Participation in a Step 5 process “where a decision on an important matter is given to others” requires humility and courage for each party. It also requires wisdom, discernment, and judgment by the higher authorities involved in hearing evidence and making a decision. Here is a prayer that might be used by any party or any person playing the higher authority role in the dispute resolution process:
“Dear Lord, I am about to present and perhaps argue my case [for parties] or seek evidence and weigh information in order to make a decision about this case [for the higher authorities themselves]. Please open my mind to see the facts as they are, to hear various interpretations of facts, and to listen for interests and matters of the heart that are important to the parties.
Calm me as I speak and as I listen. Open my mind to looking not only at the human evidence, but also hearing your wisdom, counsel, and direction for each of us in this matter.
In Your name I pray, Amen.”
The serenity prayer, reprinted below in both the short and long versions, is especially appropriate in circumstances where a party is giving up control of the dispute, which is the case with higher authority investigations.
- Serenity prayer (short version).
“God, grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
- Serenity prayer (long version) by Reinhold Niebuhr:
“God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardship as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world;
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.