God is known for being a bit indirect. You have to look for His answers, you have to be open to receiving them, and you have to be sensitive to His spirit. Prayer is important in keeping those lines of communication open between you and God, but it is not the only way in which God communicates back to you.
I have a lot of personal experience with God speaking to me through dreams. Most of the time our dreams do not mean anything, but once in a while it can be a revelation about something going on in your life. For me, I usually have dreams that will calm my worries. If I am stressed about something, usually some kind of change within the family, I may get a glimpse of my future that shows me things will be alright. It is nothing earth-shattering, just a reassurance that I am on the right path. It can be hard distinguishing dreams that mean nothing from the dreams that can change your life. But if you are open to communicating with God, you will know which ones matter.
We may consider the neighbor that knocks on our door with a plate of cookies, that just won't seem to go away, to be annoying. It always seems that they come when our house is at its messiest and our wardrobe at its worst. While you may not be in the mood to entertain a guest, this can be a way for God to remind you that you are not alone. The times when you are least in the mood to see people are usually the times when you need to see them the most. Talking with a friendly face may be just the medicine you didn't know you needed.
Children are very innocent and honest. They can say things that make you cringe, laugh and even realize how wise they truly are. Sometimes my kids will say exactly what I need to hear. Just the other day I was lost in thought when my child put her hand on my arm and said, "I love you Mama." Then she went bounding away to play some more. It pulled me out of the worry and stress I was feeling and made me remember why I am here, and why I fight every day to make myself better. It reminded me that God speaks to me through my children. It reminded me that I am loved.
Have you ever had a thought just come to you out of the blue? How to solve a problem that has been nagging you for weeks, or remembering where you put that cash you lost? I do not believe in coincidences. Everything happens for a reason. Those random thoughts are most likely not random at all.
Your spouse is usually pretty in tune with what is going on in your life, but he or she doesn't always say exactly what you need to hear. But then there are those moments where he or she says just the right words at just the right time. For me, when I know my spouse is struggling with something I will often pray that I can say what it is he needs to hear — not what I think he should hear, but what God knows he needs to hear. I can definitely feel the difference when I am speaking to him with words that are inspired and when I am just saying things I think will make him feel better. Take a moment to listen and feel before you speak; you may be surprised at what comes out of your mouth.
Many people say they have heard an actual voice giving a command, or saying their name. That voice may have saved their life, given them a wake-up call, or comforted them in a time of need. God does communicate through the spoken word.
Sometimes complete strangers may be the tool God uses to communicate with us. A comment from someone standing behind you in the grocery line, an article written by someone you didn't know, that was just what you needed to read, or even a song you hear on the radio. You don't know these people personally, but they made a difference in your life.
There is no better time to prepare yourself to communicate with God than when you are alone, when there are no distractions; when you can sit, think and listen. As a mom of three kids, I know how hard it is to find time alone. So when I do get those moments, I take advantage of them. I try to calm myself and meditate. I take the time to really gather my thoughts and be open to receive any message I may need to hear.
The next time you receive an answer to a question you may not have even asked, or get a prompting to do something good in your life, do not take them for granted. God is aware of you. He knows what it is you need to hear and when you need to hear it. It may not be through the most obvious form of communication, but that is what makes God amazing.