30-Day Discernment Journal 

Maybe you’re trying to make a big decision, and you want to ask God what you should do. This is a simple guide to really seek God’s presence, wisdom, and help. 30 days allows you a whole month committed to one particular focus.

This is a blend of journaling, listening to the Father’s voice, and later on, receiving input from others in your community as they pray with you.

Set aside time every day for 30 days to listen to God and journal what He says.
  • Try to dedicate the same time each day to spend time listening; over the weeks you might notice patterns or recurring themes. 
  • If you can, get a new journal to write in (or make a copy of this document on your computer). 
  • Use a physical Bible (can be less distracting than reading from your phone.
  • Write down whatever you hear, and don’t filter/self-edit it. You can go through it later to discern.
  • Stay dedicated to your process and dialogue with God throughout the 30 days, rather than focus on the answer you hope to receive. Even if you sense a clear direction on day 2, spend the next 28 days processing and asking God to fill out what that might look like.

Phase 1: Share your Heart & Narrow Down your Options | Days 1-10

Present to God the options / possibilities you are considering. Tell him your intentions, thoughts, and hopes attached to these options. In this narrowing phase, list out all the options you can think of, and ask God to help you to narrow them down. Ideally, ask God to help you narrow down your list to 1-2 options by day 10. 

Phase 2: Asking Open-ended Questions | Days 11-20

This is the seeking phase, where we are allowing God to speak clearly in a specific direction. Rathering than asking God yes/no questions, ask open-ended questions and discipline yourself to sit quietly and hear the answers. Expect that He will answer in ways that are beyond what we ask and imagine! Write down what you sense without judging what comes to mind.* (See below about practices for discerning if what you hear is from God.)

Phase 3: Next Steps of Obedience | Days 21-30  

It is God’s privilege to conceal things and the king’s privilege to discover them. (Proverbs 25:2)  God wants us to engage with Him in listening to His voice!
This is the deepening phase, where we ask God for some detail and initial steps to move forward in obedience. This is an important step because it helps us move from a big idea/vision into specific actions. 

You can share what you’ve been discerning with trusted people around you (family members, trusted friends, pastors, etc.), and invite them to pray specifically about what you are discerning.  It’s best to share your process with people who align with your values and your faith. 

*Practices for Discernment

“Test all things; hold fast what is good.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21)  
It is important to always take time to discern and test what we hear, both on our own and with others in our trusted community. Here are some questions to ask in this discernment process:
  • Is it scriptural? (are you familiar with Bible passages that back it up?)
  • Does it display the character of God? (ex: God is Loving, Holy, Wise, Faithful, Just, Merciful, Kind, Forgiving, etc.)
  • What is the Spirit telling your inward witness? Does it resonate or is there a check/resistance in your spirit? (John 10:2-5) 
  • What do people around you (trusted community and leaders) discern about the word? (1 Thessalonians 5:20-21)
  • Does it glorify God?  Does it make you love God/others more?
Photos by Photos by Sixteen Miles Out, Milada Vigerova, Jon Tyson, Maja Petric