How to Pray When You Need Direction

Here’s how to pray when you need direction or you’re faced with making a decision. God will lead you in the right way according to His promises.

“What’s the right choice?”

That’s the pressing question when we need direction, right? It was what I kept asking myself one day when timelines were closing in. A decision needed to be made!

My toddler down for nap, and my other kids occupied in activities sure to keep their attention for a long while, I ducked into my room. Anxious thoughts were bombarding my mind. It was time to take “the list” to God.

I closed the door softly to hopefully escape the notice of anyone in earshot. Distractions aren’t wanted right now.

There was an opportunity to join a book club, an invite to write for a new online writers hub, and a business webinar, all added to the other items that stirred my heart for weeks. In my current season, there was only room for one or two.

Sigh. What should I do?

I took a deep breath and started talking to God.

5 Verses to Pray When You Need Direction

We communicate with God through the avenue of prayer. Here are five verses I like to pray when I need direction.

1 – Psalms 119:105

Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light for my path.

Just reading our Bible daily will give us direction. I once read about how the old-fashioned foot lamps would only give enough light to show the traveler the next step. So every time I read this verse, I remember that. It makes me think that we need to be at peace with only knowing one part of the picture at a time.

2 – Proverbs 16:9

A man’s heart plans his course, but the LORD directs his steps.

In my post, How to Thrive in Planning Ahead, I wrote that since God is one who practices planning, then it’s good for us too. Although we plan, God will help us know His will as we come to Him for direction.

3 – Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and don’t lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

The focus of this well-loved passage is often on trusting God. That is certainly part of what we need to do when we pray for direction! But I love the part that says, “In all your ways acknowledge him.” God desires to be involved in our life! He cares about the details, and all the challenges we face in a given day!

The Praying for Direction Scripture Cards will help take the overwhelm out of praying for direction.

4 – Psalm 25:9

He will guide the humble in justice. He will teach the humble his way.

The first time I saw this verse I got so excited. Humility is important when we are seeking direction from God. He hates pride. I regretted the times I stubbornly thought I knew what was best for my life—pride was my ultimate guide in those cases. Now I try to remember that I must empty myself of what I think is best to correctly hear God’s voice.

5 – Psalm 32:8

I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you shall go. I will counsel you with my eye on you.

The scholars are undecided on who is speaking in this verse. Some say the “I” is referring to God, others say it’s David. In that chapter, David is sharing his wisdom with those who would be receptive of it. Then he directs his words to God in prayer. After that it seems he continues talking to men again. Either way, we can be sure to receive divine guidance even through our mentors.

God will lead you in the right way when you need direction. #ThrivingInChrist #LiveYielded Click To Tweet

How Peace Is Attached to Decisions

That afternoon in my room, I wrote down a list of all my options on a sheet of paper. I was tempted to cut them up and “draw lots” for God’s will.

The thought of making a decision that would take me down a road I’d later regret made my heart start beating anxiously.

Sometimes all the choices seem like they would be fine or even wise. But since we have to divide our time between our choices, then making the one that fits becomes a more important weight.

That’s why I’m glad God is our Guide.

Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you to profit, Who leads you in the way you should go.” Isaiah 48:17 NASB

God promised to lead Israel, and as part of His family, we can be sure that He will lead us as well.

The way I look at it, since Jesus is “in me” (1 John 4:13), and He is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), then His peace is going to rest on the decision that is right. He knows a great deal more than I do about any situation I consider.

If I make a decision that I’ve prayed about and asked for His leading on, and I don’t have a peace at all, then I know to wait and keep praying or maybe it’s just not the right decision.

Our Wise Father Gives Direction

So as you seek to discern God‘s guidance in life, ask yourself: Which of the options you’re hearing are pointing toward and accentuating the abundance of all He’s given you to be and do? Which one is free of fear, insecurity, and a sense of “I can’t?” Which one loosens you, and which one suffocates you? Which one… sets you free? — Priscilla Shirer, Awaken page 260

That day, I prayed those verses. While I didn’t hear the audible voice of God, or anything, I waited, senses tuned into Him. I only had peace when I considered a certain one out of the list of many choices. Some were for a later time, others never.

Our wise Father will lead us in the right way when we need His direction. We can take Him up on His promises and pray the verses above when we’re faced with making a decision.

We don’t have to be afraid that we’re going to make the wrong decision. Didn’t He say He would lead and guide us into all truth (John 16:13)? We have His Holy Spirit!

Trust Him. If we truly come to see His guidance, we will not be led astray. Consider wisdom from mentors, factor in biblical truths, and look for the one that gives peace.

What do you need direction from God about?

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  1. Kelly, I love the verses you shared here. Psalm 105 is one I lean into and stand upon at times when I am unsure as to what direction to go or path to take and God isn’t saying anything. I love that you were going to draw “lots” for which decision you were going to make, I had never thought about that. So, did you end up drawing lots that day? And you are so right, often times God doesn’t speak to us when we think He should, but He always does come through and peace is so very important as we step out in any direction. Loved everything about this post. 🙂

    1. kellyrbaker says:

      Thanks, Debbie, for your kind words. No I didn’t draw lots. I haven’t researched this very much, but it seemed the last practice of drawing lots was before Pentecost. So I don’t think it necessary. I just prayed and waited until I had peace on only one of the choices.

  2. My husband and I are needing direction for where to move or what to do after he graduates ministry school in just a couple weeks!! We still haven’t received an answer besides (a few prophetic words from some church members), “don’t make a move until He’s made it very clear.” We definitely trust Him to lead us, He led us very clearly to this area where we live now, so we know He’s faithful. 🤍 I find that He waits until the last second (or at least that’s what it seems like to us in our natural mind.) But it always ends up being His perfect timing.
    Praying for any of you who need direction in this season and please pray for us to hear Him clearly and be obedient.

    1. Praying for you and your husband, Miana! It’s so true that it’s seems like the last second. He’s getting everything and everyone in place in the meantime!

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