Step 11 Overview

man practicing step 11 meditating on a rocky surface

Step 11 Overview

We 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.

Step 11 is not only a maintenance step, but a step rooted in growth. By practicing it daily, we allow ourselves to become more connected to our Higher Power, and in turn becoming more in tune with His plan for our lives. Having thoroughly practiced each of the preceding steps, we now begin to grow in our spirituality.

For many of us, prayer and meditation are not things we actively utilized in our days of active addiction outside of the occasional “foxhole” prayers. You know the ones: “God, if you get me out of this situation, I will never do this again,” or “God, if you can just get me past this hangover, I will never drink again.” For most of us, these prayers never held any real meaning. If we were lucky enough to get through the aforementioned situation, there was no time before we found ourselves right back in the same position. For those of us who never utilized prayer in our daily lives, we were left wondering at this point how to genuinely pray, and our literature provides us with an 11th step prayer to get us started.

Step 11 Prayer

“Lord, make me an instrument 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, that 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.”

This prayer acts as a great guideline for how we can begin to strengthen our contact with our Higher Power. No matter who or what we have decided our Higher Power to be, the prayer suggests we desire to know how we can be of better service to our fellows. This prayer asks we be shown how we to make a difference in the world; a world that, during our active addiction, many of us rarely gave a passing thought. We are asking for guidance to step out of ourselves and be there for others.

At this stage in our recovery, we find ourselves no longer seeking the answers to selfish questions. Questions like, “how can I get (insert thing here) to make myself feel better” start to diminish. Now we ask what we can do to make the lives of those around us better as a service to our fellows. As we begin to fortify contact with our Higher Power, our true selves are slowly revealed.