Prayer for wisdom and discernment

How is your life lately? Are you going through serious trials and tribulations? Are you in a time of peace and genuine happiness? Are you confused because you are at a fork in the road? Whatever your situation may be, seeking God’s wisdom for your life is essential. Here are 6 prayers you can pray to God for wisdom and discernment for your life.

Darkness/Chaos

“Even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.” (Psalm 139:12)

Lord Above,

I am so lost. I don’t even know where to begin praying. I feel so lost in the darkness that surrounds me. My wife has left me for another man. My children are acting out because of our family breakdown. I don’t want to go to work. The bills are piling up. I want to move away and start over. I can’t handle this pressure and stress on my own, Lord! Please show me Your will in my life. Give me the knowledge and wisdom to conduct myself as a Christian. Bad circumstances aren’t a gateway for me to act out of accordance of Your will. I just wish this was a bad dream and that I could wake up. I cannot think straight. So many emotions are plaguing me, Father. Cast these burdens off of me! Lord, I humbly pray that You would honor my request for wisdom in this because I cannot do anything on my own. It is by Your power alone that I am moving through this chaos. I love You, Father! Amen

Clarity

“Yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.” (Proverbs 2:3-5)

Omniscient Father,

Lord, You have full knowledge of everything in Your grasp. There is nothing that surprises You. Father, I need clarity right now. I am at a fork in the road and I don’t know which way to turn. There are at least 3 different decisions that I could make and they all seem like wise decisions. I can’t rely on human intuition here, Lord. Father, I ask You now for a clear and concise answer on what I need to do. I want Your will to be done in this, Father. Give me clarity, Lord. I love You! Amen

Who Is The Culprit?

Please read the entire section of 1 Kings 3:16-28 for the whole story on two prostitutes who were fighting over custody of a baby. “Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one and half to the other…Give the living child to the first woman, and by no means put him to death; she is his mother.”

My Lord,

I am in a sticky situation right now. I have two people whom I love dearly telling me two different stories and one of them has to be wrong. I pray for Your help in this, Father. Give me the knowledge and the words to speak to both of them so we can fix this. Lord, I pray that you would prepare all of our hearts as we sit down and discuss this matter. Lord, when the truth is revealed I pray that the one at fault will repent of their sin and hold tight to You. I pray that you would soften the heart of the one who is right, so that forgiveness can be made for the transgressor. Lord, may You be glorified in this ultimately. I love You! Amen

My family and I are so close right now … This is a wonderful time!

Seasons Of Joy

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).

Blessed Father,

I thank You for this wonderful time of life! My family and I are so close right now. My spouse and I have never been closer emotionally, physically, intimately or spiritually ever! This is a wonderful time! Father, as wonderful as this is, I pray for Your wisdom in this time of celebration. Father, I don’t want to say anything that would mess this up. Please be with me and give me the words to speak in every situation. May we continue to praise Your name always, Lord! I love You! Amen

A Partner In Marriage

“Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14)

O Lord,

You know my heart. I yearn to have a partner to walk this life with. Lord, my human side is saying “take the first person that comes!” I know this is not wise. I don’t want to settle for anyone that You don’t want me to be with. Father, give me wisdom in picking a mate. You know the future down the road for me, Lord. Please give me the ability to turn off my longing for affection to be wise in this decision. Father, the last thing I need to do is to be unequally yoked with another. Marriage is a BIG deal and I want to marry someone that I can connect with spiritually and keep falling in love with every day! Thank You for all You have provided me with, Lord. I love You! Amen

Pastors

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14)

Dear God,

Today I am speaking Your Word to Your church. Lord, let it be that the only words I speak come from You. The congregation doesn’t need to hear me; they need to hear You. Lord, I have spent time this week studying the passages You have put on my heart to preach. Lord, as I step behind the pulpit, I give my all to You. You are worthy of all glory, honor and praise! Father, I pray that You give me the words to speak as I deliver the message You have put on my heart. Father, I also pray for my church family. Give them ears of discernment. May they listen intently and be wise in their thoughts as they hear Your word spoken. Father, I give this to You. I love You! It’s in Your Name that I pray. Amen

Conclusion

We all go through many types of scenarios and seasons of life. No matter what the occasion, wisdom should be a major focus. When we act and speak wisely, ultimately God is glorified, but also, people notice something in us. This can be a stepping stone into a possible conversion. So, be on guard! Guard you heart, mind and soul! Stay in the Word and in Prayer! Seek wisdom around every single corner! God bless you as you live a life worthy of the calling!

