A Prayer for Discerning God’s Directions
By Meg Bucher
“Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” Proverbs 3:6 NLT
Sleep alludes me at times, and I wake in the still of the night. No birds singing, crickets chirping, or breeze blowing. Silence fills the atmosphere. I’d much rather awake to the sound of the birds singing …somehow, it comforts me to know if they’re awake, a new day has begun. Discernment is a big biblical word but a straightforward concept. As the birds tell us the day has begun, discernment is the gut feeling guiding our confident steps in this life.
The ESV Global Study Bible notes, “To make straight one’s paths means to continually progress toward a goal. In Proverbs, the emphasis is on the moral quality of one’s life path.” I love how God has woven His Word and creation together to guide us into action, call us to be still, and know He is God. Discernment for the Christ follower is beyond a typical gut feeling. It’s a wise knowing. Wisdom we accumulate over the years of our lives as we follow Christ through literal hell or high water. Each experience we have with Him bonds us closer to Him. Every Scripture He illuminates for us as we take it into our lives opens up a new perspective to our purpose in this world.
Discernment, defined by the English dictionary, means “acuteness of judgment and understanding.” Chapter 3 of Proverbs begins, “My child, never forget the things I have taught you. Store my commands in your heart. If you do this, you will live many years, and your life will be satisfying.” (vv1-2) Discernment allows us a choice. Each day, we choose what to conclude about the Scriptures we have digested and the prayers we have prayed. “Never let loyalty and kindness leave you!” chapter three continues, “Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. Then you will find favor with God and people, and you will earn a good reputation.” (vv3-4)
God’s directions are not tricky nor meant to trip us up or send us on a wild goose chase. He fully intends for us to end up at home with Him in heaven, after living the fullest life possible on this earth, to His glory. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart;” Proverbs 3:5 continues, “do not depend on your own understanding.” And then, we come to today’s key verse: “Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take” (v6). This life, which is full of chaos and overrun with unfairness, is meant by the Creator of the Universe to be lived to the full. Jesus died for it. He said, “The thief comes only to kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10 NIV)
Discernment helps us live our lives fully by reading Scripture, praying, and applying it to our everyday lives. Never let loyalty and kindness leave you, Scripture says. “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love,” the Apostle John wrote (1 John 4:8). We don’t live a wise life by studying Scripture alone. Nor do we fully embrace life solely through a rich prayer life. Noticing God and His people throughout our day is wonderful, but alone cannot lead us to life everlasting. It’s a full relationship with God—all of these things combined and a willingness to listen and wait on Him.
Teach us how to be discerning people. We want to follow Your lead, Lord. Jesus promised life to the full, and we want to live it! Help us to see You in every circumstance and person we meet. Shift our perspective to align with Yours, God, for we want to be able to see people as You do. We desire to live according to Your will …because we believe it’s more than we could ever ask for or imagine. As sure as the birds singing tell us it’s time for a new day, direct our steps by Your voice, God. Thank You for Jesus, and Your Holy Spirit, who helps us hear, understand, and navigate according to Your purpose for us. God, we love You with all our hearts. Tune them to Your wisdom and help us discern what You guide us towards in every situation. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/baona
Meg writes about everyday life within the love of Christ. Join her on the journey as she launches her new site Joy Overflowing, or join her longstanding community at Sunny&80. She is also the author of “Friends with Everyone, Friendship within the Love of Christ,” “Surface, Unlocking the Gift of Sensitivity,” and “Glory Up, The Everyday Pursuit of Praise,” and “Home, Finding Our Identity in Christ.” She earned a Marketing/PR degree from Ashland University, but stepped out of the business world to stay home and raise her two daughters …which led her to pursue her writing passion. A contributing writer for Salem Media since 2016, Meg is now thrilled to be a part of the editorial team. Always active in her community and the local church, Meg also leads Bible study and serves as a leader for teen girls.
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