The Meaning of Prayer
Although the Steps are numbered and we say that they should be worked in order, there are benefits that you can acquire immediately from practicing the 11th Step whether you are brand new to recovery or have many years of sobriety but never prayed or meditated. I highly recommend that you incorporate into your life what I call, for lack of a better name, a spiritual practice. I am using “spiritual” here in the sense of the space and discipline within which we attempt to answer the big questions such as "Who am I and why am I here."
An important element of my own spirituality is prayer. Prayer for me has evolved throughout my recovery. I started out reciting "Our Fathers" and "Hail Marys," being a lapsed catholic. But that seemed counter productive almost immediately. Then I used the Serenity Prayer and eventually memorized the Third and Seventh Step prayers so I could use them as mantras in meditation. Today I recite the Buddhist "Three Gems" Prayer 3 times during both my morning and evening spiritual practice. Remember, its not important which prayers you use, only that you pray, nor how you choose to meditate, but that you take the time daily to be still.
The Meaning of Prayer in
Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and the 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.
"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!"
"My Creator, I am now willing
that you should have all of me, good and bad.
I pray that you now remove from me
every single defect of character,
which stands in the way of my usefulness
to you and my fellows.
Grant me strength, as I go out from here,
to do your bidding. Amen."
The Eleventh Step Prayer - The Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console.
To be understood as to understand.
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.
It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
"My spiritual awakening continues to unfold.
The help I have received I shall pass on and give to others.
For this opportunity I am grateful.
I pray most humbly to continue walking day by day on the road of spiritual progress.
I pray for the inner strength and wisdom to practice the principles of this way of life in all I do and say.
I need You, my friends, and the Program every hour of every day.
This is a better way to live."