Prayer

"The alcoholic at certain times has no effective mental defense against the first drink.  Except in a few rare cases, neither he nor any other human being can provide such a defense.  His defense must come from a Higher Power."

I treat my disease with a daily dose

of spirituality,

which comes from prayer,

meditation

and going to AA meetings.

My daily dose of spirituality

Enter into your 

Secret Place to pray

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. Matthew 6:6

Prayer is much more

than simply talking to God

I must develop a prayer life

When I came into the rooms of AA, my drinking and drugging had taken complete control of my life.  No human power, they said, could alleviate my suffering.  I must find a relationship with a Higher Power who could provide such a defense.  They said it worked for them and I could see that it had.  Prayer, they told me, was the only way to build such a relationship.  I must develop a prayer life. 

 

What is prayer

It is certainly much more than simply “talking to God.”  It is opening myself up completely, exposing my very heart.  As a non-believer, I very much doubted the effectiveness of praying.  So I was shocked when the first prayer I tried was successful.  Prayer works.

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Guidelines for effective prayer

thoughts from  The Sermon on the Mount >>

Prayer is a form of thanksgiving

Gratitude.  I am thanking Him for all He has given me and I tell Him so.  A roof over my head, a another day sober, a full belly, the fellowship of AA.

 

Use  the prayers others have written

Especially if I am  having trouble  composing my thoughts. St. Francis’ Prayer, the Lord’s Prayer, the Serenity Prayer.  There is a collection of them on this page >>>

 

Never beg, wheedle, or plead

These types don’t seem to work very well at all.

 

Prayer is a private and personal thing

It is my relationship with my Creator.  It is not to be broadcast about, or announced to my friends.  “Close the door and pray in secret,” is the quote. 

 

Expect your prayer to be answered

The stronger your faith in the process, the better the results will be.  “According to your faith be it unto you.”  With practice, your prayers will be more fruitful.  And as your faith in them grows, your prayers will prosper all the more.

 

Your heart must be at peace

If my heart is filled with anger, resentment, and other negativity, the message simply won’t get through.  This is why meditation before beginning the prayer itself is so useful.

 

Don’t be too specific

Don’t go into a closet, shut the door, and tell God you are hungry.  No hot dog will come rolling under the door.  It doesn’t work like that.  I don’t need a Cadillac, I need a ride to a meeting.

 

Ask for guidance with the problems you face today

Ask to be the best person today that I have ever been.  Ask to be of help to others.  Ask to think more of others than myself.  Ask to love my fellows as myself. 

 

Ask to bring God’s love into the world

It's your job as a child of God, to bring His love into the world.

The Benefits of Prayer

Prayer opens a relationship with God.

As this relationship grows, every aspect of my life improves.

 

Prayer provides protection against the first drink.

 

Prayer breaks the tenacious habits of my thinking

my obsessions, my resentments, and my fears. I can overcome harmful desire, banish any resentment, handle any obsession. 

 

Prayer accesses the heart

and the subconscious and is the only way to change a person’s character.

 

Prayer allows God’s love to flow into and through me into the world

Reggie’s Story—"My only defense

against the first drink."   A true story.

“It was a beautiful spring day when I came out of a noon AA meeting,” said Reggie.  “My plan was to walk down the street to my favorite deli and grab a couple of sandwiches to take home.  I was in a sweet, serene state of mind, which made what happened next all the more surprising.”

 

“As I was walking, a voice came over my right shoulder.  ‘Why don’t you have a glass of wine while you wait,’ it said.  I don’t have to tell you I was shaken by the thought.  ‘They won’t be able to smell it on your breath,’ it said.

 

“I knew that was a lie.  But if the voice said it, I thought, it must be true.”

 

“Holy shit! I said out loud.  I knew I was in deep trouble.

 

I was alone, with no one I could ask for help.  I’d just come from a meeting, so that wouldn’t help.  I had no Big Book with me to read and no cell phone to call my sponsor.

 

I was more than a little worried, since one glass of wine would inevitably lead to many bottles before the deli closed at midnight.  They would pour me into a taxi and I would have to face the pained and disappointed looks of my family.  What should I do?  Then the voice spoke again.”

 

“It said, ‘You can have two!’  I could feel my newly won sobriety going down in flames in front of my eyes.  I was scared to death and had no idea what I should do.”

 

“Then out of the blue came an idea—I would pray.  The only prayer I could think of was the Serenity Prayer.  Walking down the street in broad daylight with my eyes open, I prayed in my mind.

 

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

 

“I was so frightened I started saying the prayer again.  Halfway through I stopped because I couldn’t remember why I was praying.  I walked into the deli and ordered my sandwiches.  It wasn’t until later when I paid the bill that I remembered what had happened on the street.  I laughed and went home.”

The Power of Prayer

"Our prayers may be awkward.  Our attempts may be feeble.  But since the power of prayer is in the one who hears it and not in the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference."

Max Lucado >>

Text and original photos copyright 2017-2020 by Linville M. Meadows