Read more of what the Bible says about wisdom in this article:

15 Wisdom Quotes From the Bible

Resources – The Holy Bible, English Standard Version “Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. YouTube “Give me Words to Speak” by Aaron Shust.

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Throughout Scripture we are reminded of God’s direction over our lives. He is our good Shepherd who leads us and He desires that we follow the path that leads to joy and contentment.  When we pray for God’s guidance and for discernment through the Holy Spirit, we can rest assured that God will provide wisdom! We do not have to worry about our next step or about tomorrow because we know who guides our way! Do not rush your day without going before God to seek guidance!

A Short Prayer for Guidance

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your guidance. Forgive me for getting ahead of Your plans, and help me know when to stop and listen for Your direction. Your ways are perfect, Lord. Thank You for offering gentle grace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
– Kristine Brown

Prayer for Guidance from the Holy Spirit

Lord, I pray you would move the Spirit more boldly in my life. I know that any sin can grieve and diminish the voice of the Spirit, and I pray against the temptation to sin. Help me crave your presence more than I crave sin. Help me grow in the fruit of the Spirit and so walk closer with Yourself. I pray for guidance from your Spirit- let your will and promises always be a meditation of my heart. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
– Kenny Luck

A Prayer for Guidance When Life is Challenging

Lord, I’m here today with open hands and an open heart, ready to depend on you to help me through the day and all it will bring my way. Help me be like Nehemiah, help me come to you for guidance, strength, provision and protection. As I face tough choices and hard situations, help me remember my belovedness, help me remember that I am Your child and Your representative to the world around me. Help me live today in a way that brings honor to Your holy name. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
– Charles Stanley

prayer for wisdom and discernment

Prayer for Guidance in the Day Ahead 

Good morning, Lord! Today’s a new day, a chance for a new start. Yesterday is gone and with it any regrets, mistakes, or failures I may have experienced. It’s a good day to be glad and give thanks, and I do, Lord. Thank you for today, a new opportunity to love, give, and be all that you want me to be.

Today I want to start the day with you on my mind and in my heart. As I dress, let me wear the armor you’ve provided daily: the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the shield of faith, the belt of truth, the shoes of peace, and the sword of the spirit—with prayer on my tongue: praise for you and petitions for those around me and those I meet.

Feed me today with your daily bread. As the Bread of Life, your food, like manna, will sustain me throughout any trials and hungers. Help me to set my thoughts on things above and to speak only what will help and encourage others. Keep me from putting my foot in my mouth, and help me guard the affections of my heart today, Lord. Make whatever work I do be marked with excellence rather than perfectionism, as I seek not to make a name, but to make a difference. Help me to treat each person I encounter as you would, with respect and love, forgiving others and asking for forgiveness myself when needed.

As I start this day, help me remember that I belong to you, and my desire is to act accordingly. Keep my feet from stumbling and my mind from wandering into distractions that could steal precious time and energy from the most important things you have designed for me. I’m proud to be your child, Lord. And I’m so grateful that you died for me—rising again on your own new morning—so that every day could be filled with the wonder of your love, the freedom of your Spirit, and the joy of knowing you.

I know earthly life is short and fleeting, Lord. But I want to live today as if it were the first or the last day of my life, giving thanks for every good and perfect gift you choose to give. Today, and every day, I want to live my life for you, Jesus. In your precious name, Amen.
– Rebecca Barlow Jordan

A Prayer for Discernment and Wisdom When You Need God’s Direction

Lord, thank You for the people You have divinely placed in my life who speak holy truth, love and words of wisdom. Give me a heart of discernment to know when You are using someone to speak instruction into my heart and my circumstances, and give me the strength and courage to follow through with that advice, even when it’s hard. Fill me with peace in knowing that even if I take a wrong turn, Your purpose will prevail. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
– Tracie Miles

This Beautiful Version of Psalm 23 Had Me in Tears from biblestudytools on GodTube.

