Pamela Myers Palmer
Pray About It
“Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:5-7
Can you recall a moment in life where you've been at a major crossroad? An important decision needed to be made, and truthfully, you couldn't decide on the best course of action if your life depended on it. Keep a career or become a stay at home mom? Relocate? Accept a job offer? Change schools? Stay in the relationship? The list goes on of the weighty decisions that we face in life. Perhaps you're at that sort of fork in the road as you read this.
My only real advice is to pray about it.
Because every situation, every family, and every path God has for each of us is so unique. Only God could know the right way, and when we tune our hearts to Him, we will know the right way, too.
Our society teaches us to do checks and balances. We’re supposed to weigh our options, or put together a list of pros and cons. We’re instructed to make a decision based on logic, what will bring the most happiness, and potential advancement. None of these are bad ideas or goals, and actually may be part of the process, but if they’re what we’re after, sadly, chasing these will not lead us to the right answer.
We find the answers to life’s biggest decisions and greatest problems through prayer and seeking God’s will.
Prayer is the space we make to hear from God, find His peace, and discern the right course of action. And whatever the choice is, God’s way will be the best way. He knows the big picture and has all the small details covered. He’s working behind the scenes for you. He knows your heart and everyone impacted by your choices. He will be the one walking with you every step of the way as you allow Him to lead you.
Sometimes, God’s way means the path will be hard. Sometimes, that means taking the road less traveled. And God’s way may even result in seasons of want, loss, or hardship. I’ve experienced them all. And perhaps you have, too, as you’ve chosen to follow Jesus.
The “praying about it” way of making decisions takes practice and a whole lot of faith. It takes discipline to tune our hearts to God. It takes practice to learn how God speaks. But when you’ve put in real effort to know His will and stay on the path He has set for you, God will show up and make things clear to you when you find yourself facing a tough decision.
“Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!” Psalm 4:1
It takes faith to wait it out and not rush to a decision. It takes faith to make the choice we didn’t anticipate or might be afraid to make. When we let faith take over and trust Him, He will always hear the prayers of those who call out to Him. He wants the best for each of us and our families. His will isn’t a secret, and discerning it is a journey that we learn from and will draw us closer to Him.
We should try to avoid making decisions out of fear, hopelessness, or desperation. This is not how the Lord speaks to us or makes His will clear. While there’s no harm in asking for the advice of trusted mentors when it comes to making a tough choice, let the final answer come as a result of prayer between you and the Lord. Allow your decisions to be made by finding peace and hope in Jesus’ way for your life. And when we've listened for His perfect will, and followed His good path, we will reap the benefits of a life lived for Him.
Let us pray
Lord, thank you that you love us and have good and prosperous plans for each of us. Let us tune our ears to you. Let us listen for what you want. Teach us to discern and make prayerful decisions. Help us to let go of the success of the world, and instead, desire real and lasting abundance through living for you. Empower us to not fret or worry, but to find your peace and to pray about all things, laying our decisions and needs at your feet. Thank you for being a God of love, and mercy, and compassion. Amen.
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