This morning when I was starting my prayers, just as I closed my eyes and went into the stillness – something got in the way… my thinking. The thought that came to mind before I really even got into my prayer was, “Yeah, this is great and all – but is this all there is to it? Can I just say a set of words and have it be enough to set me on the right track for the day?”
On page 86 (4th Edition) of our Big Book in the Chapter Into Action, is says, “On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives. Under these conditions we can employ our mental faculties with assurance, for after all God gave us brains to use. Our thought-life will be placed on a much higher plane when our thinking is cleared of wrong motives.”
Oh, that’s what I didn’t do – I didn’t ask God to direct my thinking. My thinking was off and running. One of the first things I need to remember about that paragraph on page 86 is that it is in the chapter titled Into Action. While the prayer itself IS an action, if my morning prayer and meditation is not followed up by action throughout my 24 – they will be just that – a set of words.
My morning prayer usually goes something like this, “God, I pray that your will be done in my life today. I pray that you offer me the knowledge of your will for me, and the power to carry that out. I pray that you help me to be of maximum service to you and your kids. Amen.” Even though page 86 gives me pretty clear direction on what to ask God for – this prayer seems to work for me. It make sense to me. While it’s all important – the most important part each morning is my reminder that for this to be a GOoD day, I need to be “other-centered.” I need to not think of me so much and start off my day by thinking of others. With that clarity – there IS action involved.
It’s been my experience that if I’m focused on what I can do to be of service today, God will likely divorce my thinking from self-pity, dishonest, or self-seeking motives and my actions will display that. Thank God I am, at this moment, a recovered alcoholic because I know who I am, what my real problem is, and that I’m not the solution to that problem. I’m grateful today that I know I cannot be lazy and not take action so that my prayers can be realized.
Is Prayer Enough? For this alcoholic, it’s a great start – but it must be followed up by action that provides the foundation to the kind of day God wants for me – not the kind of day I want for me.