My Prayer

Posted on October 7, 2011

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When I first entered the world of the 12 Steps I was a little discouraged by the thought of prayer.  See, I am not a part of an organized religion, and I thought you had to be Christian, or Catholic, or something in order to pray.  Luckily, I found out this isn’t the case.

My first experience with prayer was quite comical, as a lot of my sobriety has been!  I had a boss, that could be difficult to get along with.  He was one of my favorite drinking buddies for several years and we were great friends.  When I got sober, he was resentful.  I don’t think he was resentful toward the sobriety but resentful that he knew our friendship had to change.  All we did was drink, now that was gone.  One night, very early in my sobriety, he had had a few drinks and was being unbearable.  He was loud and gruff, rude, and angry.  I didn’t know how I would get through the evening if he continued to be like that.  I kept biting my tongue and I tried to be as patient as possible.  He only got louder.  I kept telling myself not to lose my temper.

Finally, I left the room and went into the ladies room.  I was seeking safety and silence.  I went into a stall and closed the door, leaned against the wall, and closed my eyes.  I said, in my head, over and over again, “please give me the strength to get through this night”, and I continued, “without punching him”.   I was seriously praying that I wouldn’t punch him!  That was all I wanted in that moment.

After a few minutes I left the ladies room and went back to work.  Of course his mouth was still going.  But what happened next was a real miracle.  We still had about 5 hours of the work day left that we were going to have to be in the same room, that’s why I had to pray not to punch him because I was pretty sure it was going to happen.  The next thing I know, he gets up, grabs his car keys, and says he is going to go run some errands.  HE LEFT!!  It really was a miracle, he never left early, in years of working together this never happened.  From that moment on, I believed in prayer.

It is funny to me now, that that is what it took to make me a believer.  Still not a believer in an organization, but a believer in the power of prayer.

I know that anywhere I am, anyone I am with, I can always take a moment to close my eyes and ask for help.  My favorite prayer is, “Please give me the strength to get through this situation.  Give me the strength to smile, to act with kindness and patience, to feel light and be happy.  Please give me the strength.”    This works when I am frustrated, when I am tired, when I am angry, and also when I feel great.

Just close your eyes, and pray.

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