The Steps in Everyday Living: Part Eleven

Step Eleven:  Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

Alright, we are in the home stretch!  That is what I thought when I got to this step while going through them, and that is what I think as I am writing this series.  Recovery-wise, Step 11 works in conjunction with step 10, and so are typically done simultaneously.  The way Step 10 is a mini-step 4, Step 11 is a mini-step 3 (Turned our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him).

Here’s the logistics of Step 11:  In the morning, say your prayers, and make sure to ask God to direct your thoughts and actions so that you may better serve His will.  This is important, because it is so easy to revert to self-will, asking for what we want, demanding what we think should happen.  So getting in the proper mindset, right up front, is important.  Next, take a minute to review your day, what’s on the to-do list, and what decisions need to be made.  Ask God for help with the decisions, and take some time to meditate.  Remember, praying is asking for God’s help, meditating is listening for His answer.  Conclude with a prayer asking to be free from self-will, since it is something that pops up again and again.

Throughout the day, when faced with anxiety or indecision, pause, and ask God for guidance, help, direction.  Turn the problem over to Him, and have confidence that He will handle it.

At the end of the day, take a moment and reflect on what you’ve done, both good and bad.  There are many different checklists available that you can use, if you find that sort of thing helpful,  but the idea is:  what did you do well?  what could you have done better?  what amends need to be made tomorrow?   Ask for forgiveness for the failings, thank Him for the successes, and pray for direction in determining any corrective actions that might be taken tomorrow.

This sounds like a lot of stuff, but in reality, each of these steps take but moments of each day, and I can tell you, make an absolute world of difference in the quality of my life.

I can’t say enough about how this step helps in everyday living.  The minute I feel out of sorts, I make it a point to shoot up a quick prayer and ask for His help.  Just that very small act almost invariably lifts whatever burden I am carrying off my shoulders, and I can breathe easier.  When I make the effort to clue in to my surroundings, I find He answers even more than I have asked of Him!

Posted on June 21, 2013, in Twelve Steps in Everyday Living and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Wonderful post – bang on. I have not been as vigilant (ok, I was never vigilant) about 10 and 11 lately. I have been scurrying a quick prayer in the morning and then running around like a chicken with my head cut off. So I don’t often meditate in the morning (I do at night or in the day if I am off). I will shoot prayers off during the day, even as simple as “Thy will, not mine, be done”. I have some checklists that I used to use before that I am thinking of using again, to help center and focus myself.

    But keeping in contact with my HP is very important for me. I have rarely not prayed during the course of a day, and when I don’t, I feel it. Meditation almost always gives me great insight or something when I take the time to do it. The next amend I need to make almost always comes up during meditation. Answers come to me, or some thought from “nowhere” that eventually serves me in one way or another always emerges from meditation.

    Great post and information – your sponsees are lucky women.



    • I’m with you on this one, Paul. I have found myself, of late, saying my night time prayers as I’m walking up the steps to bed. Somehow, that is not what I think is meant by improving conscious contact! At the same time, the thought of praying before bed would have not even occurred prior to doing the steps, so, as they say, progress, not perfection!

      Thanks so much for your insight, and for your kind words!


      • Well said about *improving* conscious contact. You and I aren’t the first nor the last ones to say a prayer in the car on the way to work or like you said, drifting off as they stumble to bed, etc. I like what Lisa said (again, as usual) about the day being an ongoing dialogue with the Creator. So in that light, I don’t get too down on myself if I haven’t done my 10 minute Hallelujah chorus prayer the second I wake up (damned be using the washroom!) I have two young boys that take my attention the second I get up, so unless I get up earlier (which I used to do, but it soon became too much), I do what I can when I can. And that’s better than what I used to do. I don’t want good to be the enemy of great, but I continue to grown, as you mentioned.

        Great stuff!


  2. My favorite of steps. I just decided to keep the prayer going all day long. I like that constant conversation with God, keeps me out of trouble. (I always know I checked God out of the conversation because I feel shitty about a choice I made.) You always inspire me, you keep the 12-steps alive in my world with these “everyday living” posts. xox


    • You know, my husband just said to me, “it seems like you talk to yourself a lot.” But, in fact, it’s not myself I’m talking to, but God Himself. Like you, I keep the conversation going!

      Thanks Lisa, I hope to catch up with you soon. End of school year schedule changes have been a challenging transition, one that is ongoing, but I am hopeful I will ease back into “summer mode” soon!


      • Serendipitous to read this. I just told my girlfriend yesterday, no matter how many years I’ve been sober, I am still challenged with the school to summer and then again summer to school transitions. BTW: In my mind we are caught up. I love knowing I get to share in a little of your life. (At least each Monday.) Hugs


  3. As i haven’t officially started this step you, i appreciate the insights. You rock, babe!


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