rebelling against low expectations

5 Ways to Pray About Your Future


I have yet to meet a teenager who is not (at least somewhat) intimidated by their future. As we reach the brink of adulthood, questions abound, and the future often feels uncertain.

As I near the end of high school, those dreaded decisions about colleges and majors are getting closer. When explaining this feeling to friends and family, they consistently say, “Pray about it.”

But, as I started praying, I ran out of words really fast.

How do we pray about things that are categorized as unknown? How do we pray for our future?

After thinking about it, I came up with five ways.

1. Pray That You Will Desire God First and Foremost

“Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psalm 73:25-26).

Just like anything else, our future can become an idol. When thinking about the future, I often start imagining what will make me most successful, most comfortable, most happy.

That shouldn’t be the goal.

My job, my college, my major–while important–are not who I am. Most importantly, I am a Christian. A beloved, forgiven child of God made to glorify His Name, not my own. Life-directing decisions must be made with that perspective.

Pray that you will desire God first and foremost. As you seek Him and love Him, God will lead you on the right path.

Not only will God direct you, but you will be more sensitive to His will. When you desire God more than success or comfort, you will learn to accept His guidance, even if it isn’t what you originally desired.

“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4).

This verse isn’t saying that once you become a Christian, you get everything you want. But, when we delight in God, our hearts begin to love what He loves, and we learn that a relationship with Him is our greatest treasure.

If nothing in life goes the way you expected, but it leads to a deeper relationship with God, that will be a life worth living!

Pursue Him, first and foremost, and the rest of life will follow.

2. Pray That You Will Be Who God Wants You To Be

“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8)

It is tempting to fall into the trap of thinking that God will one day reveal to you the exact college, job, or major you should pursue. That, out of the blue, a voice from heaven will say, “Brittney, go to Made-up College in Nowheresville and major in Fake Plant Design.” Because let’s be honest, that would be way easier. I wish every decision could be made like that!

While I do believe that God has a plan for each of our lives (Psalm 139:16), when we only focus on making those huge life-altering decisions, we forget about who we are becoming.

The places where God reveals His will in Scripture come with direct commands concerned more about who we are than what we do. For example: “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality” (1 Thessalonians 4:3).

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

Many more verses reveal the will of God. But you will notice that the Bible doesn’t give a job description or “3 steps to choosing the best profession” article.

God reveals who He wants us to be—like Christ. And focusing on becoming more like Him will direct your life more than any other decision. Click To Tweet

God reveals who He wants us to be—like Christ. And focusing on becoming more like Him will direct your life more than any other decision.

3. Pray That God Will Use You

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 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 12:1-2).

Many college promotion emails have slogans like:

“We put your priorities as our top priority.”

“We give you the opportunities to achieve your goals.”

And “We have an environment that is focused on you.”

I am grateful for colleges that are excited to serve their students. But honestly, if I plan my future only around me, I’m probably going to get pretty frustrated.

Here’s a radical idea: let’s make plans for the future around how we can best glorify Christ by serving others. We are just jars of clay, broken and needy. But God invites us to be part of His work.

Here’s a radical idea: let’s make plans for the future around how we can best glorify Christ by serving others. We are just jars of clay, broken and needy. But God invites us to be part of His work. Click To Tweet

Imagine how our lives could be changed if, when praying about the future, we asked God to guide us to where we will be most effective for Him.

4. Pray for Opportunities and Open Doors – and Courage to Take Them

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

My mom recently reminded me that God often moves through opportunities.

  • Getting involved in VBS could help you realize you love working with kids.
  • Walking through hardship with a friend could draw your heart towards counseling.
  • A trip overseas could stir your heart towards missions.
  • Years of music lessons and practice could lead to a career in music.

And the list goes on.

Our sovereign God works all things together for good (Romans 8:28). As we pray for our future, we should ask God for opportunities and open doors, and for courage to go through them.

5. Pray for Wisdom

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind” (James 1:5-6).

I love that we are not left to wonder how to become wise. God tells us how: “For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth comes knowledge and understanding” (Proverbs 2:6).

When making life-directing decisions, it is vital to get advice. We should talk to friends and family about what they’ve learned throughout their lives.

But ultimately, we need to ask God for wisdom. He knows us better than anyone and He has a perfect plan.

God promises in the book of James that, if we ask for wisdom, it will be given to us. Generously given and without reproach. That’s so beautiful!

God is not angry with us for our limited knowledge. He is not annoyed when we beg for wisdom. It delights His heart because, to become wise, we must draw nearer to Him.

When you are struggling with the big questions of teenagers or young adults, turn to God for wisdom. And know that He will grant it to you.

Commit Your Way to Your Good God

“And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).

The transition from the teen years to being an adult can feel daunting. Life-altering questions loom over us and demand answers.

As we make decisions about our future, we need to be praying. God knows the best path and He wants you to find it.

But, more than that, God wants us to cultivate a relationship with Him.

Pray open-handedly: about life, about the future, about your questions. Relinquishing your desires and dreams feels scary; like God will rip them from your hands and twist them into something terrifying. But that is not the character of God. When we learn to pray– and live– open-handedly, He will graciously turn the things we hold into something even more beautiful.

“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act” (Psalm 37:5).

Pray for your future and commit it all to God. He will act.

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About the author

Brittney Brianne

is a teenager, Jesus-follower, book fanatic, and– as you’ve probably picked up– writer. She loves coffee, friends, jamming on guitar, and playing violin. She fell in love with writing because of its power to weave truth and beauty together. You can find more of her writing on her blog, This Reader’s Thoughts.


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rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →