According to Dr. Gary Friesen in his book Decision Making and the Will of God, the apostle Paul commonly used several steps when reaching decisions about next steps in his ministry. You can apply these steps to your own decision-making process when you’re seeking the will of God.
Steps in Paul’s Decision-Making Process
According to Dr. Friesen, Paul’s decision-making process consisted of the 5 Ps: Purpose, Priorities, Plans, Prayer and Perservance.
Purpose: Paul’s purposes were based on God’s moral law and will. Your purpose may be to bring the gospel to people, to raise your kids in a loving environment, to start a business. Whatever it is, let your purpose be one that pleases God.
Priorities. Paul knew what he wanted to accomplish in his ministry, so he prioritized his goals. Since God is the God of grace and centeredness, not stress and frantic motion, prayerfully set your priority goals and objectives.
Plans: Paul made careful plans that gave him a strategy for accomplishing his objectives. An objective is your destination. A plan or strategy is the route.
Prayer: Paul brought himself and his plans to the will of God in prayer. Pray over your purposes, priorities and plans, and timing.
Perseverance: When circumstances prevented Paul carrying out his plans, he assumed that the delay was God’s will, not that he had the wrong plans. If you’ve prayed over your purpose and plans, have studied the Bible over the matter and have discussed them with God’s people, obstacles may be God’s way of telling you that His timetable is different from yours. Keep praying and looking for the opportunities that He will provide.