Directions for Prayer and Meditation

Directions for Prayer and Meditation “Big Book” pp. 85-88 from Big Book Sponsorship

Part 1
Part 2

Step Eleven suggests prayer and meditation. We shouldn’t be shy on this matter of prayer. Better men than we are using it constantly. It works, if we have the proper attitude and work at it. It would be easy to be vague about this matter. Yet, we believe we can make some definite and valuable suggestions.

When we retire at night, we constructively review our day. Were we resentful, selfish, dishonest or afraid? Do we owe an apology? Have we kept something to ourselves which should be discussed with another person at once? Were we kind and loving toward all? What could we have done better? Were we thinking of ourselves most of the time? Or were we thinking of what we could do for others, of what we could pack into the stream of life? But we must be careful not to drift into worry, remorse or morbid reflection, for that would diminish our usefulness to others. After making our review we ask God’s forgiveness and inquire what corrective mea-sures should be taken.

On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives. Under these conditions we can employ our mental faculties with assurance, for after all God gave us brains to use. Our thought-life will be placed on a much higher plane when our thinking is cleared of wrong motives.

In thinking about our day we may face indecision. We may not be able to determine which course to take. Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision. We relax and take it easy. We don’t struggle. We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a while. What used to be the hunch or the occasional inspiration gradually becomes a working part of the mind. Being still inexperienced and having just made conscious contact with God, it is not probable that we are going to be inspired at all times. We might pay for this presumption in all sorts of absurd actions and ideas. Nevertheless, we find that our thinking will, as time passes, be more and more on the plane of inspiration. We come to rely upon it.

We alcoholics are undisciplined. So we let God discipline us in the simple way we have just outlined.

But this is not all. There is action and more action. “Faith without works is dead.”

Test for Self-will / God’s Will
Fourth Step Test
Selfish — Unselfish
Dishonest — Honesty
Self-seeking — Purity
Frightened — Love
“Where had we been selfish, dishonest, self-seeking and frightened?”(Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 67, para. 2, lines 3-4)

Tenth Step Test
Selfishness — Unselfishness
Dishonesty — Honesty
Resentment — Purity
Fear — Love
“Continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear.”(Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 84, para. 2, lines 8-9)

Eleventh Step Test
Resentful — Purity
Selfish — Unselfish
Dishonest — Honest
Afraid — Love
“Were we resentful, selfish, dishonest or afraid? (Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 86, para. 1, lines 2-3)

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