|STEP ELEVEN If we don’t communicate with God then how will our faith ever be increased past the initial morsel that is given to us at the dawn of our lives? “Each man is given a measure of faith” so it is written in the Holy Bible. |
Some manage to increase their faith when going through trials at which time they pray and ask God for a safe outcome to the adversity they are facing. I am guessing that not everyone reaches out to a Higher Power when facing adversity but apparently many do since the act has a label called “foxhole prayers”. For those of us that do pray, when the outcome does turn out as we requested we are blessed to have our faith increased. And when the outcome does not go our way we just reason out that the answer from God was a “no”.
But surely we can have our faith increased by other means besides foxhole prayers. One way to do that is by meditation as suggested in Step Eleven. Meditation is a quieting of the mind in an effort to seek out and become closer to our Higher Power. Meditation will increase our faith, tolerance, and patience if by nothing more than training ourselves to be still.
It’s 12 step appropriate to start our meditation with a prayer to “improve our conscious contact with God as we understand God praying for the knowledge of His, (Her, It’s) will for us and the power to carry that out. Some people pray to be protected during their meditation. Seems a little strange that we would need protection while embarking on a spiritual exercise to seek our Higher Power (the next right thing) but here’s the reasoning behind it.
It’s a fact that most humans use very little of their brains…10% is the common number. It has been shown by MRI result that those who meditate have light in parts of their brain that those who don’t meditate do not have. So who can say what could happen during meditation in the way of astral-travel, data collection, visions, possible alien encounters, dream-travel and so-on that’s why a little prayer to our Higher Power for protection can’t hurt.
Hypothetically some people have faith enough or a lack thereof that they don’t fear any aspects of meditation therefore have no need to ask for protection. Clarification-total lack of faith in God would dictate that meditation will get us nowhere except to places within our own mind. Or thinking could be that if astral-travel is possible the universe is made up of nothing but pleasant fluffy fairy beings that dance to and fro and that even the word “supernatural” equals Love and goodness so there’s no need for protection prayers.
Alternatively belief in the supernatural and a faith in God implies that there are evil spiritual beings as well as good and that these evil entities, perhaps demons would do harm to us if they had half a chance. Some Christians for instance believe that deep meditation can open a person up to evil. However given that knowledge a person with a strong faith will know that they are protected and safe during meditation.
Some of us were raised by parents who glorified and gave more credence to the evil and scary supernatural power of Satan than the supernatural and miraculous power of a good and righteous God and so we pray for protection when we endeavor on our supernatural quest to find a deeper connection with God.
What other ways are there to increase our faith besides communication with our Higher Power? We who are in the program of AA and NA are blessed and present to watch those who come in after us broken and afraid. We then see them restored to not only sanity, but to health and happiness in a miraculous way due to the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and its members.
This experience also increases our faith and warms our hearts.