It’s so easy to gather all of the information, get wise counsel, weigh the pros and cons and then forget to pray before making an important decision. And yet, if the greatest leader of all time who was without sin, who never made a bad decision, who had unlimited resources at his disposal and who lived in perfect harmony with his Father–if that man needed to discuss with God decisions prior to making them–how could you or I possibly hope to make a wise decision without spending a lot of time in prayer? The answer is obvious–we can’t.
Since that’s the case consider the fact that on the night before selecting his disciples Jesus didn’t go to bed. He stayed awake all-night praying about this crucial decision.
I could imagine praying about an important decision for an hour or so, but all night? What do you think Jesus said? Let’s see–he prayed for his future disciples by name. And then he prayed for their families. And then he prayed for their individual needs and adjustments. I suppose we could make a longer list but we couldn’t come close to making a list that would keep us praying all night.
Okay, so you may shrug your shoulders and conclude whatever Jesus was talking about must have been interesting–remember he did stay awake until daylight. You may also conclude such an example is beyond you, just like the miracle of walking on water. But wait a minute! Peter did walk on water–at least for a few steps. Since that’s true, it must mean Jesus will enable you to spend as much time as is necessary in prayer so you can make wise decisions.
It may be the real problem is you don’t want to–I know I don’t. Prayer is not an easy thing to commit to do. It requires solitude and quiet. Yet, we need these things. And we need God’s guidance even more.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t like where this line of reasoning is headed. I can see already that if we fail to pray before decisions we have become faithless fools. We’re trying on our own power to accomplish what God alone can do through us. We become like a bus driver without a map. Not only might we be headed in the wrong direction, we’re taking everyone on the bus with us.
We find ourselves, as leaders, needing to be led . . . needing not only a map but also someone to highlight the way. The more we know this to be true the more we should be driven to pray so we can discuss with God all decisions–both large and small. Ultimately, the hardest part of any decision is the prayer that precedes it.