Psalms for Prayer: Day 15

A Prayer for Guidance


Today's Text: Psalm 143:1-12

Scripture Reading: Psalm 143:1-12

A few years ago my husband and I were in the middle of an agonizing time of decision-making. He was unemployed, we had a mortgage to pay, we were in the midst of a difficult season where we felt alone as a brand new married couple in a new city, new church, and new job for me. On top of all that, there were some peripheral difficulties clouding our judgment. It was one of those times in life where I felt completely alone and as though any decision we might make would have catastrophic results. Our circumstances weren’t even at their worst yet, but even at that point, we felt paralyzed in the midst of indecision. No direction seemed right or good or sufficient or joyful or enough for anyone else, let alone us.

It was in the midst of this indecision that one of us read these words from pastor and author Scotty Smith:

Grant us peace as we make important decisions. Some of us are facing career changes, church choices, economic challenges, and health issues. Free us from the foolish notion that there is only one right choice to make. Actually, there is only one right God to trust, and that is you. Lead us, as we lean on you, Father.

This quote nudged something in us both, and it is the same nudging I feel when I read Psalm 143:8:

Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love,
for in you I trust.
Make me know the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul.

So often we are duped into believing there is only one right decision in front of us. When the way seems cloudy, as it often does, we can find ourselves paralyzed with the fear that we’ll make the wrong decision. But this psalm of David shows us the way. It is a compass for directional purposes: Let me hear your steadfast love. In you I trust. To you I lift up my soul.

Where do I look when I don’t know where to look? To Him. To His love, His trustworthiness, His help. It is the only place my soul will find rest, the only trustworthy place, and the only love that will not let me go.

What decisions are you facing today? What needs to be done or said or moved or broken or taken up? What opinions or thoughts or fears or refrains are you replaying over and over again in your mind? What closed doors or open doors do you see? Now, lift up your eyes, lift up your soul, and see your Maker, your God, your friend, your Savior. If He is your truest north, and serving Him, being loved by Him, and obeying Him is your greatest good, then take a step. Then another. And another. We may never know the direction life is taking us, but we can know the God who keeps us and guides us on the way He is leading us.


Lore Ferguson Wilbert is a writer, thinker, and learner. She blogs at Sayable, and tweets and instagrams at @lorewilbert. She has a husband named Nate, a puppy named Harper Nelle, and too many books to read in one lifetime.

  • Debbie Lyles

    I went for healing today at Church. It was amazing to feel all the prayers. I am completely trusting the Lord to heal me and this message today is perfect….He is leading us.

  • Amy Beth

    I’m facing a medication change for my autoimmune condition. So this was a timely reminder for me that God is in control, and we can find the right treatment for me.

  • Stephanie

    This was so what I needed to hear/read today. This passage is the words I am trying to say and feel but didn’t know how to word it. Thank you That we serve a God who knows exactly where we need to go and when we need to do it. Lord help me to lean into your truth and grace, as well as keep my eyes focused and trained on you!

  • Katie Walker

    This is so incredibly beautiful and freeing. Thanks so much for leaning into our good Father and being used as a vessel for Him. Love this.

  • Karen Bailey

    I want to focus more on trusting you, Jesus, knowing you will lead me in the right path. I don’t need to walk in fear to miss your way when i am seeking your face. I love you Jesus!

  • Alyssa Baker

    I love this! So often I am weighed down by making decisions and praying that I choose what is within God’s will for me. Instead, trusting God in whatever decision I make. He is within every decision. What a patient and loving God.

  • Denise Powers Fabian

    Yes, in the morning tell me of your steadfast love, especially when I step into work each day.

  • Amber Capece-Price

    This devotional was my prayer today!! I don’t need all the answers or the control. Just need to trust the process and lift my soul to Him.

  • KC Derond

    This helped lead me back to where I needed to be. This devotion was literally a God send. This is exactly what I needed. So interesting how the Lord can work in your life if you let Him!

  • Jessica Cousins

    I really needed this today. I’ve been blessed with an abundance of choices about my future once I return from deployment. I began getting really overwhelmed with everything and didn’t know what to do and was losing my happiness. I’ve restarted my journey with Christ and I’m learning I don’t need all the answers. I just need to trust the process and have faith I will end up where he wants me to do.

  • Nicole Rannefeld

    I read this message two days late last night. I came from a day with lots of frustration about my job situation. But god did something great: he scared my frustration away and the anger had to leave. The afternoon was just a whole lot better for no reason. No circumstance had changed. God went big.
    I was reminded last night that it’s important to trust the right god rather than going the only right way. This really stuck with me. – glory be to god! Amen

  • Fighting against satan while in the midst of wondering how to approach a matter without awful words being said. Feeling all sorts of things and leaning onto my own understanding instead of God. Then I gave in and sat down to read His word and read this to. Wow. Thank you so much for this. Waiting and trusting Him to be there thru it with us. To not jump ahead and make a mistake that I possibly couldn’t reverse. Then felt Jesus say” if I went to the cross for you, I can handle this to. Just be in Me and not in the spotlight”. I have to remember He’s got this!!!! Thank you Lore for this and for what you do for us to lead us closer to Him instead of away! ❤️

  • What a relief to know that our futures are already known and determined by God! He will lead us where He needs us!

  • Natasha Reyes

    Surrender, and take the first step. He’ll take care of us! God is so good!

  • Kyea Council

    This hits home for me . As my spouse and I are in a place of confusion and just scrambling to decide what would be best for our child . We don’t know what to do and I know I need to lean on God. I am struggling with faith . I need God to show us an answer about where we should move , what we should do. I connect to this piece today because I do feel paralyzed at the thought of indecisiveness . I need Father God to help my family .

    • She Reads Truth

      Hi Kyea, thank you for sharing. We’re praying for you and your husband during this time -for comfort, guidance, and encouragement. So grateful that you’re here! -Margot, The SRT Team

    • Gema Muniz

      Hi Kyea, I’m sorry to hear you are going through a difficult moment, but I would like to encourage you by telling you not to allow fear to paralyze you. Many times God seems silent during these difficult moments, but I have learned to press on and Keep moving. If God doesn’t tell you not to do something than you should continue going down the path you were in. If you place your faith in God and you are doing sonething he doesn’t agree with be certain he will place obstacles and not allow it to happen. Have faith sister and press on.

    • Kezia Goodman

      Faith is the one thing I struggle with as well. Especially since God asked me to walk in Radical Faith this year- can you say turn it up to 100?! But his word says That we can’t please him without faith… that’s what keeps me grounded- I pray it does for you as well.

  • I’m in the midst of a valley. My marriage is in shambles, poised for divorce. I feel like God has given me an out, yet I hesitate to take the next step. Afraid of what the future will hold, afraid of how either path will affect my children. Wanting to dial everything back to two weeks ago, but unable to unsee what I’ve seen. Uncertain if I can forgive let alone trust again. I needed this prayer tonight. Not my will but his be done.

    • Victoria

      Praying for you and your family.

    • Laura

      I have been where you are, KD, two years ago, and I’m still fighting that battle.But God has remained faithful and I have fought to put my trust in Him. Healing is possible…I believe it…but sometimes time is needed…for God to do His work in us, in our spouse. I would encourage you to give Time (God’s timing) it’s place and allow Time (God) to work. Keep praying, keep reading God’s word, stay close to God. He is the only One we can ultimately trust.

    • Susan Simmons

      I was in you very spot 4 years ago and I waited on God to lead, taking one day at a time and not making any quick decisions and all worked out as it should in the end. The journey was hard at times but I knew everyday God was there guiding me with a still small voice…I will say a prayer for you today!

    • Natasha Reyes

      I have been in a similar situation in the past, it is HARD. I’m praying for you!

  • Erica Askren

    What a great lesson today. I was struck by the fact that so many times I get bogged down thinking there is just one solution to a problem. This was a good reminder to keep my focus on the Lord and those side views will blur into fuzziness that will sharpen my vision.

  • Allyson Rivera

    It’s amazing the peace God gives you when you simply lean on him in decision making. I am not yet sure if the doors will even open but I am not afraid of it nor will I fret over it in the meantime because I am trusting His perfect timing!

