Step 11 goes as follows: Sought through prayer and meditation to improve out conscious contact with God as we understood him, praying only for the knowledge of his will for us and the power to carry that out. Let’s break this step down. First of all, it assumes that we have incorporated a period of prayer and meditation into our daily lives. This is accomplished by the taking of the first ten steps. Most people start their day in this way finding it gives them strength to perform their daily tasks, either in or out of the home.
Next it reaffirms that we have come to some sort of belief in a Higher Power. This is the Power that we ask for strength and guidance from. We are to pray only for knowledge of what he would have us do and the power to carry out his will. Back in Step 7 we were admonished to pray only for ourselves when it may benefit others. We can end up in a mess if we pray only for a new car or for $100.00 bills to begin flowing from the ceiling. This also let’s us know that we always don’t know what is right for us. Sure, I can pray to be a better mother as this would benefit my children. I can also pray for a raise from my job if this would benefit my family. We just have to watch out for selfish and self-centered prayers or prayers that would bolster our pride and ego.
The ability to pray the proper way is developed over time and practice. Once may incorporate some spiritual reading into this period of prayer and meditation. When I was new, I would read the daily reading from the 24 Hour a Day Book. This book is available through Amazon or at AA central offices. This reading would set the tone for my day. My initial time for prayer and meditation took about 15 minutes. Nowadays it takes about one hour.
It takes a while to be able to quiet our minds and assume a period of meditation. That is why the reading can be very helpful in that it gives one something to focus on if they choose to do so. After a while it becomes easier and almost 2nd nature to do so. One may also pray during periods of quiet throughout the day. Prayer is something that can be done anywhere and at any time. We don’t have to assume a particular stance to pray. We can pray while just sitting in our chair or while we are walking about. We can pray at work or at play. These prayers are silent, so no one has to know what we are doing.
Step 11 takes time and practice over our daily lives. We are not going to be praying like a Buddhist Monk in a week. All we have to do is make a beginning to incorporate this into our day. The Higher Power will take care of the rest.