Another way to practice hearing the Holy Spirit is to journal your prayer or conversation and then write what you believe to be the response from the Holy Spirit. I frequently use this form of communication. When I think I hear a response, I put what I believe the Holy Spirit is saying in quotations so that I can distinguish between what I am writing and the response.
Over the years, I have gotten better at discerning the Holy Spirit’s voice while writing. But I will tell you; recently, I looked back at my journals and realized that in the beginning, it was not always the Holy Spirit that was speaking to me. Part of the practice is also learning how to separate the voices. If there are areas in your life that are not in complete submission to God, then, it is possible that a spirit not of God will give you counsel in an area of weakness or vulnerability.
My area of vulnerability was wanting to be married. As a result, any single Christian man was my potential husband. This is a dangerous area for single women and even single men. The desire of wanting to be married can be so strong, that the desire itself can become an idol. While it is true that the natural desire for marriage comes from God, it is also true that we can transform the desire into an obsession which in turn opens the door for us to hear from a spirit not of God.
I tell you this not to discourage you from practicing but to encourage you to test the spirit by the spirit as part of your practice. God desires us to have a prophetic voice and learning to discern His true voice is part of the process. It is also part of the process to purify our desires and bring them under submission of God. Doing so will strengthen our hearing and help us build our confidence.
Holy Spirit – Introduction, Hearing the Holy Spirit 101, Hearing the Holy Spirit 201, and Hearing the Holy Spirit 210