February 18

“The only way to pray well is to pray often.”

       In Step Two we “came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”  Some in the program struggle with a proper concept of a Higher Power.  Many do not like the term “God.”  Some are ‘atheists’ and prefer to think of the group as their Higher Power.  But the thing of it is:  Our Higher Power is someone to whom we can pray.

       I know, intellectually, that prayer is good and necessary, but I pray only sporadically.  It seems reasonable that, if my Higher Power is the One who will save me from my powerlessness, I should be in conscious contact with God all the time.

       Prayer is an exercise that I don’t always perform when it’s necessary to do so.  I think my postponement of prayer stems from my basic misconceptions.  “Prayers must be correct, well thought out, and perfect, or God will not listen.”  Thinking that my prayers must be perfect is one reason why I do not pray nearly enough.

        Would it be fair to say that we need to pray ‘religiously’?  The 12-Step program is not a religious one, but I fully realize that I am weak in the area of prayer.  I don’t do it regularly, consistently, as if my life depended on it.

       This morning I am grateful that my prayers are heard by my Higher Power.  This is a growing realization that began when I first started the 12-Step program.  Steps One, Two and Three brought about a transfer, my powerlessness for God’s power.  And each subsequent Step was a step of faith to somewhere I had never been. 

       Prayer is a way of maintaining “conscious contact with God” as we travel on this journey of faith.  Instead of praying in a state of desperation or as a last resort (after I’ve tried everything else and nothing’s worked), I need to learn to pray moment by moment – before I take action – not just when I feel tempted.

       I offer up a prayer of thanksgiving today to God for the strength I have received as a result of prayer.  I am grateful for my addiction, my sobriety, my health, and my freedom.  There is so much to be grateful for, and I overlook most of it by taking things for granted.  I resolve to pray more often by remaining in an attitude of gratitude; a thankful heart is one of strength and joy.  

 You shall be strong as you maintain your conscious contact with your Higher Power.