James 1:6–8 — But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
With this context in mind, we see that in times of difficulty, we can ask for wisdom and God will grant it; he will help us discern the situation. But we must ask in faith, without doubting, for otherwise we will lack focus on God, being tossed back and forth like the surf of the sea. Thus, it is through focus on God that we are granted what we need. It is this focus that dispels the darkness, allowing us to see—with glasses on, in the light.
When we don’t experience clarity through prayer, it’s because we are either doubting or not understanding the ways of God. When we don’t hear from God at all, that actually could be an answer; perhaps we are meant to stay put until we hear him speak into the situation. If God wanted us to change our direction, and we were patiently waiting on his answer through prayer, then we would hear from him.
John D. Barry, “If You Lack Wisdom, Do This,” in Study Like a Pro: Explore Difficult Passages from Every Book of the Bible, ed. John D. Barry and Rebecca Van Noord (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014).