Does God lead us?

I went to a different church tonight and I met a rather interesting priest to say the least. He seemed like a clown who likes to tell jokes and he also seems like the type who would rather tell it like it is even if it meant not being polite.

I mentioned something about praying to God to lead me to my next job. Since I am single with no kids, it is only logical that I work since I don’t have duties such as child rearing to tend to. He told me that God does not lead us, that we do our own work and find our own jobs :confused:

So I asked him ‘why are high school graduates told to pray to help them decided where to go to further their education’ he said it is good to pray but ultimately they make the decision, God does not lead them :confused:

So I am wondering what other people think. And I guess the reality is, the only thing people can offer is their opinions.

I was always of the mind set that I should pray for God’s will, yet it is my responsibility to do the work to carry His will out. I don’t expect God to just hand me things on a silver platter, I know I have to do my part.



I would suggest nobody on Earth knows all of the many, many workings of Our Lord.

“Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.”
“I plead with you! Never, ever give up on hope, never doubt, never tire, and never become discouraged. Be not afraid.”
“If He asks much of you, it is because He knows you can give much.”

  • St Pope John Paul II

Our Lady of Fatima led me to live in Ohio.
St. Michael the Archangel led me once to Washington, D.C. for the March for Life to take photos.
My guardian angel leads me … recently, to a very nice birthday surprise such that I received something I was too afraid to pray for. A small thing that many people take for granted but I didn’t expect it to happen … and then it happened.
And God led me to a tree filled with migrating spring warblers.

So yes, God leads us.
Me anyway.

And here is a prayer for you from today’s Liturgy of the Hours:

May your Holy Spirit teach us to do your will today,
– and may your Wisdom guide us always.
Lord, you are our life and our salvation.

We don’t understand how God works in our life. We believe He does, and also that we cooperate with His will.

It is good to give thanks for all things, but also not think of everything as God “leading” you or “sending” you something. His Hand is in everything, but He works in His ways, not ours.

I think this priest was just pointing out that it’s dangerous to think God is going to just hand you a job, a family, or whatever you’re looking for. You need to put in the work, by the grace of God. There are unfortunately many people who think prayer is asking God for whatever they want. These people often end up irreligious.

I wonder if God does not “lead us” show us, then how did this man become a priest?

I believe God definitely leads us in the direction that He wants us to take. This leading can be in so many way, they are as numerous as the stars. Going to college can lead to one’s life career, reading a book can “lead” to new knowledge. However, it is our free will as to whether we decide to enter that college or read that book. We may be given the guidance to fill out the college application, or to pick up the book, but we are given the free will to turn away. Same with God. God can give us all kinds of insights, knowledge, desires, but we are free to make a free will choice and not follow his direction.


I have a saying that helps here: “We may be imperfect, but we are always the perfect person for the moment.” God always leads us to situations where we can be leaders, and by God’s design we are indispensable for each moment. Let me illustrate this with a passage from the Bible:

So out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man [Adam] to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. Genesis 2:19

So during the creation of the world God lets all the creatures come to Adam, and He lets him name them, and “whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name.” In the same way He lets us decide what is the right action for each moment, letting us use the different powers and gifts He gave us.

It is written “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will be established” (Proverbs 19:20).

And “The human heart plans the way, but the LORD directs the steps” (Proverbs 16:9).

And in Jeremiah 10:23:
“I know, LORD,
that no one chooses their way,
Nor determines their course
nor directs their own step.”

Further, Jesus said “Without me, you can do nothing” and “My meat is to do the will of Him who sent me.”

Without God’s prevenient grace, we cannot do any good work or even have a good thought conducive to our salvation. Even in the natural order, no creature can put forth any act without God moving it to act.

Further, the perfection of the christian life consists in our will being conformed to the will of God. Spiritual writers call this perfection of the christian life or charity the unitive stage whereby our will always follows the promptings and inspirations of the Holy Spirit and thus we are led by the Holy Spirit such as was the life of our Blessed Lady who never deviated in the least degree from God’s will.

Good thinking. We should pray like everything depends on God and work like everything depends on us. God can lead us to a job if we are open to him doing this. We are not left all on our own – God helps us, he even gives us the good thoughts that we think and the ability to begin and complete a good work. God bless you.

But I said to this priest ‘I need to pray to God to lead me so I can do what He wants’. I never said God would just give me the job

The more I think about it, I think this priest is very concerned with being the funny man life of the party type of guy, he doesn’t always think before he speaks. Perhaps I got him at the wrong moment and he was just saying the first thing that came into his mind.

I suppose the reason I am a questioning his motives is I am in a lot of pain, and I need to be sure I don’t trust the wrong person. This priest statements contradict each other. One minute he is saying ‘I don’t believe in the protestant theory that if you are good God will bless you with a big house, car and family and if you don’t have those things it means you are bad.’ The next minute he is saying ‘The more you believe, the faster your prayers will be answered’ :rolleyes:

The thing is, I am ready to learn to surrender to God’s will. However, I genuinely don’t know what that is or how to hear God voice. So I end up doing actions hoping they will get me what I want since I don’t know what else to do.


Sorry if it seemed like I was accusing you of something. It was clear to me in your opening post that you have a correct view of prayer (i.e. to align one’s will with God’s will). In my previous post, I meant “you” in the general sense.

