What is Christian Spiritual Direction?

Spiritual direction is a ministry in which one Christian believer sits with another to help them listen to the Spirit and notice the beautiful, holy work that God is doing in their heart, soul, and life. In direction we give thoughtful attention to our relationship with God in the surety of His presence and of His infinite love for us.

Alice Fryling writes that the unique gift of spiritual direction is the opportunity to be heard, to “have someone listen to us as we describe the milestones, detours, and questions of our own spiritual journeys.” In direction, the spiritual director listens to the directee attentively and then, while listening for the promptings of the Holy Spirit, offers meaningful questions to further the spiritual conversation. The goal is not necessarily to answer those questions but to draw near to God amidst them. Margaret Guenther explains, “In the ministry of spiritual direction, there are no right answers, only clearer visions of ever deeper questions.”

In spiritual direction we seek to pay attention to the whole of our lives, inviting the Holy Spirit to bring into our awareness experiences which may go otherwise unnoticed, truths which we might have forgotten, or invitations that God is extending to us. From out of this quiet and simple dialogue can come a prayerful conversation rich with noticing and curiosity. We are invited to embrace that curiosity and become more attentive to the beautiful and mysterious ways in which God is present and active in our lives. By noticing this holy work that God is doing in our lives, we can more fully respond to and cooperate with Him.

Spiritual direction is, then, a ministry of relationship that helps us to hear, see, and respond to God’s presence and His movement and holy work in our lives. It is a ministry of creating stillness and holding space for an ongoing conversation with the Lord.


Spiritual direction is a ministry of relationship which helps us to hear, see, and respond to God’s presence, movement, and holy work in our lives.

Perhaps one of the greatest gifts anyone can give another is to help that person live life in a greater awareness of the loving presence of God with a soul awake to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In a spiritual director you will find a soul companion, a friend for the spiritual journey. If you are longing to mature in your prayer life, deepen your relationship with Jesus, and experience a growing awareness of the presence of God in your life, consider meeting with a spiritual director. Learn more about my practice, Attentive Soul Spiritual Direction, here.

Spiritual direction is just one tool for the journey toward spiritual formation. Learn more about the broad field of Christian spiritual formation here.


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