Prayer Exercise Before Making Big Decisions

Prayer Exercise Before Making Big Decisions July 25, 2015

Discerning with the Word: A Guided Lectio Divina for Those in Discernment
“What do you seek?”

By Sr. Marie-Paul Curley, FSP

Day appears at last … and in the very disk of the sun shines face of Jesus Christ by Odilon Redon, Completion Date: 1896

Introduction: We may not notice, but many times when Jesus encounters someone, he asks them a question about what they want. In this reading, Andrew and John, who would become two of Jesus’ chosen apostles, meet Jesus for the first time. As you pray with this reading, imagine Jesus directing this question to you. How would you answer?

Lectio: John 1:35-42

The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, ‘Look, here is the Lamb of God!’ The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, ‘What are you looking for?’ They said to him, ‘Rabbi’ (which translated means Teacher), ‘where are you staying?’ He said to them, ‘Come and see.’ They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon. One of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his brother Simon and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which is translated Anointed). He brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said, ‘You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Cephas’ (which is translated Peter).

Read through this reading slowly and attentively at least twice. Can you imagine yourself as one of the people in this story, and how you might feel? Take your time praying with it.


Jesus begins his relationship with Andrew and John by asking them what they want. Andrew and John answer Jesus in a way that seems ordinary but that actually expresses their desire to get to know Jesus better, to “stay” with him. Jesus responds to their desires–both spoken and unspoken. This initial encounter was so transformative for Andrew that he immediately went off and convinced his brother Simon to meet Jesus. The meeting between Jesus and Simon is even more dramatic, as Jesus doesn’t just call Simon by name, but gives him a new name, “Peter.”

As we begin to discern, Jesus asks us this same question, “What are you looking for?”

What are your dreams? What are you looking for? Share one of your deep desires or dreams with Jesus now.


You have shared with God a dream or desire important to you. Now, take some quiet time to listen. How might God communicate to you his dreams for you?

God may respond in word, in a feeling, in making things work out…or God may respond in silence. But God always responds to us.


God’s Dream for Me based on the writings of Bl. James Alberione

Your dream, O Master, is to lay hold of me with your divine life.
Your dream is to purify me, to recreate me,
to make me a new person in your image.
Your dream is to fill me with your love, to make me love the Father and all my brothers and sisters just as you do.
Your dream is to draw me to you with the closest of bonds, to unite my heart with yours, to make me strong,
to impart to me your divine power
so that I can overcome evil and be constant in doing good.
Your dream is to inflame me with an untiring zeal to spread your kingdom.
Your dream is to possess me in this life and in the life to come.
O Master, may your dream come true!
May I be able to give all you ask of me. Amen.*

* From Live Christ! Give Christ! Prayers for the New Evangelization


Try to be aware of your hopes for the day each morning.
Next, start to bring your “hopes” to prayer.
Imagine Jesus looking at you and asking you, “What do you want me to do for you today?”

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