I would not despair and speak more with this priest if it is indeed his advice you seek. Otherwise, speak with someone else, as unfortunately not all of our shepherds properly tend to the flocks. I would not blame him, however, as there could be many factors contributing to his seemingly flippant attitude towards your problems.

God does lead us, but not in the ways we expect Him to. I would encourage you to continue prayer and consult someone who you see as a spiritual elder (not necessarily a priest) whenever you have doubts or questions about what to do next.

I am sorry you are hurting. It does sound like you need to seek guidance elsewhere.

Thank you for your kind reply. You don’t need to apologize. I didn’t feel accuse as much as I though perhaps I did not explain properly my point. No hard feelings on my part :slight_smile:

Here is my dilemma. The reason I wanted to go to this parish is it seems to have the best social activities in my area. A 24 hours adoration chapel (that I have been frequently visiting) and some of the best bible studies in town. I kind of have been finding it difficult to attend church in one place and a different church’s bible study. I was thinking I would feel more part of a community if I attended the same churches as my bible study.

I went to see a priest that I found good who asked me if I was part of his parish. I jumped to the conclusion that he would prefer I go to my parish priest or become a member of his parish. So I semi feel if I need a priest to talk to, I have to attend his parish.

The church I use to go to does NOT have an active social life at all. The priest is a good priest in the sense he is devout and never refuses to give confession no matter how busy he is. However, he is good at giving spiritual help, but in the day to day matters, it is not his expertise.

Thank you. Yes right now my first task is to find appropriate guidance


In Orthodoxy, there is no problem with having your father confessor be someone other than your parish priest. Is that not also the case in the Latin tradition?

I am very fortunate that the senior pastor at my parish is also a wonderful man in whom I confide. However, I know people who go to someone else for confession and spiritual guidance. One couple even goes to a monastery out-of-state to meet with a hieromonk.

If you can, I would remain an active member of your parish and go to your previous priest for confession. You said he’s not good at day-to-day matters but I think you might be surprised by what he has to say.

As the priest says God does not lead us to our next job but, in my opinion, He leads me where He wants me next. God’s Will is not always evident to me and I’ve been mystified many time in my life, thinking “what am I doing here?!” After everything unfolds and I look back, I’ve always smiled and thanked God for putting me in that situation. His Will be done. I am just the imperfect vessel of His Perfect Plan so I’ve come to admit, if things didn’t turn out the way anyone thought it should, it’s my fault for being an imperfect tool in God’s Perfect Plan. Keep on praying and letting the Holy Spirit move you. Where you end up is exactly where God wants you to be. Have a Blessed Day.

Abandonment to Divine Providence

Jean-Pierre de Caussade

The world is full of infidelity. How unworthy are its thoughts of God! It complains continually
of the divine action in a way that it would not dare to use towards the lowest workman about his trade. It would reduce God to act only within the limits, and following the rules of its feeble reason. It presumes to imagine it can improve upon His acts. These are nothing but complaints and murmurings. We are surprised at the treatment endured by Jesus Christ at the hands of the Jews, but, O divine love! adorable will! infallible truth! in what way are you treated? Can the divine will ever be inopportune? Can it be mistaken? “But there is this business of mine! I require such a thing!

The necessary helps have been taken from me. That man thwarts all my good works, is it not most unreasonable? This illness comes on just when my health is most necessary to me.” To all this there is but one answer—that the will of God is the only thing necessary, therefore what it does not grant must be useless. My good souls! nothing is wanting to you. If you only knew what these events really are that you call misfortunes, accidents, and disappointments, and in which you can see nothing but what is irrelevant, or unreasonable, you would lie deeply ashamed and excuse yourselves of your complainings as of blasphemies; but you never think of them as being the will of God, and His adorable will is blasphemed by His own children who refuse to acknowledge it.

When You were on earth, O my Jesus, the Jews treated You as a demonaic, and called You a Samaritan; and now, although it is acknowledged that You live and work through all the centuries of time, how is Your adorable will received? that will worthy of all benediction and praise for ever. Has one moment passed from the creation to the present time, and will one moment pass even to the day of judgment in which the holy name of God will not deserve praise; that name which fills all the ages, and everything which takes place in the ages, that name by which everything is sanctified? What! can the will of God do me harm?

Shall I fear, or fly from the will of God? And where shall I find anything better if I dread the divine action in my regard, or regret the effect of His divine will? We ought to listen attentively to the words uttered in the depths of our heart at every moment. If our sense and reason do not understand nor enter into the truth and goodness of these words, is it not because they are incapable of appreciating divine truths? Ought I to wonder that my reason is bewildered by mysteries? When God speaks it is a mystery, and therefore a death-blow to my senses and reason, for it is the nature of mysteries to compel the sacrifice of both. Mystery makes the soul live by faith; for all the rest there is nothing but contradiction. The divine action by one and the same stroke kills and gives life; the more one feels the death to the senses and reason, the more convinced should one become that it gives life to the soul. The more obscure the mystery to us, the more light it contains in itself. This is why a simple soul will discover a more divine meaning in that which has the least appearance of having any.

The life of faith is a continual struggle against the senses.


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