And after the earthquake a fire but The Lord was not in the fire: & after the fire a still small voice. 1 Kings 19:12
I'm an experiential Christian. So long as something isn't actually unscriptual I'll try it at least once. Nor is this more true than in the area of prayer because I have serious issues with thinking I am just talking to myself. I prefer conversations. I think God does too.
Because I am experiential I tend to think other Christians think the same &, you know, often they don't. Surprise, surprise. This has been in my face a bit because I have an acquaintance, definitely not a kindred spirit, who asks me mind boggler's like, "How do I know Liddy's a committed Christian?" & " What do I mean I hear from God?" My instinctive reaction is, " What? You mean you don't hear from God? Then why on earth do you pray?!" I suspect my acquaintance means only yeses classify as answers from God but I could be wrong about that.
I also know God is God, you know. Just when I think I've got Him all worked out & we're good to go He pulls the rug out from under my feet but this far down the track with God I've reached the point where I know God can respond to prayer in absolutely any way he chooses to. Scripture is good, nice solid ground to stand on, but less & less is this the only way God communicates with me. The old Quaker saying , "Way will open" is one way. Sometimes doors just slam shut & you know something's not a goer. Other times you just have to wait on the way opening. You know it will but God's not on my timetable.
Prayer is more than just praise & petition, though those are aspects of prayer. It is not just intercession, though standing in the gap is an important work & I have the utmost respect for intercessors. It is also listening, hearing, understanding. A pricking conscience can lead us into prayer. It's one reason God placed a conscience there. Similar, but not the same, is the weight of the Lord's hand between my shoulderblades. This usually comes as an absolute propulsion to stand up & declare the word of the Lord ~& it can come at the most inopportune times.
There are the one~offs. When I returned home after my father died, exhausted by grief & the practicalities of getting myself home down the highway, too shattered to deal with anyone or anything, I opened my bible randomly, something I do a lot but rarely with such results, & found my thumb resting on Psalm 68:5 ~ Father of the fatherless & protector of widows is God in His holy habitation.
I have heard from the Lord in dreams. In meditation He may show me things in pictures. More rarely, but the times I treasure most, He has manifested his presence as Love & spoken aloud & if I could have my way I can assure you I would let the world go to pot & dwell in the Shadow of the Almighty forever.
Now my acquaintance thinks I'm completely heretical ~ & I never did get round to discussing the issue of tongues with her ~ but I have scriptual evidence for absolutely every way the Lord has ever communicated with me. I have done the whole Job thing & absolutely ranted & raved like a lunatic at God ~ & He was gracious to me. I have wrestled with God like Jacob did & been overcome. Joseph dreamed. The prophets prophesied. I am slow of understanding & not always obedient but God & I, we continue this dance where I try & listen for His voice amongst all the babbling of the world & He tries to calm me long enough to hear Him for He has promised that His sheep know His voice.