Prayer is our Petition-It is through Meditation we Listen
We Improve our Conscious Contact
“Are you capable of forgiving and loving God even when you have found out that He is not perfect, even when He has let you down and disappointed you by permitting bad luck and sickness and cruelty in His world, and permitting some of those things to happen to your?”
When Bad Things Happen to Good People
Prayer is to open the door wider and let God in. We seek through prayer and meditation to discover God’s will for us and are empowered to carry His will out.
By now prayer has become a part of our lives. We have begun to see how prayer has given us the strength to advance and take each step as it has been presented.
To maintain our new out look we continue to seek guidance. We are no longer “running on empty”. We are no longer “alone”. We have developed courage and strength to become humble and forgive. We have discovered those things that were hidden. We have moved from our comfortable haven of denial, into the honest and open realm of self-inspection.
Through prayer and meditation, we acquire a deeper relationship with the God of our understanding. We are no longer alienated from God or our fellows.
Our souls are at rest. We understand a peace which surpasses all understanding.
Many who deny the power of prayer are those who have not used it enough.
We now nourish our souls and spirits with prayer and meditation. We enter into “our personal age of enlightenment.
With the “Holy Troika” of self-examination, prayer and forgiveness we are like the man who built his home on bedrock. We have a solid foundation and the winds may blow and the storms may come, but we are now armed against fear.
As novices in listeners to God, we may not know where to begin. There are many techniques that have been used to develop this conscious contact. We may begin:
This simple method was suggested by Bill W. in the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. He asks us to look at the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi:
“Lord, make me a channel of thy peace-that where there is hatred, I may bring love-,
That where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness-
That where there is discord, I may bring harmony-
That where there is error, I may bring truth-
That where there is doubt, I may bring faith-
That where there is despair, I may bring hope-
That where there are shadows, I may bring light-
That where there is sadness, I may bring joy-
Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted-
To understand, than be understood-
To love, than be loved.
For it is by self-forgetting that one is forgiven. It is by dying to self that we awaken to eternal life."
We sit quietly and reread each petition hearing what we are praying. We contemplate the depth of what St. Francis was pleading for.
We say around the holiday of Christmas, “it is better to give than to receive”. Hear what the saint is asking for and what gifts, he is willing to give.
This is where we pray and listen for God’s enlightenment. We call them spiritual awakenings, epiphanies or realizations, it is a personal event between you and God. This is the journey of the pilgrim or the hero/heroine, it begins with an event and your quantum leap of faith into a new world. We are now roused from our sleep, and we are empowered to “live ON purpose".
“What an order, I cannot go through with this. We are not anything close to saints, the point is we are willing to grow spiritually. Do not be dismayed, no one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles. These principles are used as guides to progress, we claim spiritual growth rather than spiritual perfection.”
Paraphrased from The Big Book of Alcoholic Anonymous
Here are some useful links for you to find, and walk, a spiritual path that will bring comfort, hope, clarity, strength, and happiness. Whether you're exploring your own faith or other spiritual traditions, here are inspiring tools, and access to spiritual teachings.
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Having Had a Spiritual Awakening