Picture by Joshua Earle
When I was young I wanted to be many things—but by the time I reached my teens I’d settled on becoming a nightclub DJ.
I saved up and bought some equipment. I learned to mix and scratch and do the other tricks DJs did. I built my music collection, honed my skills, started DJing at some clubs and doing well in competitions. By the time I was nineteen, my giddy DJ dream was starting to come true.
Then I became a Christian and soon knew nightclubs weren’t part of God’s plans for me. I quit the scene, sold my equipment, and began wondering what God wanted for my life instead. I had no idea. So I began praying for guidance.
Waiting on Heaven
I prayed diligently for months. I knew I wanted to serve God, but wasn’t sure how. At school I’d been good at art, so I pondered studying graphic design. I had an interest in music production, so I thought about doing that. If I were to go overseas on mission, I prayed to know where. In case God wanted me to serve where I worked, I considered options there too.
The first glimmer of guidance came when I heard about a Christian radio network sharing the love of God overseas. Suddenly my heart beat fast, which was surprising given I’d never had an interest in radio. I prayed about this, but had no voice from heaven or sign in the sky confirming the way forward. In fact, two years of prayer later, I still had no clear direction for my life.
Prayer and Action
Then I read these words of Jesus:
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“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for.
Keep on seeking, and you will find.
Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.”
Jesus says these words in a section of his Sermon on the Mount dealing with making good choices. In a world of options, distractions, temptations, and false guides, we need help in choosing well. And the starting point for such guidance, he says, is prayer—expectant, persistent, action-oriented prayer. “For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”
That’s when it hit me. Life with God requires both prayer and action. When Isaac needed a wife, Abraham’s servant prayed and started to search. When Nehemiah needed protection, he prayed to God and posted a guard. When Jesus fed the masses, he prayed and handed out bread. I had been praying for guidance but waiting in my room for an epiphany.
I had prayed but not acted. I had asked but not knocked.
So I did some research, made some calls, wrote some letters, and had some conversations. If that thumping heart was a sign I was to serve God through broadcasting, I’d need to learn about radio, get some formal Bible training, and find the funds to do both. In one of the most memorable guidance experiences of my life, all this came together on one day within weeks of putting action behind my prayer (I tell that story in chapter 2 of Resurrection Year).
Over to You
So what are you seeking God’s guidance for right now? And how are you putting action behind your prayer?
- What information do you need to find out? What research do you need to do?
- Who do you need to speak to whose experience you can learn from?
- Is there any training you need to explore?
- What doors do you need to knock on to see if they’ll open?
Jesus doesn’t tell us to ask and then wait. He tells us to ask, then seek and knock—to move. The principle applies for any prayer we offer, and particularly when making key choices for our lives. As a friend told me once:
“God steers a moving ship.”
Article supplied with thanks to Sheridan Voysey. Sheridan is a writer, speaker and broadcaster on faith and spirituality. His books include Resilient, Resurrection Year, and Unseen Footprints. Get his FREE eBook Five Practices for a Resilient Life here.