We are celebrating the 11th Step during November, Tell us how you practice your prayer and meditation. What has worked for you, what hasn’t worked?
We asked some of our staff members who work in our Men’s Program to share their thoughts.
3rd Step Prayer
God, thank You for this day and thank You for my sobriety. God, I offer myself to Thee-to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always.” AMEN
10th/11th Step Morning and Evening Prayers
God, direct my thinking today so that it be empty of self pity, self-will, self-seeking, dishonesty, and fear. Inspire my thoughts, decisions and intuitions. Help me to relax and take it easy. Free me from doubt and indecision. Guide me through this day and show me my next step. God, show me what I need to do to take care of any problems. I ask all these things that I may be of maximum service to you and my fellow man. Continue to help me become the man and the husband. I’m capable of being. AMEN
God, thank You for this day and thank You for my sobriety. Forgive me where I have been resentful, selfish, dishonest or afraid today. Help me to not keep anything to myself but to discuss it all openly with another person. Show me where I owe an apology and help me make it. Help me to be kind and loving to all people. Use me in the mainstream of life, God. Free me of worry, remorse or morbid (sick) reflections that I may be of usefulness to others. God, Continue to help me become the man and the husband. I’m capable of being. AMEN
I try and pray at least once a day. My usual prayer for my first year in sobriety was something like “Thank you for letting me wake up sober”, as soon as I opened my eyes each day. At about a year sober, I started asking for help in prayer. This grew in frequency and results until around 5 years sober when, in response to suggestions I constantly heard in meetings, I started asking “Help me help others”.
I am not a wake up and hit my knees type of person. I usually remember to pray as soon as I come up against a hardship during the day or a character defect rears its head. To me, the mere act of asking for help has a profound affect on my attitude. I usually feel an immediate sense of relief just admitting that I am powerless in a given situation and need help. Ideally, I also stop and give thanks at some point during the day for the many blessings constantly bestowed me.
What I consider meditation for me is more open ended and can include anything from daily deep breathing exercises, walking, reading daily meditations, yoga, and time in my music studio. I do find sitting meditation to be very helpful, but have not established a regular practice. I hope to one day be able to accomplish that as I find the results of that to be very rewarding.
I attend Against the Stream recovery mindfulness meditation group.
I do mine the same exact way every morning: I use the “Set Aside Prayer” with the close being “please keep me clean and sober today and show me how to be of service”. Followed by 2-5 minutes (depending on the level of distraction around me) of “Satellite Dish” meditation.
My every evening prayer: I begin with asking where I was resentful, selfish, dishonest or afraid in this day, followed by asking for forgiveness for any of these violations of my code. I ask for God’s blessings on my loved ones and those in need, ending my prayer with thanks for the opportunity to be clean and sober and thanks for the people God put in my path today.
“We do not need more intellectual power; we need more moral power. We do not need more knowledge; we need more character. We do not need more government; we need more culture. We do not need more law; we need more religion. We do not need more of the things that are seen; we need more of the things that are unseen”
â€• Calvin Coolidge
For me, A.A. is a synthesis of all the philosophy I’ve ever read, all of the positive, good philosophy, all of it based on love. I have seen that there is only one law, the law of love, and there are only two sins; the first is to interfere with the growth of another human being, and the second is to interfere with one’s own growth.
ï® Alcoholics Anonymous 2nd Edition, “He who Loses His Life”
“Hence it was most evident that a solitary self appraisal, and the admission of our defects based on that alone, wouldn’t be nearly enough. We’d have to have outside help if we were surely to know and admit the truth about ourselves–the help of God and another human being.
Only by discussing ourselves, holding back nothing, only by being willing to take advice and and accept direction could we set foot on the road to straight thinking, solid honesty, and genuine humility”.
–Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
Our big book says that to be vital, faith must be accompanied by self sacrifice and unselfish constructive action. My faith is not that if I believe enough or pray enough everything will turn out okay…. my faith is rooted in the belief that if I turn away from self and toward God I will be okay no matter how things turn out.
Abandon yourself to God as you understand God. Admit your faults to Him and to your fellows. Clear away the wreckage of your past. Give freely of what you find and join us. We shall be with you in the Fellowship of the Spirit, and you will surely meet some of us as you trudge the Road of Happy Destiny.
We hope this has inspired you to share your experience, or has motivated you to begin a daily meditation.