Prayer and Divine Guidance
Life is full of choices. Choices like what to eat, what to wear, whom to marry, what personal business to start, which school to send your children, whether to accept a job offer or relocate with your family to another country. Divine guidance comes in handy in the midst of several seemingly right options. There are hidden traps all around. To keep our feet from being caught in a trap, we need God to order our steps aright; we need divine guidance.
Never assume and conclude that because something looks and sounds good, it is for you. We need to ask God to show us His way, teach us the path to follow, lead us in the right direction (Psalm 25:4-5), so we don’t embark on projects, enter relationships, make decisions we would live to regret.
One of the benefits of prayer is having God show you what to do, what to say, where to go, where not to go. God has given us several promises and assurances of His guidance. “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye” (Psalm 32:8). God wants to guide us every day, He wants to guides us in every area of our lives not just in spiritual related matters. “The Lord shall guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail” (Isaiah 58:11).
When we pray, God guides and directs us in these ways:
Through His Word. God uses His Word to address what we are going through, shed light on our present circumstances, open our eyes to the truth of our situation and teach us God’s will for our lives. Psalm 119:105 says “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Prayer must be entwined with the study of God’s Word for it to be effective. Reading, meditating and holding on to God’s Word brings us out of the darkness of sin, confusion, ignorance and wrong choices.
By the Holy Spirit being a voice guiding, prompting and inspiring you to take actions in line with God’s plan and purpose for your life. “But when He, the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come” (John 16:13). Jesus didn’t just stumble into the wilderness. He didn’t miss His way and find Himself stuck in the wilderness with the devil throwing different temptations His way. It was the Holy Spirit that led Him into the wilderness (Luke 4:1, Mark 1:12). Because Jesus was there under God’s leading and direction, He was able to beat hands down all the temptations Satan brought His way (Mathew 4:1-11). Isaiah 30:21 tells us that whether we turn to the right or to the left, we will hear a voice behind us telling us this is the way walk in it. The voice showing us the way we are to go whether it concerns our finances or our health, our spouse our or children is the voice of the Holy Spirit.
By God ordering your steps to where you ought to be; to where your blessings are. “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord. And He delights in his way.” (Psalm 37:23). When we pray, we may not hear an audible voice telling us head North or South. But we will see evidence of God’s involvement in our personal lives and day to day affairs in the way He gets us to do things outside our own plans so that His own plan and purpose for our lives is established (Proverbs 16:9, Proverbs 19:21). God ordering our steps is God working behind the scenes to create and arrange divinely orchestrated events and situations. “And she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz; who was of the family of Elimelech” (Ruth 2:3). It wasn’t by mere coincidence that Ruth found herself in the field that belonged to Boaz. Ruth could have gone to any other field to go and work, but God guided her feet to the field of her God ordained partner.
By God revealing through dreams and visions His plan for your life, the root cause of a problem, how to tackle a situation, what next to do. “For God may speak in one way, or in another, yet man does not perceive. In a dream, in a vision of the night…” (Job 33:14-15). Dreams and visions are a common way God spoke to several Bible characters. When Joseph discovered Mary was pregnant even though he hadn’t had any sexual relations with her, it was in a dream that it was explained to Joseph that the child in her was conceived by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:18-20). It was through a dream that God gave Jacob a divine idea and strategy that brought success, wealth and prosperity to him (Genesis 31:10). On one occasion, Peter went to the housetop to pray. He then fell into a trance and through a vision, God made it known to Peter that salvation and the gospel are for both the Jews and the Gentiles and that no one is excluded from God’s love (Acts 10). God still uses dreams and visions to warn us of things that can’t be seen with our physical eyes, protect us from impending danger, reveal the root cause of problems in our lives, and prepare us for future events.
By bringing someone your way that gives you the right and timely advice you need to move forward in life. “Where there is no counsel, the people fall, but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14). God won’t come down to tell us what to do, but He will use people who are down here with us to guide us on the right path. This was what God did through Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law. But for the wise, timely and godly counsel of Jethro, Moses would have sent himself to an early grave by overworking himself, not spotting and taking action on exhaustion and burnout. Jethro’s advice released Moses from carrying a burden God never intended for him to carry all by himself (Exodus 18:14-26). Naomi, Ruth’s mother-in-law, also gave her daughter-in-law practical and useful advice which led her to the arms of her life-partner (Ruth 2:22-23, Ruth 3:1-5). Don’t underestimate or resist what God can do through good, old advice from your father or mother-in-law, parents, pastor, sibling or a godly friend.
By ‘divine obstacles’ on your path or by the Holy Spirit making your spirit uncomfortable with a particular person, place, group, business deal, trip, discussion or decision. “After the Holy Spirit had prevented them from speaking the word in the Province of Asia” (Acts 16:6). One of the interesting ways God guides us is by divine obstacles He puts on our path to prevent us from going the wrong way. It could come in the way of the Spirit of God putting on a feeling of uneasiness with a particular place, person or decision. It could be God making you miss a flight that could result in a crash or an office meeting being postponed so someone who had planned to give a scandalous report about you at the meeting is unable to do so. God used a donkey to prevent Baalm from releasing a curse on the Israelites (Numbers 22:21-35). God is still using every possible means to guard our feet from harm and danger or from going outside His will for our lives.
Through an inner peace, witness or knowing that this is what you need to do. There is a peace that comes from God that surpasses human understanding (Philippians 4:7). One of the ways God speaks to us and guides us is by saturating our heart with His peace. When this peace comes, even if everything around you is going hay-wire or everyone is telling you to take a step different from what God wants you to do, you aren’t agitated or confused. You have an inner peace that calms your heart and silences every argument, confusion or problem surrounding that issue in your life. In Romans 8:16 Paul said “I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit”. God speaks to us through the Holy Spirit. God guides us by the Holy Spirit confirming to our own spirit or assuring us that we are on the right track, we have God’s support and backing in that step we want to embark on. Deep within us there’s an inner knowing that this is what God wants you to do. And the amazing results that follow are an evidence or testimony that it was God leading us all along.
Prayer is not just unending asking for things. Prayer is much deeper than that. A plus point of a life committed to prayer is divine guidance and direction. Be a person of prayer so God can show you how interested He is in every detail of your life and how ready He is to show you what to do, where to go.
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