Prayer Guide for Discernment From Psalm 131, Luke 22:42, and James 1:5


When it comes to following God's will in our lives, we are to lean into discerning and following God's leading, rather than debating and deciding what we think is best.  

Ruth Haley Barton, in her book "Pursuing God's Will Together," suggests three movements in prayer to help us discern God's leading and his will.  The first is a prayer of quiet trust from Psalm 131.  It is to quiet our heart and soul, and realize God is God and we are not.  The second is Jesus prayer before his crucifixion, "not my will, but yours be done" as we submit ourselves to God's leading.  And the third is praying for God's wisdom from James 1:5, instead of relying on our own.

Praying for discernment can be used in congregational meetings, in worship, in small groups, for ministry teams, with elders and deacons, with church staff, and other groups as we discern God's will together.

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