It was a tough call.
I was at wit’s end on how to advise a client on a bad decision that was coming on an important matter of federal litigation.
I had exhausted every way to slice and dice the issue. I had sought counsel. And then sought some more.
In the end, It fell on me as a matter of duty to deliver the devastating news.
I made an appointment with my client for this purpose and gathered myself for the impending unpleasantness.
At that moment, I heard an inner voice nudging me to pray over the situation. I closed my office door, got on my knees, and prayed for an answer.
I did not hear an angelic choir. And as I rose to my feet, a part of me suspected my impromptu prayer was a delay tactic.
This was confirmed as I started walking out of my office. My fax machine rang. Normally I would have ignored it, as most were solicitations or other information I didn’t need.
However, that day I stopped and waited for the full facsimile transmission. I was shocked and amazed by the document.
It was an Order from the federal judge, completely resolving the issue. This was a self-generated Order, meaning that I had not asked the Court for it, nor was it pending a decision.
The judge independently decided.
I read the Order several times to be certain that what had just happened was real. It was inexplicable. All I knew was I had prayed, and 30 seconds later, I was holding the answer in my hands.
I can hear the skeptics. “That answer was coming anyway.” “The timing was a coincidence.”
Perhaps. I choose to believe differently.
I wish I could say all my prayers happen that way. They don’t. I have some that are still decades in the answering.
But I do know this: In our frenetic business and professional environments, decision-making can be daunting. Yet, as professionals, we possess a powerful tool often overlooked in the corporate playbook – prayer.
I believe that prayer can profoundly influence and guide our decision-making process at home and in the office. Here are 7 ways to harness this power in your professional life.
Prayer as a Proactive Strategy
Prayer is not just a refuge in times of personal turmoil; it's a proactive strategy in our professional arsenal. It offers a moment of pause, reflection, and connection with a higher wisdom that can illuminate the often murky waters of business decisions.
Through prayer, we open ourselves to insights beyond our immediate understanding, aligning our decisions with a broader, more enlightened perspective.
Prayer as a Source of Clarity
Every professional faces decisions that are not just complex but also carry significant consequences. In such moments, prayer can be a source of clarity and wisdom.
By seeking divine guidance, we invite not just spiritual support but also a clear-headedness essential for making informed decisions. For example, a business leader contemplating a significant strategic shift might find that prayer helps in weighing options not just logically, but with a sense of peace and conviction.
Prayer for Courage and Strength
Decision-making often requires courage – to take risks, to step into the unknown, or to make unpopular choices. Prayer fortifies us with the strength and courage needed to make such decisions.
It's a reminder that we are not alone in our professional journey; a higher power accompanies and supports us. This sense of divine backing can be the difference between shying away from a bold move and stepping forward with confidence.
Prayer as a Tool for Ethical Decisions
Business environments are filled with ethical dilemmas. Prayer can be a guiding light. It encourages us to look beyond immediate gains to the broader implications of our decisions, sensitizing us to ethical conduct.
A finance manager facing the temptation of cutting corners for short-term gains, for instance, might find that prayerful reflection leads to an ethical path that benefits the long-term health of the company.
Prayer for Patience and Timing
Timing is crucial in decision-making. Rushed decisions can be as detrimental as missed opportunities. Prayer teaches patience – the wisdom to wait for the right moment.
It helps professionals understand that timing decisions well often means aligning them with a rhythm that transcends personal urgency and the pressure of external circumstances.
Prayer in Building Relationships
Decision-making is not only a matter of individual wisdom. It also involves navigating relationships – with colleagues, clients, and stakeholders. Prayer can play a vital role in building and maintaining these relationships.
Prayer fosters empathy, understanding, and mutual respect, qualities essential for collaborative and inclusive decision-making processes.
Incorporating Prayer into Daily Professional Life
Making prayer a part of daily professional life doesn't require grand gestures. It can be as simple as a brief moment of silent prayer before a crucial meeting, a quiet reflection during a lunch break, or a dedicated prayer at the start of the workday.
These practices serve as continual reminders of our larger purpose and the spiritual foundation underpinning our professional endeavors.
As we harness the power of prayer in our professional lives, we open ourselves to a level of wisdom, guidance, and support that transcends conventional business acumen, leading us toward decisions that are not only successful but also fulfilling in the deepest sense.
Have you incorporated prayer as a professional discipline?
I would love to hear your perspective.