Prayers 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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prayers for wisdom and discernment

A Prayer for Godly Wisdom
By Tracie Miles

“Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life. You can make many plans, but the LORD’s purpose will prevail.” Proverbs 19:20-21 (NLT)

Over several months of dealing with a difficult circumstance, I received a lot of godly counsel from beloved friends and family. Yet I found it hard to heed their good suggestions at times, because my feelings seemed to be in control of my thoughts.

prayers for wisdom and discernment

Recognizing this struggle within, I bowed my head and prayed: “Lord, please help me see with eyes that are wise, not eyes blurred with overwhelming emotions. Help me act out of a heart that follows You, not a heart heavy with worry. Help me think with a holy perspective, not a mindset based on my own opinions or feelings. Give me wisdom and discernment, and the ability to recognize and follow wise instruction when I receive it.”

I opened my eyes and reached for my Bible, and immediately came across today’s key verses, Proverbs 19:20-21 … “Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life. You can make many plans, but the LORD’s purpose will prevail.”

My heart quickened at the thought of God whispering the comforting answer I had just prayed for. I sensed His assurance that it was okay to accept and trust wise advice that aligned with Scripture, because His plans and purposes would always prevail even if my decisions weren’t perfect.

Obviously my first place for wisdom and guidance is God’s Word and prayer, and I had been anxiously seeking His direction for weeks. But as I read this verse, I felt prompted to ponder all the people who’d offered me loving wisdom. With grateful humility, I bowed my head again to pray, intentionally thanking God for all the people who continually poured wise instruction into my heart and seeking discernment about the best advice to follow.

God sends people into our lives for many reasons, and in many cases, it is in response to a need we have — whether it’s now, or yet to come. No relationship happens in the Kingdom of God by circumstance or without reason, whether it’s to provide friendship, help us through a season of difficulty, provide wisdom or inspire us to stand strong in our faith when we feel weak and unsure.

Throughout Scripture we are instructed to choose our friends wisely, because with godly friends comes godly wisdom — just when we need it most. Let’s use this prayer to seek out God’s wisdom and guidance in life:

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.

Editor’s Note: Content taken from the Encouragement for Today devotional, “Godly Friends, Godly Wisdom,” written by Tracie Miles. You can read that piece in full here. All rights reserved.

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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.” 

prayers 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. 

www.moodymedia.org

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