Comments from Web Sites and Publications
Step 11 is my continual reality check and compass. It keeps me grounded in
the reality that I know has brought me out of my addictive behaviors. It keeps
me in a safe place by keeping my conscious contact with God. Through prayer
and meditation I maintain this conscious contact with God and continually try
to carry out what God leads me to do. In that path, I find the sanity, serenity
and joy that I have been seeking.
- From 12Step.org
Those of us who have come to make regular use of prayer would no more do without it
than we would refuse air, food or sunshine. And for the same reason. When we refuse
air, light or food the body suffers. And when we turn away from meditation and prayer,
we likewise deprive our minds, our emotions and our intuitions of vitally needed support.
As the body can fail its purpose for lack of nourishment, so can the soul. We all need
the light of God's reality, the nourishment of His strength, and the atmosphere of His
grace. To an amazing extent the facts of A.A. life confirm this ageless truth.
- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 97-98
When we first come to the Program, we usually express a lot of things which seem to be
important wants and needs. As we grow spiritually and find out about a Power greater
than ourselves, we begin to realize that as long as our spiritual needs are truly met,
our living problems are reduced to a point of comfort. When we forget where our real
strength lies, we quickly become subject to the same patterns of thinking and action
that got us to the Program in the first place. We eventually redefine our beliefs and
understanding to the point where we see that our greatest need is for knowledge of God's
will for us and the strength to carry that out. We are able to set aside some of our
personal preference, if necessary, to do this because we learn that God's will consists
of the very things we care most about. God's will for us becomes our own true will for
ourselves. This happens in an intuitive manner which cannot be adequately explained in words.
We become willing to let other people be what they are without having to pass judgment on them.
The urgency to take care of things isn't there anymore. We couldn't comprehend acceptance
in the beginning-now we can.
- Narcotics Anonymous Basic Text, Chapter 4/Step 11
Step 11 provides daily spiritual maintenance. As recovering persons, we may use our support groups
and recovery literature as springboards toward spiritual and emotional growth. We will probably
reach a level, though, at which we hunger for an even deeper contact and communication with God...
If we have had little or no experience with prayer, we should probably begin in a simple
fashion. That means putting aside perfectionistic concerns about praying "the right way."
We should pray simply and forthrightly to God as a loving Father, not worrying about what
we should and should not say.
Over time, as we become comfortable with God, we will talk with Him as with a trusted friend.
He will be the Person with whom we can conduct our daily inventories of grief and confession
issues. And we will begin to sense His answers to our prayers...
- Serenity, A Companion for Twelve Step Recovery, p. 72, 73
Moving through the steps people report being increasingly in contact with soneone - a "Person"
rather than a philosophical Higher Power. When this change takes place, we often see miracles happening
in their lives. After much fear of losing control, they discover insight, wisdom, power, and courage
that they didn't have at all two weeks before. At that point many say, "I surrender, I give up." They
begin to communicate with God concerning what is happening to them. And that's when they are ready
to receive the help of Step Eleven.
Although these changes happen for many people, they do not happen for all. Many work the steps and
stay sane in Twelve-Step programs yet somehow miss the whole thing about prayer and meditation.
Most of the people who work good programs, however, are connected to God and do use prayer
and meditation in some form. They use them as practical ways of learning who God is and what his will for them
may be, as well as for learning useful truths about who they are and what they're to do in order
to find happiness, guidance, peace and continued growth. But mostly they pray because they feel
gratitude, love and a sense of awe that the One with whom they are in contact is using his power
to heal them.
- A Hunger for Healing, by Keith Miller, p. 180