Discernment: Seeking Divine Guidance through Inspired Questions, Imagery, and Prayer

Feb 12 / Laura Lies

Discerning God’s guidance is one of the most universal needs of the spiritual journey. We invite you to rediscover ancient wisdom that you can apply to complex issues in our day. Consider these resources and questions to aid your discernment process today.


Walk through a thorough discernment process such as the following:

Ignatian Discernment Process. Consider 11 Steps to Making a Decision. A classic approach from St. Ignatius of Loyola that is over 500 years old in the making and still radically relevant today.  The core question Ignatius brings us back to repeatedly: Which option will bring the most glory to the Divine and be expressive of my own, deepest, authentic self? Best honor the Divine, my neighbor, and myself?

Walking through a Guided Meditation process.  Picture yourself in the Scriptural story. Be inspired by encouraging messages. Nourish your soul through over a dozen approaches to seek Divine guidance.

Pondering Spiritual Questions. Receive the gift of provocative questions that lovingly open you up without judgment.

Go on a self-guided Vision Quest or Silent Retreat.

Questions to Ponder: 

What am I longing for? What can’t I not do? How am I uniquely called, gifted, and positioned at this time? Who is already coming to me for encouragement? Who might be my personal niche to serve? What is being asked of me? What is mine to do? Who are mine to love? What is my current image of myself? How am I being invited to expand this image? How is this act expanding me? My soul? My borders? What is holding me back from moving forward? What have I got to lose? What needs to die within me to ‘welcome the new’?

Unlocking the clarity you seek.

What has God already put in your hand? Where has he positioned you? How has he gifted you? (Skills, personality, charisms, fruit of the Spirit, etc.) How might your past help to inform your future? How do you feel as others attempt to persuade you, one way or the other?   

Classic Prayers to bring you to a place of Freedom in your Discernment:


The Merton Prayer

“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.

I do not see the road ahead of me.

I cannot know for certain where it will end.

Nor do I really know myself,

and the fact that I think that I am following your will

does not mean that I am actually doing so.

But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.

And I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing.

I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.

And I know that if I do this, you will lead me by the right road

though I may know nothing about it.

Therefore, will I trust you always

though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.

I will not fear, for you are ever with me,

and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”

–Thomas Merton


The Welcoming Prayer Practice

“Welcome, welcome, welcome.

I welcome everything that comes to me in this moment because I know it is for my healing.

I welcome all thoughts, feelings, emotions, persons, situations, and conditions.

I let go of my desire for security.

I let go of my desire for approval. I let go of my desire for control.

I let go of my desire to change any situation, condition, person, or myself.

I open to the love and presence of God and the healing action and grace within.”

--Mary Mrozowski 1925-1993 The creator and spiritual mother of the Welcoming Prayer Practice (colleague of Fr. Thomas Keating.)

Laura Lies
Laura Ann Lies is from Chicago, with a Certificate in Spiritual Direction. She specializes in helping people with Discernment and Decision Making, Seeking God’s Presence, and Navigating major life transitions. For the past seven years, she has supported a full-time Spiritual Direction practice of over 30 clients, publishing over 85 blog posts, and welcoming nearly 50 thousand unique visitors to the website. Learn more at https://streamsgrace.com/ and https://eremos.site/course-growing-your-spiritual-direction-practice/