10 Ways to Seek God’s Guidance in Decision MakingApr 22, 2022
You have a big decision to make, and you’ve been praying and asking God to guide you.
Should you take that job, or move to a new city? Should you go on a date with this person, or could that guy you’ve had a crush be the one?
Decision making can feel overwhelming, especially when faced with two choices that both seem good.
But how can you seek God’s guidance in decision making? And how do you know God’s will when faced with a decision?
In this blog post, we will discuss how to know God’s will in decision making, including:
- 10 ways to seek God’s guidance in decision making
- Bible verses about guidance in decision making
- Prayers for guidance in decision making
- How to hear God’s voice when making a decision
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10 Ways to Seek God’s Guidance in Decision Making
God can speak to you and show you the decision to make in many different ways, but here are 10 questions to ask yourself when seeking God’s guidance in decision making:
- Does it line up with God’s Word?
- Do you have peace about it?
- Have you spent time in prayer?
- Have you considered fasting?
- What does your gut say about it?
- Does the decision you are leaning toward make the most logical sense?
- What do your trusted friends and mentors say about it?
- Have you spent time in silence with God?
- Has God already told you, but you’re afraid to step out in fear?
- Are you relying too much on external signs and coincidences?
We talk more about each way that God can speak to you below.
1) Does the decision line up with God’s Word?
If you have a big decision to make, spending time in God’s Word is key.
God will not tell us to do something if it contradicts what He already tells us in the Bible.
For example, if you’re praying to know God’s will about dating a guy, if this guy isn’t a Christian or a believer, then God already tells us in the Bible not to date nonbelievers.
It’s important to make sure a decision lines up with God’s Word, and to be ready to hear God’s voice when you read the Bible.
God tells us that he wants to guide us as we study his Word.
“Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” - Psalm 119:105 NLT
God will speak to us through the Holy Spirit when we read the Bible. He may guide you to a certain passage in the Bible, or he may put a certain scripture on your heart.
Have you ever been praying about something, and then you read something in the Bible that seems to jump off the page about that situation?
This is God speaking to you.
When you read something in the Bible and it seems like it is highlighted, or it resonates with you, pay attention.
Meditate on it. Look up different translations of that verse. Write it down in your journal.
The Bible is alive and living, and God wants to speak to you personally through his Word.
“For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” – Hebrews 4:12 NLT
If you read something in the Bible and you feel convicted, like God is checking your heart about something, that may be Him trying to tell you not to choose that decision.
But God can also use scripture to confirm the decision or path that he wants you to make.
If a scripture speaks to your heart and you feel the presence of God through your Holy Spirit, this could be God confirming his will for you.
2) Do you have peace about the decision?
God will often guide us in decision making through peace through our Holy Spirit.
The Bible tells us that God is not a God of confusion, but of peace.
“For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.” – 1 Corinthians 14:33 ESV
If you don’t have peace about something, then lean into that. It may mean that something is not from God, or that God doesn’t want you to make that decision.
If you don’t have peace about a certain decision, it’s best to hold off until you do have peace, or God may be telling you that it’s not the right decision.
Sometimes everything may check out on paper, and sound like a great idea, but if you don’t have peace about it, God is trying to get your attention.
On the other hand, even if a certain decision doesn’t make the most sense, if you have this strong peace about it, God may be guiding you toward that decision.
For example, when I was praying and asking God to confirm whether it was time to quit my job, it didn't seem like it was the best time to quit my job on paper, but I had this strong, overwhelming sense of peace that it was time.
And the more I prayed about it, and the longer I delayed taking action to quit my job, the more restless I actually felt about it and the less peace I had.
3) Have you spent time praying to God about the decision?
Spending time with God in prayer is key when seeking God’s guidance in decision making.
Prayer is how we communicate with God, and if we want to know God’s will about a certain decision, we have to talk to him about it and be ready to listen in prayer.
God wants us to pray about everything, especially the decision that is on our heart and minds.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7 NLT
And when we do surrender decision making to God through prayer, we will experience God’s peace instead of feeling worried or anxious about the decision.
Talking to God through prayer helps strengthen your personal relationship with God, and positions yourself to hear his voice.
4) Have you spent time in silence to hear from God?
As you spend time praying about God’s will for a particular decision, it’s also important to spend time in silence with God.
Since prayer is how we communicate to God, we have to give God a chance to speak back to us.
When Elijah was seeking the Lord’s voice in 1 Kings 19, God speaks to him in a whisper after all the chaos of a windstorm, earthquake, and a fire.
“And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper.” – 1 Kings 19:12 NLT
We live in a busy, distracted world, and while God can speak through a podcast, a sermon, or through a worship song, he often speaks to us personally when we are in complete silence with Him.
Silence is necessary if we want to hear his voice instead of the voices of others around us.
Set aside your phone for some time and get outside if you need to sit in complete silence. Consider doing a social media fast to eliminate distractions and spend more time with God.
Pray and ask God specific questions, and listen to what God is trying to tell you through your Holy Spirit.
5) Have you considered fasting to hear God’s voice even more?
When seeking God’s guidance in decision making, prayer and fasting usually go together.
