Step Eleven says : Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
There is a clear connection between self-awareness and prayer as we see and live Steps Ten and Eleven. When we are daily aware of our shortcomings and patterns of behavior, we realize again our powerlessness and humble dependence on God to transform our lives. Today, I want to talk about the prayer piece of this step.
Notice the step clearly defines our prayers as, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out. This may seem like a wordy nuance that doesn’t have any relevance, but it is actually quite important. When addictive behaviors are active in us, we can use prayers to manipulate in all kinds of ways. We can actually unconsciously play God by arrogantly demanding specific outcomes, by selfishly expecting things to go our way, by using our newly found contact with God as a way of controlling and manipulating others, or by using God as a divine vending machine. Our patterns of thought are so subtle and insidious that this step is phrased intentionally to protect us from ourselves, even in our prayers.
Step Eleven gives us a window into the God who has been changing our lives. This part of our journey gives Him new and increased access to the parts of us that need transformation. It also gives Him the opportunity to teach us how to think, feel, and behave in healthy ways. It allows us to start accepting His guidance in our lives. As we begin to develop a relationship with Him through daily prayer and meditation, we begin to trust Him more. We start to see the subtle ways He speaks us, we can experience the subtle ways He nudges us, and we see the amazing ways He works all around us.
Lets look into your experiences with prayer and meditation today:
- Do you find it difficult to open your heart to God? Explain.
- How do you feel about prayer – talking to God?
- Describe a time you prayed and God answered?
- What is your experience with unanswered prayers?
- How do you feel about meditation – listening to God?
- What is your experience with the Bible?
- Can you see areas of your life that you are surrendering to God’s will?
- Describe the quality of life you are experiencing through working the steps.