural phenomena can point us to God. Especially in dark times, it can be a comfort to see how God originally created the world well so that we humans can feel good in it.

The beauty of a sunset or a flower can become a symbol of God’s love for us. The rainbow, which God set as a sign of peace after the Flood, has a special meaning. (Further reading: Genesis 6:5-9:17)


We don’t always get an answer to our prayers right away – sometimes God’s action becomes visible only after a long time. The reasons why God leaves us in an unpleasant situation can be quite different. Perhaps it is important that we make certain experiences, even if we would not choose them ourselves. (For more on this, see the article “Why is there suffering in the world? (theodicy)”.)

Here we need a certain perseverance to experience God-triggered change. Keeping a personal “prayer list” on which we write the prayer requests we want don’t want to lose sight of can be a help. This allows us to remember important goals even when there are many distractions in our lives.

To better see the connection between prayer and effect, it can also help to keep a “prayer journal”. In it, one can not only collect prayer requests, but also record the effects of prayers and other experiences. In this way, a personal memory book is created in which we can better recognize God’s common thread for our lives.


Albert Einstein is said to have once said: If you can’t explain something in simple terms, then you haven’t understood it yourself. When we tell others about a subject that we are interested in, we understand it better ourselves.

So we can also understand more about God and strengthen our faith by passing on knowledge to others. That’s how I feel about this blog, for example: To write the articles, I first have to reflect on my own image of God and my own point of view, so that I can then put it into words.

Sharing our faith can also encourage others to engage (more) with God. These people have their own experiences with God. When they then tell us what they have experienced with God, we in turn also learn more about God. So sharing our faith can also be something that brings us closer to God.