Tag Archives: Higher Power

Pray for Help from Our Higher Power

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, November 16, 2015

prayer to God as I understand God

Pray for Help from Our Higher Power

Today’s reading hit the bull’s eye. Pray. That’s it. Pray for help from God as you understand God. That’s it. [1]

Yes, as the reading today instructed, I can pray that I come to know the Twelve Steps better. And, you and I both know that I wrote a year-long blog about being helpful and being of service. (365 days of being helpful!)

I try to be a good example. I want others to know that if they need anything, they can call on me. I will do my best to get them help and assistance.

Now, there is one caveat. One presupposition, if you will.

I need to believe in a loving, caring God, a God who is intimately involved with all of the humans in the world. A God who will come alongside those who are struggling, and assist. No matter what. (It’s a good thing that I do believe in such a loving, caring God.)

A distant, neutral, even vindictive Higher Power? Sorry, but I cannot pin my faith to some old acquaintances, or in some dinky understanding of an HP. Much less to an arbitrary God who doesn’t even care whether I live or die.

I appreciate the Action for Today from today’s reading: “Today, I’ll admit my needs by praying for help from my Higher Power.” So be it. Amen.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] Keep It Simple: Daily Meditations for Twelve-Step Beginnings and Renewal. (Hazelden Meditation Series) (San Francisco: Harper & Row Publishers, 1989), November 16 reading.

Duty? Self-Discipline? Learn to Do the Next Right Thing

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, November 14, 2015

next right thing sunset

Duty? Self-Discipline? Learn to Do the Next Right Thing

Today’s reading opens with a quote from one of my favorite authors: Mark Twain. “Make it a point to do something every day that you don’t want to do.” [1]

Mr. Twain quoted several times about duty and self-discipline. Here is the second half of this particular quote: “this is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain.”

Often, active drunks and druggies are nothing but unreliable. Unpredictable, and irresponsible. However, once the same unreliable people come into contact with a Higher Power, what a change can occur! This change people describe as “doing the next right thing.”

But, how one earth will I know what the “next right thing” is? I’m glad you asked.

Here’s a quote from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous: “In thinking about our day we may face indecision. We may not be able to determine which course to take. Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision. We relax and take it easy. We don’t struggle. We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a while.” [2]

Duty and self-discipline are still ideas that make many people in recovery hesitate, and even cringe. But if we give it another name? If “duty and self-discipline” get called the “next right thing,” that can make all the difference in the world.

Yes, finding the “next right thing” can be a challenge sometimes, challenging us to keep in touch with God, our Higher Power. “If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.” [3]

Duty. Self-discipline. Doing the Next Right Thing. With my Higher Power’s help, I can follow, one day at a time. One Next Right Thing at a time.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] Keep It Simple: Daily Meditations for Twelve-Step Beginnings and Renewal. (Hazelden Meditation Series) (San Francisco: Harper & Row Publishers, 1989), November 14 reading.

[2] Alcoholics Anonymous (New York City, Alcoholics Anonymous World Service, Inc.: 2001), 86.

[3] Ibid, 83.

As We Daydream–Before God

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, November 12, 2015

Pray Pray Pray 1 Thess

As We Daydream–Before God

Daydreaming seems like such a pointless thing to do. At worst, daydreaming might seem to be treading water (with the mind). At best, daydreaming can be as hopeful and as hope-filled as a tweet or a post on Step Eleven. “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God … “

Daydreaming? Yes. The active process of daydreaming leads to prayer and meditation. “Through our daydreaming, we get to know ourselves, our spirit, and our Higher Power.” [1]

As I consider how I might be best able to help others in their process of doing Step Eleven, I cannot deliver a “one-size-fits-all” solution. No, each solution is as individual as the person who needs it; who responds to such a heartfelt question.

Whether good weather or bad, whether sunny skies or cloudy and overcast—this reading today gives us positive advice and beneficial understanding. Daydreaming can indeed help each one to find the internal want-to. Find the desire to continue with the Steps, one day at a time.

Dear Lord, gracious God, it is beneficial to allow the mind to wander—sometimes. Help me to keep daydreams positive and helpful. Thanks for the loving, caring thoughts and acts You bring to us each day. Continue to others, and at the same time, connect to God. Please, God, hear all of our prayers.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] Keep It Simple: Daily Meditations for Twelve-Step Beginnings and Renewal. (Hazelden Meditation Series) (San Francisco: Harper & Row Publishers, 1989), November 12 reading.

On Taking the Joy with the Sorrow

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, November 11, 2015

JOY today I choose joy

On Taking the Joy with the Sorrow

I need to get used to living life on life’s terms. Yes, life comes my way, complete with joy and sorrow.

I can so relate to today’s reading from Keep It Simple, the reading that says so many people in recovery want the joy from life without getting any of the sorrow. In other words, all of the up sides of life, without any downs. But—what will happen if life is all sunshine and flowers?