  • Amanda Montgomery

    Fear, so awfully, plagues so many believers in so many aspects of life–even in our decision making! What great godly wisdom from Pastor Scotty Smith through Lore–just trust Him! Just love Him. Just seek his presence. Stand firm in standing with the one right God. The God of the Universe, who made heaven and earth and everything in it. The God who made us in His image to glorify His name. Father, just guide us, your Church, to this Truth as we make decisions. We love you.

  • Ana Lisa Johnson

    Yes God is bigger than any decisions that lie before us. I can trust Him to be in control and I can take a step of faith and trust him with the consequences. Thankful for your faithful love, Lord!

  • Andrea Pecukaitis

    This is my favorite Psalm so far! I ordered an Intent bracelet and with the Psalm 143 on it!

  • Monica Davis

    Great day! This was On. Time. OMG.

  • Brittany Holmes

    I have a friend who has made it her life Motto for her and her family to focus on doing the next right thing, one step at a time. “The steps of the righteous (wo)’man are ordered by the Lord.”

  • Yesterday one of our 4 year old Sunday School students asked what it means to take up your cross daily. Caught off guard by the question I fumbled for an answer that she would understand.

    In thinking about it since then, I’ve thought about how I have wrestled with that question. What does it mean for me to take up my cross daily and follow Him? What paralyzes me is whether or not I am doing it at all and if I’m picking up the cross that He intends for me to carry that day.

    I love verses 143: 8 “Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.” If I look to Him first thing in the morning and trust that He is with me then I need not fear that I will fail. It isn’t a question of getting the ‘right’ answer, but to look to God and know that He is with me and will guide me.

    It fills me with awe the way each of the Psalms have nuggets that I’ve never noticed before. God is so good to always be showing us new things that fill our soul with joy and wonder.

  • Kim Pullman

    This reflects what I have come across several times the last few days. When times of decisions come, pray about them and give God time to work and for you to hear his direction. I love that there is no “right” decision. Other than to trust your life to God!

  • These scriptures and devotion came at the perfect time as usual! I have a job interview tomorrow and it’s all come about so quickly. If offered the position, I would be leaving a job of 10 years. I am so fearful of making the wrong choice! It was encouraging to read that sometimes there is more than one right or good choice. I just have to keep my eyes on God and rest in the peace only He can provide.

  • Shannon Sims

    Trusting Him has to begin all over again and he will always make the right choice for us!

    • Amanda Montgomery

      Yes, over and over and over. Daily we must surrender and in return, daily, His mercies are new. You’re right–the one right God does not make wrong decisions!

  • Tanya Rodriguez

    I prayed the Scotty Smith lines and I experienced breakthrough for my home group in church. Can’t wait to see what God unfolds

  • I suffer from periods of anxiety and verse 3 spoke to me today, “My enemy has hunted me down and completely defeated me. He has put me in a dark prison, and I am like those who died long ago. ” This exactly describes how I feel on bad days, but I am reminded every morning of His constant love. Thank you Lord for always being there for us. Amen.

  • Liz Tardo

    Exactly what I needed today. Spoke to my heart. Find myself trying to figure everything out in my own power and man the stress that comes from that! It’s quite freeing to rely on God.

  • Perfect timing. As I was reading this today I thought “this is me!” The devotional, too, was just what I needed to hear. Thank you very much. Prayers for all of us in this place.

  • Lord, I lift up all these dear daughters of yours, each having choices to make. Be with every one, showing us where to walk. That even with small steps, we would seek to honor you. Thank you for your unfailing love and that you can make all things beautiful. Help us to hear you and see the next step we need to take to be closer you. In the blessed name of Jesus, Amen.

  • Amy Alexandra

    This devotion is just what I need right now. I’ve been living with my parents on the mission field where I grew up while finishing my online degree. Now, I have less than a year left in college, and by the end of this year I need to decide what country I’m going to live in after I graduate. The logical choice is to move back to the States, where I have family and a church eager to have me back. Part of me wants to go, and I think being part of a mature church would be a positive growing experience for me that will enable me to be of more use in the Lord’s work in the future, but I don’t feel absolutely sure that that’s God’s plan for me. I can’t bear the thought of moving all that way without the peace and confidence that I’m doing His will, but I feel just as uneasy about staying—the mission field is much too grueling and emotionally draining to go into without a clear calling from God. It’s comforting to be reminded of this truth: if honoring and obeying God is my chief purpose in life, all I need to do is “take a step. Then another. And another.” If I am seeking to follow Him every day of my life, He will not let me stray outside His will. I don’t have to know His plan today—I just have to keep taking one more step toward my Master.

