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Discerning

Praying Creating Grieving Gathering Discerning Resting Peacemaking

For people seeking God, spiritual discernment is about inclining ourselves toward God's will. And that's a challenging task! Sometimes our souls are restless as we seek to discern God's will for our individual lives. We face vocational decisions like what career path to choose or God's calling on our lives. We face relational decisions about the friends we choose to surround ourselves with or our commitments to marriage partners. We encounter decisions about where to live, what to purchase with our money, and how to engage injustice in the world.

And those are primarily individual decisions. Communal discernment is also central to our lives. What should a friend group do when one friend is engaging in dangerous or addictive behavior? What should a faith community do to collectively make a difference in their neighborhood? How should a family discern how to move forward when facing job loss? Communal discernment may be addressed spiritually if the community invites God into the process.

As we seek to engage in discernment, however, we are bombarded by marketing, social media, and busyness. It is daunting to find even a little clarity as we listen for God's voice to cut through the noise. As we engage in discernment alone or in community, there are spiritual practices to help guide the way. May these practices provide a path to the clarity and light you may be seeking.

 


 

Discover

 


 

Practice

Discerning on your own

Studying the Bible
Examen
Discerning the Meaning of the Bible
Soul Care

Discerning with others

Lectio Divina
Communal Decision-Making
 

 


 

Go Deeper

Recommended Reading

If you are interested in this spiritual practice of discernment and you would like to explore more and with greater depth, here are some resources you might like to utilize:

Books

Practice, not Perfect

"It is as if we have been wandering in a foreign land looking for peace and purpose in our lives and a true sense of who we are. Jesus stands in our midst and beckons us home so that we can be restored to our true selves."

Henri Nouwen

 


 

Would you like someone to pray with you?

Ask the Office of the Chaplain.

Phone: 310.506.4017
Email: chaplain@pepperdine.edu
Follow: @pepperdinechaplain