Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Guide to Daily Prayer

By Friar Rex, Hermit
March 14, 2009

"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." (Step 11 of the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous)

Not a few people have come to me over the years asking me about "prayer and meditation." Though I am and always will be only a beginner in the school of prayer, I share my experience, strength and hope in the power of prayer and meditation--both of which I consider a form of "Divine Therapy", to coin a phrase used by Fr. Thomas Keating--in hopes that my fellow pilgrims can indeed improve their conscious contact with God and come to know Christ Who presides over us all.

Below you will find a copy of the hand-out I give folks when they come to see me. Nothing you will read is original with me. Indeed, "there is nothing new under the sun." What I share I learned from others. If what you read proves helpful to you on your journey, take it with you and to God be all the glory. If you find some or all of it less than helpful, leave it.

Pax et Bonum,
~ Friar Rex


A Guide to Daily Prayer

Preparation for Prayer

The purpose of prayer is:

1. To improve my conscious contact with God.

2. To enhance my usefulness to others.

3. To develop humility, making it possible for me to receive God's grace and guidance.

As I understand God, God is..... (Take a few moments to contemplate your developing understanding of God as you remain clean & sober one day at a time.)


Prayer In The Morning

1. Today I ask God to . . .

a.) . . . direct my thinking and actions, to especially divorce my thoughts and actions from motives of:

- Selfishness

- Self-seeking

- Self-pity

- Resentment

- Fear

- Dishonesty

b.) . . . clear my thinking of wrong motives that I may better know and do God’s will.

2. I Think about the 24 hours ahead:

a.) What will I DO?

b.) Who will I BE?

3. I Ask God to clarify my vision of God’s will for me today. How can I best serve God and my fellows?

4. When I feel indecisive: I ask God to give me an inspiration, an intuitive thought, or some other way of making God’s will clear to me. I ask God to help me relax and take it easy, to trust, to stop struggling, to "let go and let God."

5. I ask God for:

a.) (Knowledge) Show me all throughout the day the next right thing to do.

b.) (Power) Give me whatever I need to take care of tasks and problems.

c.) (Freedom) Free me from self-will.

d.) (Love) Show me the way of patience, tolerance, kindness, and compassion.

e.) (Service) Allow me an opportunity to be useful and helpful to at least one other person.


Prayer Throughout The Day

I pray for knowledge of God's will and the power to carry it out.

1. I pause when agitated or doubtful and ask for the correct thought or action.

2. Many times during the day I humbly pray, "Thy will, not mine, be done."

3. I ask God what I can do for others, especially the person who still suffers from active addiction.


Prayer In The Evening

I identify and pray for the removal of character defects, internal obstacles which block God from acting in or through me.

1. I constructively review my day (without fear or favor).

a.) Was I:

- Resentful?

- Selfish?

- Dishonest?

- Afraid?

- _______?

- _______?

- _______?

b.) What motives were underneath my:

- Intentions?

- Thoughts?

- Acts?

- Efforts?

c.) Do I owe an apology?

d.) Have I kept something to myself that should be discussed with my sponsor or a trusted friend at once?

e.) Was I patient, tolerant, loving, kind, caring and compassionate toward all?

f.) What could I have done better?

g.) Was I thinking of myself most of the time?

h.) Or was I thinking of what I could do for others?

2. I ask God's forgiveness for those times when I failed to live according to God’s will.

3. I ask what corrective measures should be taken.

4. I thank God for blessings received.

5. I pray for the willingness to try again tomorrow!

Note: Matt Talbot practiced Step 11 decades before the creation of Alcoholics Anonymous. (JB)