Bible Verses about God’s Guidance

Psalm 25:4-5 – “Show me your ways, LORD, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.”

James 1:5 – “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

Psalm 16:7-8 – “I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”

Proverbs 3:5-6 – “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Psalm 32:8-9 – “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you.”

John 16:13 – “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the 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.”

What decisions and situations are you praying for guidance over? Join in our large praying community in the comments below and recieve encouragement! 

prayer for wisdom and discernment

This article is part of our larger Prayers resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Visit our most popular prayers if you are wondering how to pray or what to pray. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can’t find the words to pray.

Prayer for Healing

Prayer for StrengthPrayer for ProtectionMorning PrayersGood Night PrayersThe Prayer of JabezShort PrayersThe Lord’s PrayerThe Prayer of St FrancisSerenity PrayerA Birthday PrayerSinner’s PrayerPrayer for ForgivenessPrayer for GuidanceIntercessory PrayerIrish Prayers and Blessings  

Now available is our new Daily Prayer devotional! An easy way to find start your day with prayer, read today’s prayer and sign up to receive by email.

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Wisdom and discernment—these are two gifts that we should all be praying and asking God for on a daily basis. King Solomon is considered the wisest man that ever lived, because he asked God for wisdom instead of anything else for his Kingdom. As a result of his pleasing request, God granted him riches and fame and all the other blessings that he didn’t even ask for from the Father. The prophet Daniel explains that all wisdom comes from God as he writes, “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might” (Daniel 2:20).We too need wisdom in our lives to make the best decisions, so here are my top 7 Bible verses about wisdom and discernment.

Psalm 111:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!” 

This is a great verse to start a discussion about wisdom and discernment, because it explicitly states where wisdom begins. It starts with the fear of the Lord, and we will have clear understanding when we practice this. This does not mean that we should be terrified of God, rather it describes a sense of awe and reverence for him. If we love and respect our God, then we will obey his commandments. We will also praise him forever.

Proverbs 3:13 “Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding,” 

Who doesn’t want to live a life that is blessed and rewarding? I know that I do, and this verse is a clear reminder of where we must look for them. This verse is one of my favorites, as it is the one I included as a quote in my high school yearbook years ago. I cannot say that I have achieved a lot of wisdom and understanding in my life’s journey, but I do believe that the Lord has blessed me tremendously in my search and quest to please Him.

Philippians 1:9 “And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment…” 

Paul’s prayer mentioned here was for all of the Christians in Philippi as well as for the other Christians that eventually would read his epistle, as he wanted them to be filled with love, knowledge, and discernment from the Lord. Paul knew that as young followers of Christ they needed the guiding of the Holy Spirit as well as an extra measure of discernment in spiritual matters. Many of them would face persecution and trials, like he was experiencing, so he wanted to encourage them to seek God’s wisdom in all circumstances.

Colossians 3:16 “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” 

One of the best ways that we can gain wisdom today, besides asking God for it, is found in reading the Bible. We see the apostle encouraging his fellow Christians to let the word of Christ dwell in them richly. In other words, this saturation of God’s word would bestow on them an extra measure of wisdom and understanding, so that they could teach and admonish one another in love. I like how the verse goes on to encourage worshipping our Lord with singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in our hearts, because God’s word cannot be contained. Paul knew that knowing God’s word would lead us to burst out in all forms of praise and worship.

Hebrews 5:14 “But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” 

Along with physical and mental maturity, it seems that the power of discernment also comes from experience and practice. Just like a growing child is eventually able to eat solid food, likewise the maturing Christian will also be able to distinguish good from evil more and more with practice. Wisdom and discernment come from seeking the Lord and his will for our lives, as well as from the experiences we face in our walk with him.

