AA speaker Dr. Mike presents a Big Book study podcast and thoughts on recovery

Thoughts on Recovery – No. 63 – Step 11 – Why did they wait to step 11 to suggest prayer and meditation? Putting this step in perspective with steps 1-10

At the meeting last Sunday night we were looking at the paragraph on becoming God conscious. I had written a thought no. 61 on that which we also read at the meeting. There were some excellent comments at the meeting about how important prayer is as an essential part of recovery.

I asked myself why they didn’t put this process earlier in the steps. There are prayers in the first 9 steps but why did they wait to suggest how to pray and meditate until step 11. It occurred to me that if I am going to have an effective life of prayer and meditation it has to be different then it was before I came to AA.

The process of the first 9 steps is to unblock me from God. When I am in self my prayers relate to how I get what I think I need and my meditation is on Michael. It is like praying with a brick wall that I have built between me and my Creator. I had no conscious contact. As I began to work in earnest the action steps of 4-9 I was beginning to develop a right relationship with God. As I began the amends process the promises were beginning to come true. God was now doing for me what I could not do for myself! I entered the World of the Spirit. This process opened me up to God’s direction. Now I have access to God to relieve me of the bondage of self whenever it crops up during the day. I continue this process in the evening review and see how self was manifested during the day. At the conclusion of my nightly review I pray for God’s forgiveness and ask what corrective measures should be taken. This is how I begin to unblock myself every day and night and open myself to God’s power. The more I work Step 10 and perform the nightly review in step 11 the better are my days.

That is why I think it is so important to work the steps quickly. To get the fourth step information down on paper and learn the prayers to unblock myself whenever I am angry or afraid. To face and be rid of my anger and fears. To forgive. To be willing to make amends. To take different actions so I don’t continue to harm myself and others in relationships. To see my character defects. By taking this course of action I have begun to learn how to recognize when in self and then take prompt action to be free of self. My focus has changed on serving God not Michael. I have begun to be God conscious. It says I must go further.

Step 11 is how thru prayer and meditation I improve my understanding of God’s will for me and accessing his power to carry it out. I accomplish this through daily prayer and meditation. The more time and effort I put into this I believe will determine how well I am able to stay connected to God during the day. On days when things don’t seem to be going well ask yourself should you have spent more time in prayer and meditation.

So in answer to the question I asked myself they made step 11 the culmination of the process to obtain a spiritual awakening. I came into AA beaten up from living a life run on self will. My prayer life was self focused and I had no idea how to meditate. My mind was blocked by fear, anger and shame and guilt. By taking the actions of 4-9 I have freed my mind enough so God could begin to work in my life. I can use my will power when aligned with God’s will. I am now ready to use prayer and meditation in step 11 to align myself with God’s vision for me each day.

My life is only manageable when my spiritual tools are plugged into the God socket. Step 10 and 11 help me visualize the God socket and recognize when I am in the Michael socket. I had to work steps 4-9 to recognize how my life does not work in the Michael socket and a glimpse of how things look when in the God socket. Steps 10-11 are how I unplug it all day from my socket to God’s socket. Going from the self centered left hand side of the spiritual checklist to the right hand God centered side.

Remember it is a journey. To grow in my awakening to God I have to start somewhere. It is like exercise. The more I practice prayer and meditation the closer I get to God. The closer I get the better I feel and act. The better I feel and act the more I want to do it!

The next thoughts will look at the their suggestions for prayer and meditation. Let me hear from you mhurwitz50@gmail.com

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  1. Clancy on June 9, 2018 at 12:58 pm

    Excellently said, Mike. Particularly your description focusing on the difference in prayer made within the steps and prayer before I entered these rooms “listens” for me. Thanks!

  2. Louisiana Gene on June 12, 2018 at 1:26 am

    I think “we ask God” are the closest thing we can come to prayer and meditation. Each Step has them but the big guns of Prayer and Meditation are the rewards of working a successful program up until this point. Yet another reason to Launch out in our Program that introduces us to God. Thanks Doc

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