This “Deciding the Next Step Prayer” can help free you from being anxious about making a decision as to what comes next.
Recently the thought came to me that something unexpected is on the horizon in my life. I physically felt a sensation of warming comfort washed over me. At that moment I became aware of the thought that of all the things I am able to do, I don’t know how to prioritize them and prioritize my time.
In the past several years I have gone from being an active, ready to go and do type of person to someone who cannot commit to anything because I don’t know if I will feel well enough or be well enough to go or do. It has been a drastic shift in my life that was unexpected and definitely not welcomed.
As I become healthier and stronger my thoughts are shifting, from self-care and gratitude for the help I have received from others, to what is next. This is both exciting and anxiety provoking.
My thoughts now include words like: “waiting”, “unknown”, “unexpected”, and “out of my control”. As I spend time contemplating how to handle this task of reconstructing parts of my life, I realize that these decisions are no different from any other.
Here’s a prayer I created that helped me when I’m trying to decide the next step in my life when I’m not sure what comes next.
Deciding the next step prayer when you’re not sure what comes next
Dear Heavenly Father,
I am grateful that You give me this opportunity to come to You. Lord, Your mercy and grace are without bounds. Your love is unconditional and your knowledge of what is best for me is beyond my comprehension.
I come to you Lord at this time because I have decisions to make.
I know that my specific path is unknown to me yet I do know that you have revealed the way for me to navigate my life through Jesus Christ and the salvation offered by His sacrifice.
You have also given to me the indwelling of the Holy Spirit so that He will be my guide. He will show me the changes I need to make in myself which will enable me to become the person You have given me the potential to be. He will also provide consultation on knowing You and Your word.
Please help me to welcome this opportunity to know You and to discipline myself to keep my priorities such that You are always first.
Lord, I ask that you provide me with the ability to use the knowledge and understanding You have given to me to aid me in making decisions whether they seem big or small.
I also ask, Lord, that when I begin to allow the influences of the world to take priority in my decision making that You make me aware of what I am about to do.
Let me experience disgust at the possibility of choosing the world’s view over Yours.
May my next step and every decision after be the result of a solid foundation based on my relationship with You.
In the name of Christ the Savior and in the Holy Spirit I pray.
My Personal experience in deciding the next step
As I continue to decide the next step, I realized that I never know what is going to happen. I can guess based on past history and the current situation but I don’t know. While what happens next is out of my control there are a few things I can do to prepare for what is to come.
The first thing I can do, as in all things, is place God above all. This requires me to be invested in my relationship with Him. Spending time in prayer, reading the Bible and allowing the Holy Spirit to teach me the character of God. I have learned and believe that God knows all. Therefore, He knows what is coming next. Not only does He know but, in everything that occurs He is with me.
Other things I can do to be prepared for what is to come include: that every decision and every interaction with others be made with the mindset of who God is teaching me to become.
When setting priorities and choosing a path I should consider how it will impact my relationship with God, then how will it impact my relationship with others, how it will impact others and how it will impact myself.
Don’t allow yourself to become rushed by circumstances as you’re deciding the next step
Something happened a few weeks ago that showed me the danger of letting yourself be rushed by circumstances when deciding the next step.
My husband and I were stopped in the straight ahead lane at a stoplight. Two cars ahead was an SUV positioned to make a left turn from the straight lane. The light for our lane turned green and the person in the car just ahead of us began blowing the horn because the SUV wanting to turn left blocked them.
We watched as the young woman, attempting to make a left turn from the straight lane, abruptly moved across the left turn lane and into oncoming traffic. Her SUV was hit in the side by a minivan and in seconds was airborne. Time seemed to slow to a crawl as the car flipped through the air and came to rest on the roof. Astonishingly, everyone was fine.
There are so many aspects of this story that relate to where I am in my life right now. I am uncertain as to which way I should go so I’m not sure which path or lane to select. I feel rushed by the circumstances and myself to make a decision quickly even if it isn’t really the right time or choice. I am anxious whether to stay on my current path and hope I can make a U-turn if I later find the clarity and reassurance I require to decide which way to go. Or I take the risk that making an abrupt change will put me on the right path or the wrong path completely.
Every decision counts, no matter how small
I think there are several times in my life when the decisions I made have been significant and so I may say, “My life would be different if I had chosen a different path.” For example: the person I chose to marry, the number of children I had, and the profession I chose.
But really every decision I make can be equally as life changing, such as: the words and attitude I use to respond to someone else whether I choose to approach a situation with gratitude and appreciation or with an attitude of jealousy, envy, or being unappreciative. This is not about whether these choices are right or wrong. It is about who I choose to be and do I choose to allow God to lead me. This is what impacts my decisions and makes them right for me.
The one decision in life form which all others are derived.
So if I want to have some feeling of contribution over what is coming next then I need to focus on knowing God and being that person who is made in his likeness. He has provided the way for me to do this. Now I must make it a priority to work on it. Only then will my decisions be His will. He tells us in the Bible that He only wants what is best for us. So, if I want what is best for me, His will, then I must become who He wants me to be and choose the path that gets me there.
Basically, there is one decision from which all other decisions are derived. Do I want to turn my life over to God and make my will, His will?
Bible verses when deciding the next step
Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground!
Psalm 143:10 ESV (English Standard Version of the Bible)
Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. 1 Corinthians 7:17 ESV
Who is the man who fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way he should choose. Psalm 25:12 ESV
Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people did not answer him a word. 1 Kings 18:21 ESV
Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 1John 4: 15-16 ESV
We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. John 9:31 ESV
And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God. Luke 16:15 ESV
But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. Romans 6:22 ESV
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 ESV
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV
Other helpful articles
Copyright Letitia Barnes 2018. All rights reserved.
This website does not provide psychotherapy. Content is not a substitute for counseling and should not be considered professional advice.
Use of this website does not establish a counselor-client relationship between Letitia Barnes, LPC and any user. Letitia Barnes, LPC is not obligated to accept any users of this website as a client. If you are experiencing any emotional concerns or seeking advice, contact your counselor, physician or religious leader.