James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” 

Any discussion about wisdom must include this verse, because it clearly states its source. God is the giver of wisdom, and he loves to grant it to us if we but ask him for it. I often find myself asking the Lord for wisdom, because I need his help and guidance. And the good news is that he gives it to me and to all who would ask for it generously and without reproach or condemnation.

James 3:17 “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” 

prayer for wisdom and discernment

My final verse about wisdom and discernment is found here in the book of James, because it is a wonderful definition of what these words mean. James confirms what others have written about the origin of wisdom—it comes from our God above. Then he goes on and explains that wisdom is pure, and peaceable, gentle, and open to reason. Wisdom is also full of mercy, good fruits, it is impartial and it is sincere.

CONCLUSION

Seeking wisdom and discernment is a lifelong journey, as it often takes time to receive these gifts and put them into practice. However, Father God is eager to share these with us if we just ask him, as he loves to give great blessings to his children. Like Solomon, our hearts should seek the Father’s heart including discernment and wisdom above and beyond all other earthly treasures.

Written by Karla Hawkins

God has been good to me over the years, and I have much for which to be grateful to Him. First of all, I feel blessed to be the pastor’s wife of a thriving church in northern Michigan and the mother of four amazing grown children. It is also very rewarding to be a Christian author, editor and translator for the Kingdom of God. Some of my favorite pastimes include supporting my children’s contemporary Christian band ONLY9AM, singing on the worship team at church, traveling, and connecting with family and friends via social media. When I am not working, I love spending time with my family and especially with my precious three-year-old grandson.

www.patheos.com

“Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?”—1 Kings 3:9

At the beginning of his long reign, God gave Solomon an invitation to ask for whatever he wanted. “Ask what I shall give you,” the Lord told him. Solomon prayed for the gift of wisdom—the gift of discernment or the ability to make the best choice when confronted with a number of options. God commended Solomon for not asking for a long life, nor riches, nor for the life of his enemies, but rather for requesting an understanding heart. God was very pleased and promised that Solomon would get what he asked for. Today, we still benefit from Solomon’s wisdom when we read the book of Proverbs, most of which was written by him.

Clearly, God takes delight in giving us wisdom when confronted with difficult choices. I’ve discovered that even in situations such as when I’m talking on the phone, I have silently claimed the promise, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” (James 1:5). And when we ask in faith, God gives us the wisdom we need at that particular moment.

There are, however, some basic requirements for having our prayer answered. First, James says we have to ask in faith; we have to believe that God will actually give wisdom as generously as He has promised. Wavering unbelief only perpetuates more uncertainty.

Second, it’s clear that we have to be willing to obey the wisdom God gives us. I’ve frequently asked mismatched couples if they sought God’s wisdom before they married. Often they said “no, we just assumed it was God’s will” or they didn’t ask for wisdom because they feared that God would say no to what they wanted to do. That’s not the way we get wisdom from God. Tragically, later in life Solomon himself turned away from the Lord and chose the path of sensual desire rather than the more difficult and honorable path of wisdom.

Finally, the question is: How does God’s wisdom come to us? The wise path is, first and foremost, consistent with the Scriptures. Beyond that, wisdom comes through peace in our minds and hearts that we’re doing the right thing; or wisdom often comes to us through the counsel of another person who God puts in our path. Often, it’s simply making a decision in faith and giving God an opportunity to stop us if we are wrong. He can close or open doors as He leads those who are willing to be led.

Let us pray for wisdom for ourselves or for someone you know who is facing difficult decisions.

Let Us Pray

Father, I pray that You might give me a heart of wisdom. I pray that I will always make wise choices; and when two paths seem to be equal, I pray You will help me to trust You even as I make my decision. Give me a heart that is willing to obey You, to respond in faith to the wisdom You give me.

I pray for _______ that they might have a heart of wisdom. Keep them from ungodly counsel that seems good, but will, in the end, be destructive. Keep them from following the path of least resistance, and from friends who would lead them astray. Teach them, even as You teach me, that the wise path is often the most  difficult path, but in the end, it’s the most rewarding. Direct our paths, O Lord, for we are like sheep who are prone to stray. Make us lovers of wisdom.

In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

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