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One of the books I routinely recommend to people is the collected letters of Jack Miller. Last week reminded me why. In one letter, Jack offers some advice to his daughter and son-in-law, who are seeking to discern whether they should serve as missionaries to Ireland. After months of prayer, they still had no clear guidance. Here’s Jack’s advice:

“Perhaps my thoughts may not be all that helpful. You can sift through them to see if they have any worth. But when I find myself without guidance from God, one of the first things I check out is the question whether or not I want guidance from God. That is often the big issue for me. Put simply, why should God give me guidance when my mind is closed to some aspect of His will? I may have reservations in my heart about a path that I suspect He may want me to take. Or I may fear that He wants me to undertake a work that is beyond my capacity to handle. . . . Tied in with this can also be a fleshly love of comfort and honor, or the security of a life where it is clear that I have things somewhat under control. In other words, my attitude is: “Don’t disturb me, God. Don’t call me to walk on water or something else that is contrary to good sense.”

Reading those words, I thought to myself, “Is there any part of my life that is closed off to God? Am I opening myself up to God and saying to him, ‘Do with me as you please’?” If not, why not?

Dear friend, what about you?

I think God wants us to pray a prayer similar to the one Jack prays: “God, change me in the depth of my being! Fill me with your holy presence until Your will is my chief delight.”