Today I finished Pursuing God’s Will Together by Ruth Haley Barton. This book was phenomenal. It definitely belongs in the genre of soul care and emotional health. Especially when making decision as a team. While often, discernment is seen as an individual practice, Barton is actually creating space, models and insight on how leadership groups and teams can practice this together.
Even though this book is for leadership teams, Barton mentions that these practices should be done as individuals before they are done in a group. I found that in this book are practices I can bring into my own discernment practices that I can use.
Those two practices are the Prayer for Indifference and the Prayer of Wisdom.
Prayer for Indifference
The Prayer for Indifference is asking God to strip away your bias’ and put yourself in a posture to receive. It’s praying that God would give you a desire for HIS will and not your own. To make decisions based on His leading not your own anxiety. So many of my decision can come down to a gut level response based in anxiety and fear, rather than the goodness and grace of God.
Prayer for Wisdom
The Prayer for Wisdom is admitting to God and others that we lack something. Because we lack something we need God to meet us and help us. Before diving into rash decisions, we need to pause long enough to identify what we need and ask for it clearly and specifically.
This book is a handbook really for leaders to learn how to discern together. I think this book and 7 practices need to be a MUST READ when developing your leadership teams and board members. In any team, we all bring our own set of skills, assumptions and agendas. What may be difficult is to realize that our agendas may not be God’s. So pausing long enough to listen and respond and get on the same page as God is a MUST DO! This book will help with that.