How Do We Know God Is Real?

My youngest son posed that question after our bedtime prayers one evening last week.

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(By the way, why is it that kids have a tendency to ask such deep questions when parents are exhausted, or busy, or both?)

I summoned what brain power I had left for the day and considered his question. One simple answer is that we can see evidence of a Master Designer in creation, with all its magnificent order.

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. – Psalm 19:1

But my son wasn’t asking about evidence of God in the world at large. He was asking how we can know that God is real to us, as individuals.

When we pray, how do we know that there is a God listening to us?

Good question.

Though the Psalmist did not doubt God’s existence, even he cried out to God to reveal himself during times of seeming silence from above.

Lord, why castest thou off my soul? why hidest thou thy face from me? – Psalm 13:1

Some dear fellow believers have told me that they have heard the voice of God speaking to them internally. I’ve experienced something similar to that, when asking God for guidance during a difficult time. I didn’t hear a voice, exactly, but God did bring to mind words of Scripture – his words, after all – that were just what I needed to hear at the time.

I believe I heard the whisper of the Holy Spirit, and I tried to explain that experience to my son.

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. – John 14:26

I also explained to him that God works on a different timetable than we do. Often, I don’t see answers to my prayers for months or years; but when I look back on the path my life has taken, I can see the hand of God in hindsight. His answers may have seemed delayed at the time, but he was working all along through the events of my life to answer my prayers in a way that eventually worked together for my good.

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand. – Psalm 37:23-24

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My son’s response was, “But I’m only nine.”

True.

At that point, I told him to have faith and keep practicing the fundamentals: praying, reading his Bible, and doing what God is asking him to do, as a young boy. I reassured him of God’s desire to know and love him, and to be known and loved by him.

Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. – James 4:8a

As with any good relationship, getting to know God takes a regular investment of time and effort.


How do you explain the existence of God? I welcome your insight!

because home wasn't built in a day

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19 thoughts on “How Do We Know God Is Real?”

  1. The best explanation I have is my own testimony. Though I grew up in church, I was mentally/spiritually renewed and transformed by reading scripture, praying, and staying connected to “the vine.” I have felt the real impact that a relationship with God has on a person. Scales fall from my eyes all the time; my wisdom, empathy, and much more have been enriched. (1 Cor greeting)

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  2. My son asked a similar question but it was how do we know God is with us. I asked him to remember a time when he was about to do something that he knew wasn’t exactly right/good. How did he feel? He said he’d get this feeling inside, like something was pulling him to not do it. I asked him what happened if he did it anyway. He said that feeling inside would get worse and worse. I told him there was his proof of God. That was God trying to guide you. The first “bad” feeling was a warning of things to come. The after was the proof of the truth God was showing him about his actions.

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      1. Praise the LORD 🙂 It is blessing to read about your sons questions. Children’s questions in general. An adult might not ask questions due to fear. Children just want to know 🙂 They don’t think from a place of judgment, I feel, so they aren’t fearful of asking questions. I pray we can all be like children because I’ve never met an adult of God. 🙂 🙂

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  3. When my kids have asked this kind of question, I have shared with them what Jesus said about the wind. You can’t see it, but you can see its effects. The peace Daddy God gives us in situations that would have others extremely upset is such a powerful testimony to how real He is! I think you did a perfect job answering him 😊

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  4. Kids do have meaty questions for us. I think when we get to be adults, we have those same types of questions but blow them off because we cant answer them. Your last statement I think is key – regular investment of time and effort.

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  5. Meredith, I was attending gatherings of the church from the time I was a baby, so I grew up hearing the preaching of the Word of God. For, as early back as I can recall, I have had a sensitivity to God’s voice speaking within me and through his Word to me. When I grew up with an abusive father and an emotionally distant mother, I cried out to God often in my pain, and I felt his presence with me, comforting me, encouraging me. He was my refuge, the one who listened to my cries and who held me in his arms, not physically, but with his comfort.

    And, the more I spent time with him, and took my burdens to him, and talked with him and him with me, and the more time I spent in His Word, and in doing what it said, the closer I got to him and the more I got to know him and his voice speaking within me in my spirit. But, it wasn’t just that I felt his presence with me, but that he actually became my best friend. Yes, he didn’t talk with me audibly, but I could hear him speak to me in my mind. And, I saw answers to prayer, and I saw his hand upon my life, and how he guided me, and how he directed my path.

    So, for a child, I guess I would just suggest that he or she talk with the Lord and read His Word and follow what it says, and I would teach him or her how to have a relationship with the Lord and how to listen to him. Small children usually have a great sensitivity to God’s voice and the ability to believe God for miracles, for they tend to be very trusting. So, they should be open to the Lord to listen to him via reading his Word and via prayer. For, we know God is real when we experience him personally in our lives.

    “You ask me how I know he lives, he lives within my heart” (from the old hymn “He Lives”).

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