We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing, and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)
In understanding Step 11, one must understand that God’s will is the best and highest for us. Our God is loving and supportive. He has been with us even in the depths of our addiction. As we worked through the first 10 steps we slowly improved our conscious contact with God.
“The quality of our contact with God, the depth and richness of our spiritual life, is the goal; prayer and meditation are the means.” Through prayer and meditation, talking and listening, we gradually improve our conscious contact with God.
Prayer to God is simple, we speak to Him, we ask him questions, we have discussions with Him. We can pray by ourselves in our rooms, or with a group of individuals in community with one another. The goal is to be open to actually speaking to God and not shy away from old beliefs we might been taught about how prayer should be structured. In short, prayers are regular conversations with God.
If prayer is speaking to God, then meditation is listening to God speak. God speaks to us through various ways. As seen in some of the previous musical topics, He speaks through music. God also speaks through other men in the program, during their shares, or through our sponsor and his wisdom. Ultimately, God speaks to us through His word, the Bible. The question is, are we still enough in our lives to actually hear what God is whispering to us in the aforementioned, or are we still too busy to listen. Progress, not perfection is the key. With time, any amount of effort we make to slow down and listen to God will bear fruit.
One of the most interesting meetings I have ever attended was an 11th Step Mediation meeting near Oakland, CA where we sat silent and in darkness for 15 minutes of the meeting! I believe it was one of the few times I have ever just been still, enough to listen to God and his still small voice about my life and my recovery. That meeting will forever be etched into my mind. It was peaceful and quite, a place I still struggle to get to in this busy life of mine.
As we grow in our spirituality, we move from only asking for specific things to asking only for knowledge if His will for us, seeking to join our will with God’s will. We learn to accept God’s will because we come to understand it is for our best interest. Even when He says “no” we learn that it is for our better good.
We also ask for the power to carry out His will, regardless of how difficult it could be. We need faith and strength to carry out God’s will, but we also need His help. We can’t always see what God has in store for us, but in knowning God to be trusting and loving, we know it is for the best and this extends past our recovery and into all aspects of our lives.
Take what you like and leave the rest.