Thursday, January 8, 2009

- Pray Every Day - Make a Decision

Decide. You’ve got to decide. Once and for all. If you don’t decide, really make a firm, specific, concrete decision to build your life on the earthquake-resistant foundation of prayer, then your life won’t be earthquake resistant. If God matters to you, then you will spend time with him – that’s prayer. If he doesn’t matter to you, you won’t spend time with him. Those are the two extremes. The problem is, most of us fall somewhere in between. Yes, God matters to us, but so do a lot of other things (studies, sports, hobbies, family, friends, fun, work – and the list goes on). Therefore, even though God matters, he often gets left on the very back burner, while we get fully absorbed in cooking up our favorite recipes on the front burner. Of course, we know intuitively that everything will be tastier if we season it with God’s love and wisdom, but somehow we keep putting him off. Only if we make a conscious decision to PRAY EVERY DAY will we succeed in developing, under God’s gentle guidance, a vibrant and rewarding prayer life. So make your decision. Now. And renew it later, tomorrow, again and again. Don’t wait until you become an expert in prayer to make a serious commitment to prayer – it’ll be way too late.

Yours in Christ, Father John Bartunek, LC


  1. Making a decision to build one's life on the earthquake-resistant foundation of prayer is key, no doubt. However, most of us are not taught how to make decisions. So the exhortation may not be as effective as desired.

    Throughout our lives, decisions are usually made for us.

    We may be given choices to choose from about present concerns, but the options are usually pre-determined.

    We are clearly taught how to make judgments; but here again, we are given pre-established criteria to apply to the unfolding facts of what has already happened.

    Decision-making is not a single event, but rather a multi-stage process to determine a future course of action. It is little understood and now often mistakenly linked to statistical analysis (so gamblers can beat the odds; Pascal knew better).

    Yet at the heart of a true decision-making process itself are at least two significant stages.

    The first is where what is sought is insight and the overcoming of oversight. Once that insight is apprehended, it may form the basis of how best to tell one's decision and to respond to objections during reasoning about the decision.

    The second stage prayer is also essential. Here we pray for confirmation of why one's decision is the right one.

    In my study of the decision-making process, the other stages, before and in between the ones noted above, are surely benefited by prayer as well.

    But when we are not taught how decision-making works and are left to our own devices to do so, telling us to "decide" to pray so we can build one's life on the earthquake-resistant foundation may be an oversight since most of us have not examined our own processes of making a decision in the first place.

  2. The good news is that God will work regardless of our frailties...

  3. The better news is that while God works with us regardless of our frailties, He has given us heart, mind, soul, and spirit to do our part in making decisions, rather than simply lay back and have Him do it all for us, frail as we are...

  4. The best news is discovering we are not alone in making our decisions.

    God is with us!

    Jesus goes before us always. We have only to seek him along the way, find him beside us, and follow his lead as we work through the issues we have to decide.

    This takes practice with a regular process, especially of prayerful meditation, and a regular meeting time with our Lord.

    The more we get to know our Lord, the more we fathom the decisions he made during his lifetime. His example of decision-making is what I am studying now.


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