"When did you decide to come for the weekend to celebrate our aunt's birthday?" I asked my cousin.
"Right after I got the letter," he said, but then quickly added, "Well, no, I prayed about it first."
The habit of always praying before deciding is a key to consistent obedience. Often we forget or we don't see the need. We have not because we ask not.
Everything should be the subject of prayer, not necessarily of prolonged prayer, but of a momentary call to God for help. To God nothing that concerns His children is too trivial to be mentioned.
If we always lift our moments of perplexity to Him, we discover that He's willing to direct every detail of our lives. "In him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28). We make no move, say no words, without His knowing it.
Often our greatest regrets result from simply failing to seek Him in all things even when we think the answer is obvious. Satan tries to deceive us by making the wrong decision seem so correct we don't need to ask for guidance.
God had warned Joshua not to make a treaty with people who lived close to them, so when the Gibeonites came with moldy bread and patched sandals, Joshua assumed they had come from afar. He and his men "sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the Lord" (Joshua 9:14).
The answer seemed obvious. Common sense told them what to do. We don't know if they forgot to inquire of the Lord or if the idea to inquire came and they rejected it. Satan's plans are often so subtle that we think we're making it fine choosing our own way. But the Holy Spirit, our Counselor who is with us always, invites us to bring our decisions before Him.
Dear Jesus, help me to train myself to prayerfully look to You on a moment-by-moment basis.
"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you" (Psalm 32:8).