Many Christians fast when seeking God’s will for a big decision, or when they want to feel closer to God.
The Bible talks about fasting in many different circumstances, and Jesus talks about fasting in Matthew 6:16 where he says “when you fast”, suggesting that fasting is another spiritual discipline for Christians to partake in just like prayer or reading the Bible.
If you want to learn more about fasting, check out this article by Crosswalk.
6) What does your gut say about it?
You know how some people say that they had a gut feeling about something?
Or maybe they really wanted to pursue something, but in the end, they couldn’t do it because they had a gut feeling that it wasn’t the right decision?
When asking for God’s guidance in decision making, it’s important to pay attention to what your “gut” is telling you.
The Holy Spirit will often give us a gut reaction or feeling about something, trying to guide us when making a decision.
And sometimes, we can feel like our gut or heart is on fire when God is speaking to us or trying to show us the way to go.
“They said to each other, “Weren’t our hearts burning within us while he was talking with us on the road and explaining the Scriptures to us?” - Luke 24:32 CSB
No matter how much time we spend in prayer, analyzing the pros and cons of a decision, listening to your gut, or the Holy Spirit inside of you can help you seek God’s will for a decision.
7) Does the decision make the most sense logically?
This may sound like a trick question, but if a decision makes the most sense logically, this actually may NOT be God’s will.
Planning and preparation when making a decision are important, but God requires us to make decisions in faith.
And when it comes to seeking God’s guidance in decision making, faith in God is more important than logic.
If you feel like God is calling you to do something that doesn’t make a lot of sense, it may be the path that God is guiding you to.
For example, I had been praying for years about getting a new job, and asking God to guide me when it was time to leave my job as a public accountant.
Do you want to know when God told me it was time to leave?
God confirmed it was time to leave my job in 2020—yup, that’s right, in the middle of a national pandemic where people where losing their jobs left and right.
My decision to leave my job during that season made no sense logically, but God kept confirming it was time, so I had to trust that God’s timing was best.
I’ve heard other stories of how someone had multiple job offers, but they felt that the Holy Spirit was telling them to take the lowest paying job.
Now, when you’re faced with multiple job offers, taking the lowest offer doesn’t make the most sense logically.
But God’s ways are higher than we could understand, and God’s will for our life doesn’t always make logical sense in the beginning.
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8-9 NLT
If you really want to trust God’s guidance in your decision-making process, follow your faith in God over what makes sense on paper.
8) What do your trusted friends and mentors say about it?
When making a big decision, God’s opinion is the most important opinion that matters.
But consulting your trusted friends and mentors for their opinion can also help in the decision-making process.
“The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray.” - Proverbs 12:26 NLT
Since everyone has their own opinion, it’s important to only seek counsel from other Christians that you trust, and who have your best interest at heart.
And when you’re doing big things for God’s Kingdom, not everyone is going to understand your desire to want to move to a new city, start a new job, or build a ministry.
When I told some of my family and friends that I wanted to start a new career as a writer in the middle of a national pandemic, the majority of them told me that it wasn’t a good time to quit my job, or that I should wait until I had earned a certain amount as a writer first before quitting.
I knew they wanted what was best for me, but they were thinking logically, and not considering God’s best plan and timing for my life.
Ask your friends and mentors for their honest opinion, and give them permission to raise any red flags or blind spots you may not be noticing about a particular decision.
If you are looking to surround yourself with more Christian friends, learn how to make Christian friends and be a better friend to others around you.
9) Has God already told you which decision to make, but you’re afraid to take action?
When seeking God’s guidance in decision making, God wants to speak to you, and he will confirm his will if you ask him or if you’re not sure.
“The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.” – Psalm 32:8 NLT
But there’s a difference between asking God to confirm his will to make sure you heard his voice correctly, and not taking action because you’re afraid.
Part of trusting God is having the courage to step out in faith even when you don’t know how things will turn out.
God may have confirmed which decision to make, but he’s not always going to give you all the details.
And faith means taking action even when you don’t know how it’s going to turn out.
For example, when I was praying for God to confirm whether it was time to quit my job, I felt like God had spoken to me a few times confirming it was time, but I was afraid to take action.
I could feel that it was time, but I was afraid of actually following through with it.
But God reminded me that I didn’t need to know all the details of how everything would work out, and that if I trusted Him, I could quit my job and believe that God would continue to guide me.
The Bible tells us that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but has given us sound judgment.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.” – 2 Timothy 1:7 CSB
If you’re still asking God to confirm his will, but he’s already confirmed it, it’s time to take action and pull the trigger.
Don’t keep waiting for God to confirm again and again when he’s already spoken to you, and don’t let fear hold you back from stepping out and taking action.
10) Are you relying too much on external signs and coincidences?
If you’re praying and asking God to give you a sign about a certain decision, make sure you aren’t ignoring how God is trying to speak to you through prayer, reading the Word, or through your Holy Spirit.
God can speak to us with external signs or coincidences, but God primarily speaks to us through the Holy Spirit.
While God did speak to some people in the Bible with visible signs, like he did to Gideon, God gave us the Holy Spirit to guide each one of us personally.