  • Love this, always perfect in timing.

  • Churchmouse

    This devotion is much needed right now and a confirmation as well. My husband is transitioning to a slower pace and while I’m rejoicing, he’s struggling. So much of his identity and self esteem comes from his work. The transition is giving us great opportunity to talk about and trust in God’s will for the rest of our lives. The conversations have been honest and revealing and I’m so grateful. Today’s Psalm and devotion reflect what we’re feeling and Who we want to please through it all. We are determined to follow His leading and lean ever into Him. There are some side issues that can be distracting and discouraging BUT we’re trying to keep our eyes laser focused on the trust North Star. Please keep us in your prayers as we step out in faith in this new journey. To God be the glory.

    • KimN

      Praying for you and your hubby today. That you would grow through this time of transition, drawing closer to God and each other. That the Lord would guide you both and give you a mighty work to do for His kingdom (whatever that might look like!). For peace and wisdom as you love your husband through his struggle and as you set out on a new adventure together with God!

    • PamC

      Churchmouse, it sounds like we’re in a similar place. The transition also means we’ll need to sell the house. Owning a home was one of my husband’s biggest dreams and we were late in buying one, so to sell is really daunting. We could use prayers as well as we’ve got surrounding issues that are holding up some steps we need to be taking.

  • This series is coming at the perfect time in my life. I’m about to graduate college and hardships of the past few months have given way to doubt and insecurity in my relationship with Christ and His plan for me. The next step is ahead of me and I faced with big decisions. I need Him more than ever. But praying is hard when faith is shaken. But these little moments when I sit and read, giving myself a bit of time for a reality check, it becomes a bit easier. These have been guiding my prayer in the morning so that I can feel His presence throughout the day. I hold on to Psalm 143 today as I face important and life-changing events. Make me know the way I should go, for you I lift up my soul.

  • Vicki Del Boccio

    He is my truest north. Love that! Just what I needed to hear today. Thank you.

  • Caralee Lilly

    What a blessing and encouragement the Word is. There are so many unknowns in any future and I guess that’s why we are called to trust and not worry. His eyes are on the sparrows and the hairs of our heads are counted. He is so good.

  • This devotional couldn’t have come at a more fitting time in my life. I just graduated from college on Friday and have been anxious and stressed about finding a job. It seemed like everyone else locked down a job before graduation and it was beginning to make me feel left behind. I’m praying to find the perfect job for me soon and this excerpt from Psalm is just what I needed to hear this morning!

  • This couldn’t be more representative of the place my family has been in for about 15 months now, as we have tried to navigate life after my husband very unexpectedly lost his job in a time when there are few positions available in his particular type of work that would fulfill our needs, let alone allow for promotion. To say there has been humbling and a complete turnover of trust is an understatement, as we had months we were looking ahead to and wondering where our provision would come from, in addition where my husband would land a job. He finally received a permanent position in December in a city 8 hours away and we’ve been making it work before preparing to move but at this point there is nothing about it that feels like it is the job or the city are the right fit and so we are ever more prayerful that a job that fits the bill become available quickly before we absolutely have to move. We easily fall into the trap of worrying that one won’t come, of forcing this move because maybe this is the “right one” and we just don’t see it but we’ve been blessed with folks who lovingly remind us to continue in patience, to trust that what we want matters and that we do have choices. Sometimes that’s really hard to see for the fog. This perpetual limbo can be so hard on us as our kids want to prepare for life in a new city (somewhere), as our eldest wants to start the apartment hunt here for her college apartment AND wrap her brain around being without us but we have to keep asking her to wait because we just don’t know what will come, as I want to be able to settle my own business here after working so hard to see it fruitful and as my husband would like to see increase after all his hard work AND be able to live in the same home as his family. Thank goodness for scriptures like Psalm 143 that remind us who our eyes should be on, where our trust should go and that He is worthy of it. He will not disappoint, He will not forsake and He will always find ways to lead us. Praising God for His great provision, for His miracles and for His unending mercies and love.

