Pray for Discernment

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Romans 12:2 (ESV)

I found myself reading a site recently that I rarely read: The Jerusalem Post. I’d been hearing comments about some recent events taking place over there, so I wanted to find out more.

Mind you, I am not one who pays much attention to the happenings there. I look at it like this – there has been, is and always will be (in my lifetime) “events” happening in and around Israel. The individual characters may change, but the plot does not.

Israel is God’s. They are His chosen people, and it is the land He promised to the Jewish people, by covenant. Other religions, peoples lay claim to the region, but it belongs to God’s chosen people.


It was near the time of the Passover holiday, so naturally there are going to be news stories on regional clashes. In one of the stories, I read about the Israeli army knocking out a Syrian drone. They didn’t destroy it, mind you, but they did capture it.

Why? Because they wanted to study it.

I thought about that for a few moments.

Naturally, my first thought was, why did they want to study it? As soon as I asked myself that question, I thought, “knowledge”. Israel wants to know what their enemy is doing. You gain understanding by studying their tactics or capturing one of the enemy’s weapons. In this case, they captured a drone.

Because my brain works fast, my next thought with the drone was technology. Technology is increasing rapidly. Each generation’s “knowledge” is increasing with the use of said technology. Lives are easier. Information, whether accurate or not, is easier to access than ever. We’re more “connected” to each other and those around the world.

Today, we know more information than at any time in history.

But, do we have wisdom?


And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

Philippians 1:9-11 (ESV)

My brain started running through scriptures about knowledge and wisdom. But, the Lord spoke to me and said, “Pray for discernment.”

Hmm. Briefly, I wondered why, but then I remembered the story from The Jerusalem Post.

Knowledge is about gaining information. We go to school to gain knowledge, to learn about the information being taught to us. We read books, websites, magazines or articles to gain knowledge. But, how does that differ from wisdom?

Knowledge usually refers to information or awareness that someone has about a subject, whether from education or experience, as in “she has a lot of first-hand knowledge about the video game industry as both a player and a designer.” Wisdom refers instead to someone’s good sense, judgment, or insight (“he demonstrated wisdom by not responding to the taunts of his political opponent”)—in other words, to their ability to process, apply, or otherwise act on knowledge.


The actual Merriam-Webster definition of “wisdom” is: ability to discern inner qualities and relationships. “Discern” is part of wisdom.

Is that why God was telling me to pray for discernment?


One recent night, I could not sleep.

Earlier, my husband shared a story about some recent governmental activity. My mind was racing to the point where I had to type my thoughts out on the matter.

While typing, I began thinking about how people are so deceived right now. I worried about my children and grandchildren being deceived by the ‘truth of society’. My anxiety grew. Fret became my companion. Then I heard, “In these last days, pray for discernment.”

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people

2 Timothy 3:1-5 (ESV)

I also like how the NIV says it, starting with verse 2:

People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

  • Lovers of self
  • Lovers of money
  • Proud
  • Boastful or arrogant
  • Abusive
  • Disobedient to their parents
  • Ungrateful
  • Unholy
  • Heartless or without love
  • Unappeasable or unforgiving
  • Slanderous
  • Without self-control
  • Brutal
  • Not loving (or lovers of the) good
  • Treacherous
  • Rash or reckless
  • Conceited
  • Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God
  • Having the appearance or form of godliness but denying its power

“In the last days…”

Why should we “pray for discernment”? Read the list again. Then, read the scripture below.

 Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 (ESV)

Reading that list, it would be easy to worry about the future when you look at the state of America right now. It would be effortless to fret or become anxious for the next generation. I see it in my own life, at times, and the lives of many Christians today.

“Let no one deceive you in any way.”


I’ve reached a point on this post where I could say so much more, but I think it might be rambling, to some, at this point. That’s the nature of my brain. It sometimes goes into overdrive when I write.

Perhaps, maybe, just maybe, that’s another reason the Lord is telling me to pray for discernment.

People talk for hours about the state of America or the world right now. But it’s important that we understand the spiritual things happening beyond what we see with our human eyes.

If we want to understand what the enemy of our souls is doing, we must pray for discernment. Don’t be moved by what we see. Be moved by what God has said and is saying to us right now.

Pray for discernment.


Knees Down, Prayers Up


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