“ … we can learn from hard times, maybe more than we do in easy times. Often, getting through hard times helps us grow.” [1]

Wow. I know that, first hand. I have been through some challenging, even difficult times. Even though I have always had a belief in God as my Higher Power, a belief in God as I understand God, my life has not always been a bed of roses. Sure, I have had hard times. (For several extended periods in my life, too.) But, God has been there.

There have been times when God seemed far away. Or ignoring me. Or powerless to help me. Those are the times when it was like God was behind a cloud. Or, hiding. Or, completely silent.

This reading lets me know that this may very well describe our “conscious contact” from Step Eleven. Yes, “as this constant contact grows, our courage grows. And, we find the strength to face hard times.” [2]

God willing, I will be able to depend on my Higher Power. I will find the strength to have faith in God, as I understand God.

Praise be to Your name, O Lord Jesus Christ.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] Keep It Simple: Daily Meditations for Twelve-Step Beginnings and Renewal. (Hazelden Meditation Series) (San Francisco: Harper & Row Publishers, 1989), November 11 reading.

[2] Ibid.

Facing My Mistakes, and Learning

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, November 8, 2015

don't let yesterday use up today

Facing My Mistakes, and Learning

Ah, how difficult it is to face my mistakes! But, what if I sweep my mistakes under the rug, or minimize them, or even pretend they didn’t even happen? That is the sure way to unhappiness. A definite way to unmanageability, too.

If, as the daily meditation (from Keep It Simple) for today reads, I run from my mistakes and try my darnedest to avoid them, they will follow me. [1] However, if I am able to face my personal mistakes, all to the good! (That includes my fear for an awkward or downright unpleasant mistake at work, or with my family, or an acquaintance. Just to mention a few situations, of course.)

The reading today points out that “Native American culture teaches us that all mistakes in life are gifts. The gift is that we are all given a chance to learn.” [2] Yes, I can find lessons in practically every mistake I ever made. Isn’t hindsight called twenty/twenty?

Yes, I can ask my Higher Power for help. I can pray to God as I understand God for the knowledge and wisdom to acknowledge my mistakes, not to cover them up. Lord, in Your mercy, hear my humble prayers.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] Keep It Simple: Daily Meditations for Twelve-Step Beginnings and Renewal. (Hazelden Meditation Series) (San Francisco: Harper & Row Publishers, 1989), November 8 reading.

[2] Ibid.

Doing Things God’s Way—the Honest Way

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, November 7, 2015

honesty got me sober

Doing Things God’s Way—the Honest Way

Sometimes it’s a challenge to be honest. I mean, completely honest. (Some might say rigorously honest.)

Sometimes it’s easier to bend the truth, or only tell a half truth. Someone might get mad, or be embarrassed. Sometimes I might want someone off of my back or out of my hair.

But, what if I end up telling half of my friends one story, and the other half something else? Then, not only do I need to remember who I told what, but also keeping the story straight. I might get into big trouble, trying to remember all the half-truths and who I told what, when.

On top of that, the recovery program lets me know that honesty is not only the best policy, but it is the easiest policy, too. Telling the truth, in the long run, is the healthiest choice for me. Not only in terms of how I live my life, but in terms of sobriety, too. In terms of faith, and in terms of relationships, as well.

Since this month I am focusing on Step Eleven in the recovery program, “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understand God,” I need to consider staying honest as improving my relationship with my Higher Power. That’s the vertical part of the relationship piece. If I concentrate on improving my relationship with others, that can only help me, too. (The horizontal piece.)

Let’s pray. Gracious God, Higher Power, I thank You for the versatility and usefulness of this Step. Thanks for the countless thousands and thousands of people who have worked the steps before me. Thank you for this meditation today, bringing my mind, heart and soul to the task at hand: doing things God’s way—the honest way.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

Be the Best Me I Can Be

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, November 6, 2015

be who you are, not who the world wants you to be

Be the Best Me I Can Be

Oh, I can relate to the topic of today’s reading. Dear God, how incredibly strong is the temptation to “fit in!”

Different people crave different things. Some want to “fit in” by wearing the “right clothes” thinking the “right ideas” or driving the “right car.” As our meditation book Keep It Simple says, “Many of us used to care so much what other people thought about us.” [1] (Some still do care.)

But, how shallow is that? How important is it for me to want to “fit in” with my shallow, self-centered peer group? Or, do I have the firm foundation and self-confidence to march to the beat of a different drummer? My Higher Power’s drummer?

Instead, I am encouraged to stay in touch with my Higher Power (vertically) as well as my fellows (horizontally). Yes, I can be easily influenced by a group of peers. Not always the most positive thing. And yes, I need to be following my Higher Power (God as I understand God).

Can I follow God in my own way, today? And, every day? Can I be okay with being different, with being “me?”

The prayer at the end of the reading today is short, moving, and humbling: “Higher Power, help me be the best me I can be today.” [2]

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] Keep It Simple: Daily Meditations for Twelve-Step Beginnings and Renewal. (Hazelden Meditation Series) (San Francisco: Harper & Row Publishers, 1989), November 6 reading.

