Session Four - Steps to Discernment

For each step involved in the discernment process, we use prayer to stay connected with God. Prayer is what will ground you and keep your heart open to God’s voice in your heart.  As you begin the dialog with God, you begin the work of discernment.

As you move toward a decision, it’s important to:

  1. Continue time in prayer, listening to God
  2. Be aware of who you are to God  

Think about periods in your life where you needed to make an important decision. Did you make a list of pros and cons for the situation? As you spend time in a spirit of prayer today, begin to make a list of your gifts and talents, along with your perceived weaknesses. Be intentional about gathering information about the decision you are wanting to make, and pray over the list as you listen to God speaking to you.

Next, seek counsel about your decision with a trusted friend, parent or spiritual director. Share the information you have gathered during the discernment process, and don’t hesitate to brainstorm ideas. Listen carefully to their thoughts and feelings, knowing that God will use their perspective to guide you. Many times, others can perceive a strength in ourselves we cannot see, or identify a potential roadblock we have not considered. Seeking counsel requires vulnerability and courage, and can confirm thoughts you are sensing from your time in prayer.  

Now it’s time to make a choice and act on your decision. Trust God to give you wisdom in making the choice, and give yourself time to reflect on what it will be like living out your decision. How do you feel when you consider making a choice? Do you have confidence? Do you feel God’s presence in your everyday life? This is another important time to pray and listen for God to confirm your choice.

These reflection questions may offer additional insights:

  • What is it that you truly desire?
  • What are you looking for in life?
  • What do you find most life-giving right now?
  • Where is your deepest desire?
  • What are your gifts and personal qualities?
  • Where do you feel best suited to serve God?
  • What are your current life commitments?
  • What do you hear God saying to you?
  • If you were on your deathbed, what choice would you wish you had made?  

Choose a scripture passage below for further reflection.

  • Exodus 3:1-4
  • Jeremiah 1:4-10
  • Exodus 4:1-12
  • Luke 9:1 1
  • Samuel 3                                       

Other readings:

Uncertain Path for Olympians and Discerners
Four Steps to Vocation Discernment