Praying for a decision

Taking a business risk. Getting married. Going back to school. Moving to another city. There are times in your life when a big decision rests with nobody but you. You can’t not decide, for that would actually be deciding. (As in not to decide to go back to school brings the same result as deciding to not go back to school.)

For those of us who are Christians, we want to know what God has to say about such big decisions. At such times, have you ever wished God would write a message to you in the sky? Or have you opened the Bible and placed your finger on a verse, hoping it would be the answer you needed? Wouldn’t that seem easier than the struggle?

Some things we struggle with only because we want something we know would not be pleasing to God. You don’t need to wrestle in prayer to know whether cheating your business partner, or your spouse, is OK. (You may need to wrestle with God about changing your heart, but that’s a different topic.) And there are tested principles of godly wisdom we can always employ, such as getting counsel from wise godly people, and always choosing based on truths He has told us in His Word.

But sometimes it’s not so cut and dry. Would God be more pleased with my continued presence in my current business, or with going back to school in order to gain new skills and influence? Is this Christian man (or woman) really the partner God has created to be my spouse? How can we really know?

I believe we can pray about such big decisions in a way that helps us understand God’s will with the most clarity that we as human beings can possibly have. And here it is:

  1. Do your research. Talk to anyone you believe would be helpful. Read God’s Word. Get any other information you need. God can work much better with a prepared mind and heart. (Proverbs 11:14)
  2. In prayer, be clear with God about your desires, fears, and uncertainties. Doing this is not only psychologically healthy, but it helps you know God is on your side. Become as passionate as you need to. Cry, complain, beg. Owning what you really want, or what you’re afraid of, can also disarm the power of those emotions somewhat in your decision making later. (Philippians 4:6)
  3. Consciously and verbally put your own desires or fears aside. Out loud, pray something like, “God, I’m really attracted to this man, and I love him. I want to get married. But I also know both he and I will be miserable if you’re not at the foundation of this marriage. I want to hear your voice. To the best of my ability, I put my own desires aside so that I can hear You.” (Luke 22:41-42)
  4. Be quiet and wait for His answer. God doesn’t often add His voice to a cacophony of sounds in your mind. That’s why it’s so important to own your emotions, but then to put them aside, be quiet, and listen. You will hear Him speaking to you in a still, small voice, and by the peace you feel in your heart. (Philippians 4:7, Colossians 3:15)
  5. Act on what you hear. Don’t endlessly worry about mis-hearing God. If you have, He’s well able to find you and speak to you again. But He won’t tell you something new until you’ve acted on the last thing He told you. Trust that He can make His voice known to you, and then walk forward knowing He is with you. (Matthew 7:24-25)

Praying exactly this way is how I knew God would bless Al and me when we got married. And I’m praying exactly the same way about a very important business decision right now.

God wants to be part of your life in every way. He has the answer you need. Praying in this way will help your heart and mind be able to hear His answer, and experience His blessing

Your Turn: How do you pray when you want to know God’s input on an important decision? Leave a comment below.

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