At the close of most AA meetings, we clasp hands and pray the Lord’s Prayer – or the Serenity Prayer. Only a few times have we simply held hands in a moment of silence after a meeting. That’s good too; silence never keeps God from talking to a hurting heart.
Yes, I know I am praying with folks whose God is not revealed in Christ.
But, I am praying with folks who know their powerlessness over drugs and alcohol, and who believe in the power of prayer: personal and shared. Together, we accept that daily recovery depends on a source of strength, not our own. That’s a good first step, right?
The closing prayer always makes an impression: when I leave, I still have help: Our Father, who will not lead me into temptation, and who will deliver me from evil. (Luke 11:1-13)
Something in that communal conversation with God strengthens me, even as I pray with those whose understanding of God may differ. We are united in conviction the God of our understanding isn’t any one of us! And that’s a good step, too.
Praying with others who have shared their experience, strength and hope bolsters me against the self-absorption that active addiction is.
So, our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making. They arise out of ourselves, and the alcoholic is an extreme example of self-will run riot. (The AA Big Book, page 62)
I look around the praying circle, and see people who are doing what I want to do – stay sober, and live unselfishly. Some aren’t there yet, but they are willing. That’s the best step of all!
Yes, I open my eyes when I pray.*
Looking around, the closing prayer circle, I see hope – not a bad gift on these dark days when so many are dying.
Recovering today, we have a power, whom some of us believe is both God and Father. He has
thus far kept us upright, sober and in our right minds. So, when we leave the meetings — the place for us that is a shelter, a hospital of hope, and an oasis of help – we pray.
Thanks for reading – I appreciate your time!
Love in Christ,
Sober and Grateful
*Pray With Your Eyes Open