Step Eleven

Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact
with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of
His will for us and the power to carry that out.

Leader's Share and Step Questions

Phyllis here; chunkie, drunkie, junkie...clean, sober, abstinent since May 20, 1972

Eleventh Step Prayer:
Higher Power, as I understand you, I pray to keep my connection with you open and clear from the confusion of Daily life. Through my prayers and mediation's, I ask especially for freedom from self-will, rationalization, and wishful thinking. I pray for the guidance of correct thought and positive action. You will, Higher Power, not mine, be done.

Step 11: Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with G-d, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

Lots of direction, lots of things to do, some daily instructions to practice. Let's start at the beginning. We come to the Program broken and hopeless. We've tried everything and it didn't work (long term). Our relationships are teetering on the edge of the ledge. If we are lucky, we may still have a job that we hate. All of the old character defects are thriving and many of us enter the rooms ready to give up.

Step 1-admitted we were powerless over food! Also that our lives were unmanageable. The more desperate we were the faster we would make those admissions not even believing the words.

Step 2-came to believe in a power greater than ourselves. I had to give up control. Okaaaay, if they say so, for now.

Step 3-Finally, made a decision to turn our will power over to the care of G-d. So now we are entering a new dimension, if you will. By this time we have noted unconditional acceptance of the fellowship and we could see recovery in "their" eyes. (Remember when I can see recovery in your eyes, it means that I might already have it in mine)

We diligently and honestly work 4-10 and now 11 calls for a "renewed" connection. There are three parts to this Step. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve conscious contact with G-d as we understand Him. Part 2 pray for knowledge of His will. Part 3- and pray for the power to carry that out.

We are not a religious group. We are, however, a spiritual fellowship. When newcomers hear this, they are somewhat relieved. But, having taken step 3 equals rewards. I think most of us are willing to try that. If you do not have a Higher Power, try writing a want ad, requesting all the attributes you want from your HP. I have read many of these, and the qualities you want are already available to you. Your HP can be anything that makes you comfortable and does not have to compare to anyone else's. You will be amazed at the freedom you have after you settle this. P 93: OA 12x12: This is not intended to replace the traditional religious practices of anyone. We have found practice of the 12 steps enhances the beliefs we may already have.

The relationship develops just like any other and needs nurturing, honesty and frequent connection. This does not mean constantly. As a matter of fact, most people set aside sometime during the day or evening when they can relax, practice praying and meditation. It is taking some valuable time for yourself. And, this too, produces incredible rewards. When we can clear our heads and thoughts, it gives us a more clearly defined answer.

Every great religion has its prayers before each meal. Must be a reason for that. So, we can do it too.

Now, we are going to pray. That means we "talk" to G-d. I cannot tell you how many times a day, I talk to G-d. The first time I did was in my car. "I" avoided a near accident. I said, "thank you G-d". Then turned to look behind in my empty car to make sure no one heard me. Like many of us, I used to pray to wake up thin, beautiful, thin, intelligent, thin financially set, and on and on. Actually these were "demands". Once I learned to speak with G-d and LISTEN in the quiet time, I am always more comfortable. Sometimes, I pray for the acceptance of What Happens. I may not approve/like it, but in accepting the results, I am better able to live my daily life.

There are many ways to prepare yourself for this "practice". We ask simply that throughout the day that G-d place in us the best understanding of His will that we can have for that day, and that we be given the grace by which we may carry this out. Many say, "Thy will be done" many times during the day. It often enables us to clear a channel filled with anger, fear, frustration or misunderstanding, and permit us to return to the surest help of all--our search for G-d's will, not our own, in the moment of stress. AA 12x12--"Out of every season of grief or suffering, when the hand of G-d seemed heavy or even unjust, new lessons for living were learned, new resources of courage uncovered, and that the conviction came that G-d does "move in a mysterious way His wonders to perform".

I am going to take the liberty of quoting the prayer of St. Francis as a guide
      "Lord, make me a channel of thy peace--that where there is hatred, I may bring love--that where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness--that where there is discord, I may bring harmony--that where there is error, I bring truth--that where there is doubt, I may bring faith--that where there is despair, I may bring hope--that where there a shadows, I may bring light--where there is sadness, I may bring joy. Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than be comforted--to understand than to be understood--to love, than to be loved. For it is by self-forgetting that one finds. It is by forgiving that one is forgiven. It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life."
The prayer transcends any religious barrier and all may receive comfort from it.

Page 108 AA 12x12: The moment we catch even a glimpse of G-d's will, the moment we begin to see truth, justice, and love as the real and eternal thing in life, we are no longer deeply disturbed by all the seeming evidence to the contrary that surrounds us in purely human affairs. We know that G-d lovingly watches over us. We know that we turn to Him, all will be well with us.

Is it important to have regular daily time for prayer and meditation?
Am I still afraid to acknowledge a Higher Power?
Have I ever been angry at G-d? Write about that.
How do I know when it is G-d's thought?
How do I know when it is my thought?
What do I do when I get the insight from G-d?

Step Leader
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