How do we pray for guidance? First off, do whatever you can to reduce the pressure. Pressure is a killer; it nearly always gets in the way of hearing from God. As best you can, lay down the pressure as you seek guidance. Drama never helps; stress never helps. Give the search some breathing room. Take a deep breath yourself.
Second, be open to whatever it may be that God has to say to you. If you are, in truth, only open to hearing one answer from God—yes, you should buy that house—then it’s not likely you will hear anything at all. More sadly, if you do hear a “yes,” you won’t be able to trust it. Surrender is the key. Yield your desires and plans and hunches to the living God, so that you might receive from him something far better: his counsel. Consecrate the matter; consecrate the process of decision making too!
Third, do not fill in the blanks! Do not spend half your energy trying to figure it out while you are giving the other half to seeking God. You do not want to “walk in the light of your own fires!” Far better to live with the uncertainty for a while than to be your own counselor. Finally, when it comes to major decisions, give it some time. Don’t try and get this done in five minutes. If you feel you are receiving counsel, guidance, direction from the Holy Spirit, then ask him to confirm it. Confirmation is important when it comes to big decisions and it gives you a settled assurance that you are in fact following God’s will.
And that’s the memo.
By John Eldredge from Moving Mountains