Pray for good group decisions? Really? In this spontaneous video from his Quaker Meeting House, Craig explains the practical ways in which prayer, not religion, can help you help your group make good decisions.
Here’s what Craig says in the video
Hi everybody! Hey it’s Craig Freshley here and I am at my Quaker Meeting. Here I am, its called Durham Friends Meeting, it’s right around the corner from where I live and I was in this meeting this morning and I decided to come back to the meeting. Here it is, Sunday afternoon, because I want to tell you about something that inspired me that I heard in Quaker Meeting this morning.
Sitting right over there was a woman who, well, she’s an older woman and she’s been a Quaker for a long time and she said something like “You know, at my age, I’m slowing down a little bit. I don’t do as much as I used to. Sometimes the best I can do is pray.” Well she thought about that and she came to realize, “Wait a minute, the best I can do is pray!” It’s not like prayer is the only thing that I can do, or the last thing that I can do, actually it’s the best thing that I can do. It’s the first thing that I should do when I face a dilemma or a difficult situation. The best I can do is pray.
You might be wondering, “What does this have to do with making decisions in groups?”
Now I’m not getting all religious on you here and I’m not telling you that your group needs to be religious or that you need to bring religion into your group. Nothing like that at all. But I am here to say that I have come to believe that prayer can help you help your group make good decisions. And here’s how.
First of all let me explain that when I say “prayer,” I’m talking about simply having — call it like this — having a conversation in your head with something or someone bigger. It might be something or someone bigger out there in the world, up in heaven, however you want to think about it. It might be something bigger within yourself. But it’s not necessarily — this is another form of prayer — reading some words that someone has told us we should pray. The Our Father is an example of that, The Hail Mary. Some people might even think of words like the Pledge of Allegiance or the Star-Spangled Banner as a form of prayer. These are some words that sometimes we say together as a group and while were saying them we think about the meaning. And that’s great if that works for you. But the kind of prayer that I’m talking about is one that you make up yourself. And maybe it is a prayer of asking for some help or guidance, or maybe it’s a prayer of giving thanks for something that you’ve received, but either way it is a conversation with someone or something bigger than yourself. So thinking of prayer in that way, how does prayer help you help your group make good decisions?
Well in a few different ways. First of all, if you are going to say a prayer you have to figure out what you want to say, what the conversation is about, what you either want to ask for or be thankful for. And that process all by itself will help you be centered grounded; will help you know yourself.
Secondly, any kind of prayer, the way I’ve described it, puts you in a posture of humility. It is to say “I am not in charge, I am not God. I am praying to something bigger, either within myself……something that I don’t understand, something beyond me.”
Third thing is it opens you up to the possibilities of good things happening. It sets you in a mindset that good things could actually come. Prayer is almost always hopeful.
And fourth — there is a fourth thing/benefit of prayer — and that is if you are a true believer, maybe the prayer will be answered and good things will really happen!
So again, I’m not here to tell you that in order to make good group decisions your group needs to be religious. And I’m not telling you that you even have to believe in God, or what kind of God you have to believe in.
I’m simply relating from my experience that when you go into a group decision-making setting, if you:
- take just a few minutes to think about what it is you want or what it is you’re thankful for,
- take a minute to realize that there is something bigger than yourself that you don’t understand, either out there in the world or within yourself,
- if you take a minute to consider that good things might happen as a result of the decision,
then you are dramatically increasing the chances that good things will happen.
That’s my take on prayer and how it might help you help your group make good decisions! Thanks for listening everybody. Thanks.