Discerning the Will of God

“We only see what we are ready to see, expect to see, and even desire to see.  And we’re even more stuck when we are with others who share the same paradigms.” - Ruth Haley Barton

One of the things we cannot avoid in life is making decisions.  We all have to make them at some point or another.  Every day we think about what we will accomplish at work and also the dreaded question at lunch time, “where should we go eat?”  There are other decisions that are more critical in life when we have to learn to discern or “see” what God’s will for our life is.  

As we grow in our discipleship we learn that it is a process of learning to not see life through the lens of our brokenness, pride, or sense of control and learning to see life through the lens of God’s eyes, which leads us to freedom, life, love, peace, and accomplishing His will.

Here are a few prayer postures that will help us better prepare to listen and learn what God is calling us to do:

• The Prayer of Surrender
“My heart is not proud, Lord, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. 2 But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content.” - Psalm 131:1-2

The prayer of surrender recognizes that the issues and circumstances are too complex to make sense of on our own.  It means coming as beloved children before the presence of our Abba Daddy, and there in His presence finding rest, peace, love, and satisfaction, while realizing that we are utterly dependent upon our all-wise Father who knows all things.

• The Prayer for Indifference
“I am the Lord’s servant,” … “May your word to me be fulfilled…” - Luke 1:38

The prayer for indifference does not mean we are being passive or that we don’t care about what we are praying for.  It means that we are asking the Spirit of God to help us become indifferent to our own agendas, preferences, and to anything that is not according to God’s will.
From the Bible text above, it means having Mary’s posture when she was told what was going to happen as she was going to give birth to the Messiah.

Through this disposition we are able to lose our attachments to our ideals and preferred outcomes so that we can be open to what God is doing and have the freedom to say, “Yes and Amen!”

• The Prayer for Wisdom
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” - James 1:5

Only after we are able to be in a posture of indifference can we pray for wisdom with an open and pure heart.  

Indifference allows us to be free from the desire to think we know it all and the desire to be perceived by others as wise.  This allows us to receive wisdom that is above our limited human wisdom.

• What are you sensing?
“Speak, for your servant is listening.” - 1 Samuel 3:10c

God is always willing to speak.  We need to ask the Holy Spirit to help us listen in a posture of awe, faith, and obedience.

The document below shows us a great way of processing the different ways in which God speaks to us to help us discern His will and then take action.  You can download the printable pdf file or the editable Word document.

By Jimmy Reyes
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pat weir - June 11th, 2020 at 1:00pm

lost me by leading with a ruth haley barton quote.

Carole Walker - June 11th, 2020 at 8:27pm

Hi Jimmy, This great blog is exactly what we need to hear and be doing right now...So many times we think we are right when in reality it is only our culture interpreting for us, not God. For myself right now I want God to show me anything that might not be of Him in my heart. Your different prayer postures above are a great way to see with clarity what God wants to show us. Carole Walker