Nov 03: Step 11

We are all invited to share on Step 11. The steps are our blueprint for living sober lives. We look forward to your shares.

*** Step 11 ***
“Sought through prayer and meditation to increase 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.”

This step is listed in Chapter 5, How it Works, from the book, Alcoholics Anonymous (affectionately known as the Big Book) (see p. 59). There’s more in Chapter 6 (Into Action), starting at the bottom of p. 85. There’s even more about it in the book, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.

*** Where to get the books, Alcoholics Anonymous and Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions ***
You can find these books at many f2f AA meetings; you can order them online from many places. And they are available from the AA General Service office, to read online, in English, French, and Spanish. See

Hello friends, my name is Emily M and I am an alcoholic. Today, I am sharing with you about Step Eleven: “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.”

I have found many times, that while I think I’m working this step, or want to be working this step, I feel some sort of block in prayer. Like I’m not sure I’m “doing it right”. Sometimes upon examination, I find that I’m maybe praying for selfish wants and not for the will of God to be done and instead for the will of Emily to be done.

My ego, my self on its own, as an alcoholic woman, really can get strong, really can become cunning baffling and powerful like only this disease can, and only crisis situations force me to truly humbly seek my HP in prayer and meditation the way this program actually says to. And funny thing is, once I get out of my own way and begin to do that, sure enough God had a plan the whole time, I just needed to seek Him and stop talking and crying and thinking long enough to receive that plan…aka meditation.

So today, I read in the 12 and 12, and I found this “guide” for how to make a start. It suggested finding a good prayer, one you relate to, and it suggested this one and said the following:

“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 to be understood—to love, than to be loved. For it is by self-forgetting that one finds. It is by forgiving that one is forgiven. It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life. Amen.”

“As beginners in meditation, we might now reread this prayer several times very slowly, savoring every word and trying to take in the deep meaning of each phrase and idea. It will help if we can drop all resistance to what our friend says. For in meditation, debate has no place. We rest quietly with the thoughts of someone who knows, so that we may experience and learn.

“As though lying upon a sunlit beach, let us relax and breathe deeply of the spiritual atmosphere with which the grace of this prayer surrounds us. Let us become willing to partake and be strengthened and lifted up by the sheer spiritual power, beauty, and love of which these magnificent words are the carriers. Let us look now upon the sea and ponder what its mystery is; and let us lift our eyes to the far horizon, beyond which we shall seek all those wonders still unseen.” Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, pp. 99-100

For me getting back to our texts always helps me find answers to my life’s problems whether they be big or small. I’ve found there’s no problem bigger than my HP. This meeting and text reminds me that it’s not all about me, but about serving others and being “on the beam” ourselves, in all our joys and in our trials.

I invite you to share about your relationship with Step 11, where it’s taken you, what practices you’ve found work, what you’ve found gets you in trouble.

Thank you for the honor of chairing this meeting.

Emily M.
DOS 9/1/10