“I have spoken these things to you while I remain with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.” – John 14:25-26 CSB
When seeking God’s guidance in decision making, if you are relying only on external signs or coincidences, you may be missing out on how God wants to speak to you.
And if you rely on external signs rather than your Holy Spirit, you may be showing God that you don’t trust Him enough to speak to you personally.
Spend time with God in prayer, by reading his Word, and listening for the voice of the Holy Spirit before asking God to confirm his will through external signs.
Bible Verses About God’s Guidance in Decision Making
If you are seeking God’s guidance in decision making, pray these Bible verses to remind yourself that God wants to guide you, and that he will confirm his will and which path you should take.
"Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”" – Isaiah 30:21 NIV
God wants to speak to you, and he wants to show you which path to take.
"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” – Psalm 32:8 NIV
God will instruct you, teach you, and counsel you in the way you should go.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
God knows the plans he has for you, and you can trust him to reveal these plans to you.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” – Proverbs 3:5 NLT
As you seek God, he will show you which path to take, even if it doesn’t make sense.
“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.” – John 16:13 NLT
The Holy Spirit will guide you and show you God’s truth.
“Lead me in the right path, O Lord, or my enemies will conquer me. Make your way plain for me to follow.” – Psalm 5:8
God will lead you and reveal his will for you to follow.
“Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.” – Galatians 5:25 NLT
You can trust the Holy Spirit to lead you and guide you.
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” – Romans 12:2
Don’t follow what others are doing around you. Let God transform you by changing the way you think, and he will reveal his will for you.
“Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God—who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly—and it will be given to him.” – James 1:5 CSB
If you need wisdom about a certain decision, ask God, who will give it to you.
What does the Bible say about making important decisions?
As you can see in these scriptures, God says in the Bible that he will guide you and show you which path to take.
God wants to speak to you and guide you as you make important decisions.
He will speak to you through the Holy Spirit, and he will make his will clear for you to follow.
Prayers for God’s Guidance in Decision Making
Spending time in prayer as you seek God’s guidance in decision making is so important.
Pray the prayers for guidance in decision making below and open your heart to hear God’s voice when making a decision.
Prayer for God to give you His desires for your life
God, I surrender this decision and my desires to you. I want your desires for my life.
If a desire is not from you, I ask that you take it away.
Align my desires with yours God, and give me discernment to see if something is not from you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Prayer for God to shut doors that need to be shut
God, I thank you that you want to guide me and show me which path to take.
I ask that you close the doors that need to be shut, and show me the opportunities that are not your will. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Prayer for God to speak to you
God, I thank you that you want to speak to me and that you speak to me personally.
I honor and acknowledge the Holy Spirit, and I desire to hear your voice.
Speak to me Lord, I am listening. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Prayer for God to confirm the decision you should make
God, you know I want to do your will above all else.
Confirm this decision I’m about to make, and show me that this is the right choice. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Prayer for God’s peace to guide you as you make this decision
God, I thank you that you are not a God of confusion, but a God of peace.
Guide me through my Spirit and give me peace with the decision I should make.
If something is not from you, let me know through my Spirit. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
How to Hear God's Voice When Making a Decision
If you want to know God’s will, here is how to hear God’s voice when making a decision:
- Spend time talking to God about it in prayer
- Sit in silence and listen for God’s voice
- Read and study the Bible to see if your decision lines up with God’s Word, and if any scriptures jump out to you as you read
- Consider fasting as you pray to hear God’s voice
- Consult with trusted friends and mentors
- Lean in to what the Holy Spirit is telling you, and whether you have peace about a certain decision
Resources & Christian Books to Study God’s Guidance in Decision Making
Learning to discern God’s voice and will for your life does not happen overnight.
If you want to learn more about how to know God’s will in decision making and how to hear from the Holy Spirit, consider reading one of the books below.
I’ve read all these books and they have helped me understand how to hear God’s voice and how to discern his will when making decisions.
Discerning the Voice of God Bible Study by Priscilla Shirer
If you love a good Bible study, I highly recommend this study by Priscilla Shirer.
I learned so much about the Holy Spirit and how God can speak to me through this Bible study.
And since it’s a Bible study format with questions to reflect on, God spoke to me as I read the scriptures and meditated on his Word.
Grab a copy of Discerning the Voice of God
Right People, Right Place, Right Plan by Jentezen Franklin
This is another great Christian non-fiction book that will help you discern God’s will for your life.
Each chapter has questions to consider to help you reflect on how God is speaking to you as it relates to your own life.
Grab a copy of Right People, Right Place, Right Plan
The Holy Spirit Book & Course by Messenger International
John & Lisa Bevere have a course on the Holy Spirit that you can watch and listen to for free with the Messenger International app (which is available in several different languages).
They also have a book on the Holy Spirit that you can read as well.
Do You Want to Grow Closer to God?
If you want to seek God’s guidance in decision making, spending time with God and developing a personal relationship with God is so important.
Download the free, Spiritual Goals Worksheet for examples of how you can grow closer to God in 10 different areas, and set your own spiritual goals to strengthen your relationship with God.