As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven.
~ Nehemiah 1:4, ESV ~
Believe in the Power of prayer – it is real, it is wonderful, it is tremendous
~ Gordon B. Hinckley ~
Prayer is not merely a religious act. It is a fundamental spiritual discipline that connects an individual to their Higher Power. Authentic and genuine prayer begins when our true self (soul) ignites with fresh fire and fresh wind to reach out beyond oneself. Our heart draws close to something more majestic, more meaningful, and more powerful. And, people typically reach a point in crisis where they cry out to God. There are no atheists in foxholes.
As we move forward in our journey of recovery, prayer and meditation helps quiet the mind, helps us focus on what is present, and keeps us connected to our higher power. Through prayer and meditation, we find guidance, comfort, peace, and when we listen carefully in this quiet state – we hear the still small voice.
Nehemiah served in the kings court and received a report of those who had escaped and were exiled from Jerusalem. This happened during the Babylonian captivity and the destruction of the first Temple. Upon the report, Nehemiah rent his cloak, wept greatly, and began fasting and praying. This was not something he did one time. The text reports Nehemiah prayed and fasted “…for days.”
In the early stage of recovery, we begin to awaken to the report of the brokenness our substance use has caused us. We find ourselves in exile, servants, and the brokenness of our own homes. We are moved with great compassion for our own reproach and affliction. Through prayer and meditation, through fasting and seeking, we may find solace and peace.
Real prayer begins with the understanding of how we meditate and contemplate on what it is we are praying for. We speak with our higher power as we are speaking one toward another. Through faith, surrender, and hope, we may receive the counsel and guidance in our recovery and journey toward sobriety.
Prayer is a daily spiritual discipline and practice that requires humility. We pray, not for God to calm the storm of our unmanageable life, we pray for guidance in how to adjust our sails in order to navigate through the storm of an unmanageable life.
Today’s thoughtful meditation
Today, I will develop the spiritual discipline of praying, meditating, and fasting as I navigate the storms of my life. That is where I will find peace of mind, comfort, strength, courage, and counsel.