Step 1 Pray and Prepare

If you bring your concerns to God in prayer, will it make a difference in the outcome?

Scripture says Yes.

Step 1 on the Preferred Path reminds us to put our topics—everything from minor challenges to major disputes–before our creator at the very start (Philippians 4: 6-7).

As we pray, we open our minds and hearts to the influence of the Holy Spirit.

Knowing that self-interest and self-centeredness may well derail us, we ask God to help us think of others’ interests as well as our own (Philippians 2:4), and to bring a loving attitude and behavior to others, even our opponents and enemies. This “turning it over” to God in prayer is what gives us hope in otherwise hopeless situations.

We Prepare by reviewing the information we have, and new information we hope to gather. This puts us in a position to both listen and speak clearly, when the time comes for that.

Two particular tools from the Preferred Path Toolkit can help with Step 1:

  • The Preparation Questions (Goals below) used by professional mediators can help parties prepare for collaborative resolution; click Goals below to see these questions.
  • The Standard Solutions list invites us to “begin with the end in mind” by thinking about what each party might need in order to achieve peace, justice or healing.