Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Evolution Of My Prayer.

I was an atheist when I joined Al-Anon; I felt that no just God would have permitted to be done to me, that which was done when I was a child.

When I did begin to believe in a Higher Power, and to try praying, I mostly was asking for specific results: "Please make him stop drinking, God." Or: "Please make this happen, because I really really want it." I understood the concept of praying for God's will, but was reluctant to do so. I was still at a stage in my recovery where I was firmly positive about what would be the best outcome, and I couldn't see the harm in putting in a request for that. I also didn't fully trust God not to do something sneaky and underhanded.

My first sponsor once said to me, exasperated, "Do you really believe that your Higher Power has brought you this far safely, only to fling you out the window now?"

I stopped talking and stared at her. I had never viewed it in quite those terms. Did I believe that? No. I didn't. Somehow, without realising it, I had grown to trust that my Higher Power was looking out for me. So, reasoning from that basic premise, I had to change what I was praying for. I've moved from those specific requests, to asking for serenity to accept. I ask for "knowledge of His will for me, and the power to carry that out."

Many years have passed since that conversation. Time and again, God has worked life out in a way that was beyond my imaginings, and some of the happenings which seemed so negative at the time, were necessary, in order for amazingly wonderful life changes to be possible. I have slowly grown to be increasingly able to believe that though I may see only darkness before me, if I walk in the knowledge that my God is beside me, I will experience moments of total release from fear.

That's a miracle of program, for me. I was always afraid, before Al-Anon - my fear may have waxed and waned, but it was unremitting. It drove my choices and behaviour, it kept me distant from other people, it was a fact of life.

There's an interesting freedom in truly knowing that I cannot control most of what goes on around me - I allow life to unfold as it will, (and does, with or without my agreement and acceptance. The latter just makes it more comfortable and relaxing.)

I ask for knowledge, and power, and the ability to let go. If I truly am sincere in my asking, I will receive it. If I'm asking before I'm ready to do any of that, it doesn't work for me. I have to have worked it through myself first - that's my part. Then and only then, I can Let. It. Go. And feel: Aaaaah, that's better.


  1. Glad to find you Cheryl! Love your posts! I am glad that you didn't get tooooo upset with your customer that didn't want to pay his account. I recently had a renter fail to pay rent for nearly 4 months. I had to let the anger go or it would have consumed me! All is well and all will be fine, without my tight grip on things that I can't control. Life can be tough, but we're tougher! Blessings, Lisa

  2. Letting go is a great feeling. I don't have to control anyone else. That is freedom. Thanks Cheryl.

  3. I believe in God. Always have and never have blamed him for the chaos alcholism has wreaked in my life. But I don't really feel like I have a relationship with him. I try to pray in the car on the way to work. But I'm often praying for things for other people. I need to really work on praying for God to help me let go and for him to remove my character defects.

    On a program note -- how long did you go to Al-Anon before you asked someone to be your sponsor?