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Setting aside time to be alone in silence for prayer and meditation is something that has been an integral part of the spiritual practice of major religions for a reason. It benefits everyone who does it sincerely. It leads people to answers, alleviates suffering and strengthens the spirit during times of trouble in a way that nothing else can replicate. For recovering alcoholics and drug users, the practice of prayer and meditation forms the 11th-step of the 12-step program.

Step 11: “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.”

If you’re a recovering alcoholic or recovering drug user, what does that mean exactly? It means referring to spiritual texts and thinking about them, to help develop your God consciousness. It means using the quiet time to ask for guidance and allow God’s grace to enter into your soul, so you have new faith, which gives you strength so you can do things you haven’t been able to do before, which includes living sober. It means making a connection with a power greater than yourself, which will help strengthen you and your resolve to get your life under control, and empower you to create something better than you have managed on your own to date.

The most common Christian forms of prayer are prayers of petition, thanksgiving, worship and receptive prayer. While you may understand the first three, receptive prayer may not be so familiar to you. It is the often forgotten side of prayer. We know how to ask, but not to receive. We look for answers, and do not realize that they come when we learn to simply enjoy God’s presence, accept God’s peace, be open to God’s new ideas, and breathe in God’s healing.

There are different forms of meditation, but they all effectively involve entering into a state of “divine silence” to restore the spirit of peace and calm. It will help you to cease the mental chatter in your head and clear a pathway to receive answers from a source within rather than the conscious unsettled mind, which doesn’t always come up with the right answers.

While prayer and meditation have inherent differences, there is still a great deal of overlap between them. For example, receptive prayer, where a person quiets his/her mind in order to receive inspiration, is very similar to meditation.

Prayer and meditation have both been found to have great physical benefits as well as emotional and mental benefits. People who pray and meditate tend to be happier and are more resilient and resourceful in the face of problems. Clinical studies have shown that people who pray and meditate are more relaxed and have stronger immune systems, so they are less likely to be sick and are able recover from illnesses more easily if they do get sick.

Making time to apply the 11th-step offers you great benefits in all aspects of your recovery from addiction. It’s a vitally important tool in your equipment to heal yourself and your life.

Albert Black

Albert Black is the founder and CEO of Recovery in the Pines, the premier Christian-based, extended-care, addiction treatment center, located in Prescott, AZ, offering holistic wellness for drug and alcohol dependency. For more information about Recovery in the Pines, go to its website at: http://recoveryinthepines.com/ or contact Albert Black by phone at: (928) 308-4311 or email at: albertblack@recoveryinthepines.com