For Better Decisions, Pray First.

Jesus went up to the mountain to pray,
and he spent the night in prayer to God.
When day came, he called his disciples to himself,
and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles.
~ Luke 6:12-13

Jesus always prayed early in the morning to start his day. He prayed whenever he was about to make a big decision. He prayed before he started his public ministry, before he chose the twelve, and before his passion and death.

It is always a good practice to keep calm and quiet, to collect oneself and pray before making any major decision. This makes sense for me, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

It is nearly impossible to make a good rational decision when I am physically challenged. When I am tired, or physically spent or seriously ill, I do not have full possession of my faculties to make decisions, specially major and life-changing ones.

The mind can play tricks on a person when fatigued or harassed.  When I am rushed into a decision, I am likely to overlook some important factors or miss out some important details that would cause me regrets later. Taking time to mull things in my mind help me come to the right decision.

Saint Ignatius wrote about discernment and he taught us two key words: desolation and consolation. He cautions against making decisions while in desolation and encourages us to use the energies we get from consolation to know our deepest desires and make these the basis for our decisions.

Finally, moments of prayerful silence are always helpful to making a good decision. In quiet solitude, I ask God to lead me in my decision, I lift up to Him whatever decision I arrive at, I ask him to bless and support my course of action and help me carry them to fruition.

Direct, O Lord, we beseech you,
all my actions by your holy inspirations,
and carry them on by your gracious assistance,
that every prayer and work of mine 
may begin always from you,
and by you be happily ended.
Through Christ our Lord.

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