    • Jami

      That is a hard place to be, Betsy, I’m sorry you’ve been in it for so long. Praying for resolution and peace from God for you and your sweet family!

    • Churchmouse

      Prayers for discernment followed by contentment. It’s a tough road you’re on and such a long journey. Praying for your and all your family to keep your eyes on Jesus. Your trust in Him is a worthy testimony.

    • Tina

      B. Adding my prayers to yours my friend…
      Your season has been long and difficult.. but God He is in this season with you, though it may not seem like it sometimes…
      Philippians 4:6 says … Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking Him with a thankful heart.
      He is faithful. He is true. He is just. He will see your season through to completion. He will have the last word… and it will be good and true, noble and right, perfect and honourable..
      Lifting my voice with yours dear heart, in praising and glorifying Him who has us all in His hands..
      I love you B..
      Sending love wrapped hugs with prayers of thanksgiving for you and yours. Xxxx

  • He never fails, does He? I haven’t been spending time in the Word lately and I surely feel the chaos of my life and miss the quiet, the still that there is when I am devoting time to that. So I decided last night to get up early before the kids and pray and read a Psalm. Somewhere in the depths of my mind I remembered hearing that SRT was doing or had done Psalms recently. So off to the website I went. My instinct at first was to go back to Day 1 so that I wasn’t jumping in in mid-stream and just get caught up. But then I thought no…that is one more thing to add to my plate and I am already overwhelmed. So I started today…on Day 15…and it was written just for me. When life is overwhelming…YES…when you are paralyzed by the fear of making the right decision…YES…when you worry there is only 1 right way and you are going to miss it…YES! The reminder that there is only one right, true God and that if I seek to follow Him then I am doing the right thing is just what I needed this morning. Literally I could feel the tightness in my chest about decisions that have to be made about work easing as I read. He is so faithful, even when I am not. Praise God.

  • “Our verse” for our 32 years of marriage has been Proverbs 3: 5&6! When we were going through a crisis of any kind, big or small I’d ask my husband, usually in hysterics, “what are we going to do”? And he would say “I know what we’re going to do. We’re going to ‘ trust in the Lord with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding. In all our ways we’ll acknowledge Him. And He will direct our paths.'” So thankful for a godly husband and a God who can guide in every circumstance!

    • Stephanie

      This is our marriage verse, too! We had it read at our wedding (7 years ago!) and our pastor based his sermon on it. I love that you say it to each other! I’m going to try that. Congrats on 32 years!

  • Melissa Williamson

    This spoke right to my soul this morning. Thank you.

    • Beth Ritchason

      My soul as well! I’m Always amazed at Gods perfect timing to show me just what I need to hear. Trusting Him each step!!

  • Katalina Gonzalez

    Much needed with the current situation I’m living in now with my family. God is always faithful and He never forsakes us !

  • Lisa Shinn

    Thank you so much for this reminder… and I have been learning also that decisions are not as permanent as we may think they are either. A yes now may be no in a year… I have to stop trying to plan everything out. :-)

  • Kelly Chataine

    Such a timely Psalm. Grant us, Dennis and I, peace as we make important decisions concerning his health, our finances, and our future. Free us from the foolish notion that there is only one right choice to make. Actually, there is only one right God to trust, and that is you. Lead us, as we lean on you, Father.

  • Mia Herne

    What a timely message ! I have been struggling to regain my joy and to accomplish my list of “things to do ” . I have felt discombobulated as I struggle to find my way to get back on track. From what I read last night about recapturing my joy that the enemy has taken from me and now reading this I am ready to get back on the path the LORD has set before me. He is my GPS. Its all about taking that reminder we see on that penny laying on the sidewalk and activate it. Its all about trust and obey for there is no other way !

  • I’ve been struggling with my faith for a while, being fearful of completely giving myself over to God because the idea that He has a plan that is so much greater than all of us for some reason makes my life right now feel false. It’s been a bit of a head-heart struggle! This has been the first time in months that I’ve read my Bible privately, apart from church, and to see that Psalm 143 was the reading for today really said a lot! These verses really spoke to me, because it’s exactly how I’ve been feeling – like I’ve been wallowing in darkness: “The enemy pursues me, he crushes me to the ground; he makes me dwell in the darkness like those long dead.”

