Part 2. Morning Prayer and Meditation
Starting the day with a clear mind and a positive outlook can make a world of difference for those on the path to recovery. In this second part of our discussion on prayer and meditation, we delve into the morning routine recommended by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Let’s explore the wisdom found in the pages 86, 87, and 88 of the “Big Book” and see how it can help us navigate the challenges of each day.
Setting the Stage for a Spiritual Life
The authors of the Big Book, a group of the first 100 alcoholics, recognized the importance of starting each day with intentional reflection. They suggested that before considering our plans for the day, we take a moment to pray and ask for guidance from a Higher Power. This morning meditation serves as a simple and practical way to connect with our conscience and seek a spiritual connection.
Embracing the Exercise
So, what should we do? According to the Big Book, we should follow the lead of those who have succeeded before us. They advised that they “consider their plans for the day” before beginning, accompanied by a prayer. It’s as straightforward as that. AA is not a complex program, which is great news for those of us who tend to overthink things.
Reflecting on the Day Ahead
As we consider our plans for the day, it can be helpful to create a mental or written “to-do” list. This allows us to brainstorm what tasks lie ahead and set our intentions accordingly. Especially for workdays, it is beneficial to remind ourselves to be a team player and approach our interactions with kindness, courtesy, and respect. Aligning our actions with good motives is key to practicing spirituality throughout the day.
Seeking God’s Guidance
Another helpful practice, suggested by sponsors, is to envision the people we will interact with during the day. By contemplating how we can best approach these interactions, we can align our attitudes with what a Higher Power would want from us. Whether it’s patience and tolerance with a sponsee or listening more than talking during a business meeting, the goal is to act in a manner that reflects godly values.
Sometimes, we may find ourselves facing indecision about what course of action to take. In these moments, the Big Book advises us to turn to prayer for inspiration, intuitive thoughts, or guidance. Instead of struggling with our own thoughts, we are encouraged to relax and take it easy. The right answers often come to us when we let go and trust in a power greater than ourselves.
Concluding the Morning Meditation
To wrap up the morning meditation, the authors of the Big Book suggest a closing prayer. Their prayer seeks guidance for the next steps and asks for whatever is necessary to handle any challenges that may arise. Following their example, we can create our own version of this prayer, asking for the same guidance and freedom from self-will. Additionally, it is beneficial to incorporate other prayers into our routine, such as the 11th step prayer from the 12 and 12 or any prayer that aligns with the principles of AA.
Avoiding Selfish Intentions
While praying for ourselves, it is important to be mindful of our motives. The Big Book emphasizes that we should pray for ourselves only if it benefits others. This means steering clear of selfish desires and focusing on things like work that allow us to live well and be of service to others. It’s essential to ensure our prayers are in line with the principles of kindness, love, and understanding.
Praying throughout the Day
As we navigate through the day, we are encouraged to pause and ask for guidance whenever we feel agitated or doubtful. By seeking the right thoughts and actions, and by reminding ourselves that we are no longer in control, we align ourselves with a higher purpose. This practice of surrendering to a Higher Power helps us stay grounded and remain focused on doing God’s will.
Promises of the Morning Meditation
By consistently practicing the morning meditation outlined on pages 86, 87, and 88 of the Big Book, we can experience a shift in our lives. We become less prone to negative emotions, decision-making becomes easier, and our efficiency improves. We conserve energy by not trying to control everything, and our lives become more fulfilling. These promises can be achieved by faithfully following the path laid out in the Big Book.
So, let’s begin each day with a prayer, consider our plans with good motives, seek guidance, and close our morning meditation with a prayer for continued guidance and freedom from self-will. By embracing this routine, we can navigate our day with a spirituality that is rooted in kindness, tolerance, and service to others. For more information on AA and its practices, visit Ratingperson. Remember, progress, not perfection, is what we strive for in our spiritual journey.