Show me the way
Other than physical healing, the most common prayer request we bring before God is a request for guidance. We ask God to “reveal His path” or “guide our steps” or “show us how to handle a person/situation”. And rightfully so – God knows everything better than we do, so He’s the best one to give advice and direction whenever we get stuck.
But has it ever crossed your mind that sometimes God chooses to not answer our requests for guidance?
David had plenty of instances in his life where he needed God’s guidance. From the shepherding of his youth, to evading Saul’s desire to kill him, to leading Israel as King…David constantly relied on God to get him through it all.
Fortunately for us, David wrote down many of his conversations with God in prayerful songs. Throughout the psalms he wrote, David returns to the idea that he needs the Lord’s guidance. However, David’s request also recognizes our two-way relationship with God. So, we need to watch for David’s part in the relationship as we read:
Psalm 25:4-5, 8-10, 12-14
Make Your ways known to me, Lord; teach me Your paths.
Guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation;
I wait for You all day long.
The Lord is good and upright; therefore He shows sinners the way.
He leads the humble in what is right and teaches them His way.
All the Lord’s ways show faithful love and truth
to those who keep His covenant and decrees.
Who is the person who fears the Lord?
He will show him the way he should choose.
He will live a good life, and his descendants will inherit the land.
The secret counsel of the Lord is for those who fear Him,
and He reveals His covenant to them.
David can’t flippantly live life and then expect that God will be his magic 8-ball or cosmic vending machine whenever he gets stuck. If David trusts God enough to ask about the unknown, then David should at least be following the known instructions God has already given him.
David notes four responsibilities we have before we can ask God to show us His way:
keep His covenant and decrees
respectfully fear the Lord
Asking God for guidance means that we recognize His superior understanding of life; therefore, we should first regard what God has already revealed before we ask Him about things or situations that He hasn’t yet revealed.
Notice too, that David doesn’t say we have to be sinlessly perfect, either. God is willing to show sinners the way, provided we humbly understand Whom it is we’re asking for guidance.