What career to pursue.
What college to attend.
Who to date... Who to marry.
When it's time to change jobs.
How to handle changes in life.
How to undertake a challenging new project.
How to help someone who comes to me.
Life regularly presents us with decisions - some small, some big. All with lasting effects on our lives. Some decisions are easy to make. Some are incredibly difficult. We worry about choosing correctly. We stress about who might be impacted by our choice either way. Big decisions require time to think and process. They also require something even more important.
Let's take a cue from Nehemiah (an Old Testament man who rebuilt Jerusalem after it was destroyed). After he was updated on the destruction of Jerusalem and the plight of his Israelite people, he was understandably upset. He says he mourned for days and continued fasting and praying to God. Nehemiah could have reacted in a number of ways. He started with prayer.
Nehemiah was prompted by God to rebuild Jerusalem - no small feat - not safe - not easy. He prayed for the king to show him mercy and use his royal power to give Nehemiah safe passage and timber for his construction. The king did. Nehemiah was safe. He had help. Construction began.
Prayer isn't a magic potion we use to get our way. It's not making wishes from a genie of a God who will do our bidding. Prayer is going to our Father - conversing with Him. He hears the prayers His children pray and promises to answer - though not always in ways we want. His plans and purposes will prevail.
Nehemiah had a big undertaking he covered in prayer - and God answered. What's your big undertaking? Whatever it may be - job decisions, marriage decisions, parenting decisions, friendship decisions - cover it in prayer, trusting that your Father knows you and wants the best for you. Talk to Him. Wait for Him. He hears and He will answer.
Scripture Reading: Nehemiah 1-3 (I use the ESV translation)
Verses to Highlight:
1:6 - "let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to hear the prayer of your servant"
1:11 - "O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants who delight to fear your name,"
2:4 - "So I prayed to the God of heaven."
Father God, thank you for opening the lines of communication from me to You through this gift of prayer. I have decisions in my life that need Your guidance and direction. (Tell God what those decisions are here.) Show me what path to take. Lead me and guide me. Forgive me where I try to take my own way instead of coming to You. Give me peace in my heart about the decisions You help me make. In Jesus' name, Amen.