If you’re jumping in to this, I would first urge you to go back and read part one. However, a brief introduction is probably in order for part two, also. This is the second point on my list of what I have developed for making decisions when things just aren’t clear. This list is not all inclusive. It may not work for everyone, but it does work for me and other people that I have shared it with have been appreciative.
The scriptures that I offer for this point or any of my points are not all-inclusive. This is not meant to be the final or only way someone should make godly decisions. As always, search the scriptures and filter what I have to say through God’s word. If, for some reason, you feel the need to add to or take away from my checklist, do what works for you. This was only developed as a guide.
2. Have you prayed about __________?
If your question about some practice or something to do or not do was not answered in step one, “What does the Bible say?” the next step should be almost as obvious. Honestly many, many people, me included, miss this. I have personally missed this and I believe that Christians in general miss this regularly.
Prayer in general in the Christian life is severely lacking in many, if not most cases. We make a pretense at prayer, but it’s often superficial at best. We may even pray for guidance, but are you praying for your will or God’s will? If God does answer according to his will instead of yours, will you keep on praying for your own way? This is a serious question. Scripture directly addresses this.
What are you praying for? Even though God knows what you want and the answer he will reply with, are you being lazy in your prayers and using vague generalities? Be specific in prayer, especially if you know what it is you desire. Is it wisdom? Healing? A promotion or a completely new job? A better relationship with your spouse or patience for yourself? These are simply a few examples. Of course you could get more specific if necessary.
The other end of this spectrum is that you are agonizing over some decision or some great need that you don’t quite know what to do about. So, how do you pray about it? Honestly, I can’t say there is a right or wrong answer here. I’ve been here. God knows what you want and what you need. They may not be the same thing. Trust him anyway. Tell him as well as you can and leave it up to the LORD.
There is another aspect of prayer that needs to be pointed out. I do believe that God hears every prayer, but he certainly doesn’t always answer them simply to give us what we want. He will receive the glory in all things. If there is clearly sin in your life that you haven’t confessed and repented of, it may seem like God isn’t listening. The Psalmist said that if there was sin in his heart, God would not hear him. How about you? If you are not in close fellowship with God because of sin in your life, I believe the only prayer God will answer is one of repentance and seeking forgiveness.
One more thing that needs to be said about this point has to do with patience. It’s hard, I know. Remember that God’s timing is not our timing. He always knows best. What’s best for you to have or not to have, including the timing is best left up to God. That means you may be praying about something for a long time before you know God’s definitive answer. Don’t give up hope, but remember that God knows best.
References: 2. Psalm 37:4; Psalm 66:18-19, Matthew7:7-8; James 1:5-8, James 4:1-3; Psalm 119:18; Proverbs 8:17; James 5:16; Isaiah 55:6; Romans 8:26-27
Here again are all seven points.
1. What does the Bible say about __________?
2. Have you prayed about __________?
3. How does __________ glorify God?
4. Have you sought godly counsel (advice) about __________?
5. Will __________ cause a Christian Brother or Sister to stumble or question their faith (especially a new believer)?
6. How will __________ affect your testimony with unbelievers?
7. What does your conscience say about __________?