This is probably what I pray for most often. At least when I am praying for direction. I don’t usually pray for God to show me the way. I pray for closed doors. Fast, quick, slamming doors.
I do this because sometimes if I ask for God to show me the way, the enemy will also show me a way. Maybe a couple of ways. Then I’m faced with two (sometimes three or more) different “ways.” That only makes the decision harder and more confusing. I then have to be able to look at all my options and discern which is God’s way - but that’s not always easy for me. I tend to see what I want to see, not what I need to see. I don’t always trust myself to “see” objectively.
So, I don’t like to choose... especially when the decision involves something very important or monumental. I would rather God choose for me. One, because God is all-knowing and Almighty. Two, because He sees what is up ahead in ways that I cannot.
He not only has a bird’s-eye view of my life and my journey, but He also has a very in-depth view of it because He designed it. It is GOD who carved out the “perfect” path for me. And it’s on THAT path (God‘s path) that He wants to bless me. It’s along that path that he has scattered His greatest grace and positioned people and places and things to help and prosper me.
So yes, I want God to show me the way, but I prefer He does it through closed doors—through a process of elimination, I guess you could say—because I want to make sure it’s the RIGHT path.
This is a very effective prayer... but, guys, also a very hard prayer because it’s one that God answers faithfully. So you have to be prepared for things to NOT work out. Maybe your weekend plans will cancel, a relationship will fail, you won’t get that promotion, or that house, or that job.
At first, it can feel like rejection, even abandonment by God. But it’s really an answered prayer. It’s really His help and provision. He’s providing guidance and direction in the most obvious, helpful, and concrete way.
Sometimes I feel like a mouse in a maze, totally clueless about which direction to go, but when God closes a door in my life it’s like He is walling off all the dead ends in my little maze. It’s like He’s singling out the winning path. He’s making it clear for me.
And sometimes... sometimes I pray for closed doors when I’ve already unknowingly taken a few steps in the wrong direction... and then it’s like He literally has to knock the path out from under me. Those moments are tough. Real tough. But again, they’re blessings.
I don’t know... I know I’m rambling, but if there’s anyone out there feeling down tonight because things just aren’t happening, or going your way... keep your chin up, friend. Closed doors are leading you to God’s way. Which is waaaaay better than your way. It’s hard to see now, but you’ll understand someday. And on that day — when the blessings are so abundant you can hardly believe it — you’ll thank God He didn’t let you go down that other road. Trust me. I can’t count the number of times I’ve said “Thank God that didn’t work out” usually about something that seemed heartbreaking and crushing at the time. So pick your chin up and keep walking. You’re on your way to blessing. He’s good like that. 😉