    • Brandi

      Make me know the way I should walk because I entrust myself to You.v8b Such a sweet healing balm to my heart this am. You are loved dear sister. With a love that never ends by a Father Who knows the end from the beginning.

    • She Reads Truth

      Thanks for sharing Amy. We’re praying for you and are so grateful that you’re here! -Margot, The SRT Team

  • This is just awesome!

    A most timely devotional.

    My younger sister fell out with me last summer, because I said something she didn’t like… its been hard being ignored, or not spoken to over these past months. I have often thought to get in touch, but was held back by the fear of her words…

    But God.

    He made me know the way I should go,
    for to Him I lifted up my soul… I sent her a text asking when she was next in London, to meet and talk on Friday morning..
    This morning I found a response in my inbox. There was no love in the message just matter of fact… she will be in London on Saturday, as will I, to visit our mum… (prayers will be much appreciated then). God has again gone ahead of the game, His timing, His faithfulness evident .. I am trusting this is the one right God’s timing, His will.
    …You are absolutely and wholeheartedly my God; teach me to do your will.
    Be good to me and guide me Lord God on a safe path…using the right words..
    As you have promised, in your goodness save me from my troubles!

    Thank you Lord God for your presence and grace … for your faithfulness… and for your guidance throughout..
    Joy filled because I know Lord God, that whatever the happens at Saturday s meeting, You have gone ahead through prayer to have the right outcome!
    I love your faithful love Lord God!!!
    Thank you Lord. Thank you.

    Happy Monday ! Praying the Lord God turn His face to shine on you and your today… xxx

    • Lesley

      Praying for you and your sister, Tina, that your meeting on Saturday is positive and for peace and reconciliation.

    • Terri

      The word of God is love. Having the love of God , sharing the love of God, being the love of God to her, and having the attitude reflective of God. Praying for you.

    • Churchmouse

      Praying for you and your sister as you meet on Saturday. I’m praying for good attitudes and listening ears for you both. I have a sister with whom I am estranged. It has been on and off for years. She takes offense about something and I don’t even know she’s offended until the contact stops and the silence looms large. I reach out. On several occasions we’ve met to talk and I leave thinking there’s been a reconciliation of sorts. Time goes by and it repeats itself. This seemed a habit while my parents were alive. Now they are both gone and my sister has effectively ceased any contact with nearly all her siblings. The reason is unknown to me. I still reach out to her on her birthday and holidays and am met with silence in return. I don’t know if she enjoys us chasing her or what. She is divorced, no children, says she’s an atheist though she once was a believer. I don’t understand and have prayed much about the situation. She can be quite caustic in her remarks. All this to say, it takes effort and the desire of both for true reconciliation to take place. I’ve come to the realization that I am to continue to reach out as I do in the hope she will one day reach back. Tina, I pray for you to be sincere in your approach and at peace with whatever the result may be. I sincerely desire for my sister to return to the Lord and be a part of our remaining family. I’m at peace (though sad) that she may not walk through our ever open door. Family… Not easy sometimes.

  • Drue AshleyStroud

    This could not have been more relevant any day in my life than it is today. No matter the choice we make, when we trust in him, he’ll make it the right one. Making the choice to trust him is far more important than the worldly decisions we face.

  • Being free of a singular right choice! This new perspective and knowledge gladdens me knowing that my trust in God is far more important and will guide my choices.

  • Reading this truth this morning feels my heart with great Joy, knowing the right God I serve helps me to make the right decision. In every step I believe He is here with me. Please Sisters I need prayers for my dads Health, Doctors says it’s cancer but I believe only the report of the Lord. I have faith my dad is totally cancer free in the name of Jesus. Amen.

  • I’ve been a silent reader of this devotional for a while and today we have to
    make a decision. It’s so timely that I’ve read this just hours before I’ve to click yes or no on a program…it’s so nice to know the right God. Thank you for this post. To God be the glory!

  • truthseeker

    This. Is. So Needed. To. Hear.
    Wow ! What a perspective of how to view the process of decision making.
    Thank you so much for this.

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