[2] Ibid.

Acceptance and Faith—in Prayer

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, November 5, 2015

life is simple - we make it complicated

Acceptance and Faith—in Prayer

Oh, Lord. Acceptance! Accepting life on life’s terms. Accepting things as they really are, not as I wish them to be. And, not as I fear they are, either.

When individuals arrive in the doorway of the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, I’ve heard all different kinds of reactions. Anywhere from “I can’t find any help here … “ to “I’ve found my kind of people!”

(Or, if you like, when they are ready to be honest, open and willing.)

A twin factor in a walk of early recovery is that of faith. People need faith that this program of Alcoholics Anonymous will work. Just like people need faith that God (or their Higher Power) is waiting for them, cheering them on.

And, perhaps the most important thing about the word “faith” is acknowledging that I have little or no power over how things actually turn out. That is surprisingly freeing. As I encourage those in recovery to place things (including their lives) into the hands of God as they understand God, there can be a sense of release and of turning it all over.

As the meditation book Keep It Simple says, “Throughout the day, I’ll think of the Eleventh Step. I’ll pray to my Higher Power, ‘Thy will, not mine, be done,’” [1]

Dear Lord, gracious God, thank You for acceptance and faith. It’s a relief to accept things as they really are, in this world. Help me to have the faith to turn things over to You. Lord, in Your mercy, hear all of our prayers.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] Keep It Simple: Daily Meditations for Twelve-Step Beginnings and Renewal. (Hazelden Meditation Series) (San Francisco: Harper & Row Publishers, 1989), November 5 reading.

Open the Gifts of Life

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Wednesday, November 4, 2015

gift-boxes-stained-glass

Open the Gifts of Life

Today’s reading from Keep It Simple opened my eyes. (Again.) This reading reminded me of such an obvious solution to the nagging difficulties navigating through my daily routine. “Each day comes bearing its gifts. Untie the ribbons.” – Ruth Ann Schabacker [1]

What a simple, straight-forward thing to do: open the gifts each day brings to me. It’s not rocket science. Look for the gifts, because they are there, for sure! Living one day at a time can be challenging, sometimes. Rewarding, occasionally. Just plain hard, once in a while. But regardless of what each of us is dealing with every day, one day at a time is simple.

Not necessarily easy, but simple.

If I close myself off to God and to others, that is one definite way to not receive gifts. If I isolate, or put up walls, or go in my bedroom and pout, who does that hurt? No one but me. If I seek out others (even as few as one or two others), or let down those internal barriers and boundaries, or be open and willing to be friends with others, who does that help? Lots of people! Me, definitely. And, I have the opportunity to help others, to encourage and support them.

I understand that recovery is an inside job. If I orient my insides toward God as I understand God, or as some people think of it, my Higher Power, that is a tremendous beginning. Orient myself towards looking for the Higher Power’s gifts, each day. One way I develop my spiritual program is through prayer and meditation. Just what Step Eleven calls for.

Dear Lord, gracious God, remind me to stop and listen to You. Remind me that You love me very much.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] Keep It Simple: Daily Meditations for Twelve-Step Beginnings and Renewal. (Hazelden Meditation Series) (San Francisco: Harper & Row Publishers, 1989), November 4 reading.

Slow Down—Find Our Center

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, November 3, 2015

prayer - hands

Slow Down—Find Our Center

What does my heart have to say today?[1]

This little daily meditation book hit the nail on the head for me, today! Yes, I need to examine my words. Yes, I need to slow down and take the time necessary to even think about examining my words! And, yes, “we can also hear our spirit in the tone of our words.” [2]

What am I hearing as I examine the words I say to others? How are others receiving my words? Are my words gentle, peaceful, cautious, or hurtful? Do I offer them with love? Or, with anger? Do I say them quietly and slowly, or all-in-a-hurry?

When I intentionally slow down, I find myself listening better. Listening more closely. When I intentionally slow down, I view life with more clarity. And, I view life around me with less in the way. When I intentionally slow down, my breathing becomes deeper, more regular. My breathing helps me to relax and let go of tension within.

And—we arrive at meditation. Isn’t meditation part of Step Eleven? (Yes, I think it is. In fact, I know it is.) Meditation is a fancy word for listening. Not only listening with my body, but listening with my heart, mind, and soul. Listening for what my Higher Power—God as I understand God—has for me, today.

Today’s reading suggests to me that I slow down today. That sounds to me to be excellent advice for any day. Slow down. Then, all of the possibilities I just listed above become opportunities for me and my life. Today.

I can speed up again later. Maybe, tomorrow. Just for today, I’ll slow down. Breathe.

Meditate. Breathe. Listen to God.

Thank You, God.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] Keep It Simple: Daily Meditations for Twelve-Step Beginnings and Renewal. (Hazelden Meditation Series) (San Francisco: Harper & Row Publishers, 1989), November 3 reading.

[2] Ibid.