I have to start with an apology right from the beginning because the following example is probably something a woman is going to relate to more than a man. There are other examples that I could have picked; however this seemed like a good example. When we shop for clothes, we don’t see the whole picture so it is always good to bring an honest friend to tell us if an outfit really looks nice. Whenever I go shopping, I like to have my husband with me; I can completely trust his opinion on how I look in a certain outfit. Some of you may have a best friend; I have a husband who loves to shop and buy me clothes. I do not get offended if he tells me something doesn’t look good on me because I would rather wear something that looks good (although that doesn’t mean I don’t get disappointed when something looks bad). It is rare for me to buy something without him there to tell me if it works for me and on those rare occasions I will not take the tags off until I try it on for him at home and hear his opinion. Having his eyes gives me discernment over what I should buy and what I should put back on the rack. Prayer can also give us discernment when we take the time to listen. Please look up Luke 6:12-16.
Jesus lived a life of prayer, and since we are to live like He lives we should also live a life of prayer. One of the things He would use prayer for was making big decisions. In this section of scripture, we can see that Jesus prayed before He chose His disciples. There are many examples throughout Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John that point to Jesus praying before any major event. In this case, it seems that Jesus was probably praying for discernment over who should be closest to Him. Sometimes, when we have to make an important decision, we cannot see the entire picture although we may think we can. That is why it is important to seek God’s wisdom and discernment. Only God can see every facet of what is happening in our lives and we need to seek His advice. There have been so many times when I wanted to do something that seemed right at the moment but I felt like God was saying no. I couldn’t understand at the moment but looking back at those moments later I can see that God kept me from walking into a situation that would have turned out disastrous.
When praying, we can ask for discernment just as the Psalmist wrote in Psalm 119:125 when he said, “I am your servant; give me discernment that I may understand your statutes.” We can ask God for help in our decisions and to understand the way God wants us to live. Sometimes God gives us confirmation that what we thought was right is what we should do and other times He shows us that He wants us to do something that we would have not thought of. God will never lead us in way that we should not go.
Do you pray when making big or little decisions? Are you seeking God’s discernment?