21 Days of Prayer 2022
J.D. reflected that Proverbs 3:5–6 is a prayer acknowledging that we and God both have a part in whatever we are praying about. Often, in praying for guidance, we miss our own role, expecting God to do all the work. But verse 5 begins with, “Trust.” When you pray, how actively do you trust God to lead you? How might your prayers shift if you were to pray expectantly, rather than wishfully, for God’s direction and wisdom?
The second half of verse 5 tells us not to rely on our ourselves when we seek God’s wisdom and guidance. J.D. warned us not to pray while relying on our own ability to figure things out. How tempted are you to research, fact-check, and reason your way into “helping” God guide you a certain way? When are you most prone to relying on your own abilities and understanding? To what extent is it important to you that you figure things out even as you pray for God’s guidance?
Verse 6 offers the third way we have a part in asking for God’s guidance: we are to acknowledge him in all our ways. J.D. describes this as “doing everything you believe he is telling you to do.” As we pray, we often sense God’s direction. The question is, will we follow it? What stops you from following the Spirit’s leading? What does it look like to “acknowledge him” in all your ways?
Verse 6 ends with God’s part in our prayer for guidance: he will make our paths straight. J.D. acknowledged that worry often springs from doubt that God will come through. How might your prayer be affected if you truly believed God was involved in your situation? In what ways would your behavior change if you trusted that God was working on things “in the background” in ways you can’t see?
J.D. said we are a lot like sheep—not very smart, often illogical, easily led astray. God is our good shepherd, able and willing to lead us in wisdom and love. J.D.’s “sheep prayer” acknowledges his limitations: unable to figure things out, needing God’s wisdom, and willing to do whatever he knows to do. He trusts God with the rest. In what ways does the sheep prayer resonate with you? To what degree do you find comfort in naming your limitations and God’s abilities?
Believing that God will make your paths straight (verse 6) comes from trusting the Lord with all your heart (verse 5). Though we know we cannot control most things in life, we often carry the stressful burden of trying to figure it all out. Our great comfort comes from knowing God, who loves us and has the ability to guide our steps in all wisdom. Trusting him is liberating. What do you need to hand over to God today? What worries can you release into his trustworthy hands?
In Proverbs 3:5–6, God reminds us that we aren’t made to understand everything—as much as we might like to think we do. But, everything we can’t understand, he does. He is trustworthy, and he urges us to lay our burdens at his feet, to let go of our worry and stress. He has the power to make our paths straight, to handle the details, to work in ways unseen and unknown.
Think of your current burdens. Where are you still relying on your strength? Which needs do you ask God to help with, rather than trying to figure out on your own?
Write out those requests that you can’t seem to truly let go. Ask God to forgive your unbelief and to grant you faith to believe in his goodness and power in your life. As an act of faith, leave space on the page so you can write out the circumstances of how God will later answer your prayers. Memorize Proverbs 3:5–6 as a reminder to “just ask” for guidance from the all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-loving God.