The eleventh step of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is “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”.
The first three steps introduced us to our higher power in an effort to get sober. By the eleventh step we are calling that higher power God and are totally relying on Him to live decent lives. We don’t take a step to do anything without checking things out with Him. People who are just beginning the steps would look at this last statement as foolish and probably with anger. We who have done the steps know that we are only sober because of God. Now we have a relationship with God that we rely on. In this step we are putting aside some time each day to spend with Him. It is a quiet time where we pray for guidance and wisdom. We ask for the strength to stay sober today and ask God how we can be of service to others. We bring problems to Him and ask for answers.
Alcoholics Anonymous suggests that when we pray we ask God to help steer us away from self-pity, dishonesty and self-seeking motives. We ask for strength to continue “to do the next right thing” By putting this time aside everyday we are improving our conscious contact with Him. Remember that He is the God of our understanding. Some of us are blessed with believing in God since we were children. Others of us have had to figure out what He is to us when we started doing these steps.
Alcoholics have allowed their will to run rampant. The only higher power they have ever answered to was a bottle. Through doing these steps hopefully we have learned that wanting our will to be done has gotten us into trouble. We are now willing to turn this will over to God. Since beginning the steps we have seen a transformation in our lives and we want to continue to see more of it.
The very nature of our disease demands that we spend much time alone. It is a lonely disease as it progresses and we have to hide our drinking. We find ourselves to be our only companion and it is a warped companion at best. This companion tells us that we are worth less than nothing and that no one wants to spend any time with us. The sad thing is that it is true that when we are drinking people don’t want to be with us.
Having turned to God we find a companion that wants to spend time with us and that we are never alone. We have learned that in God’s eyes we have tremendous worth.