Gratitude and Prayer

September 11, 1999

Romans 8:26-27 – We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will. (NIV)

In spiritual Twelve Step Recovery programmes, Step 11 states that we "sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understand Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out." In this step, people are urged to go beyond their own problems to develop a life of conscious, on-going contact with God.

There was a time, when things went wrong, that my prayer was to cry out swearingly, "Why me, God?!" At other times I prayed, asking for jobs, money or just to get me off the hook. It was always about me and my needs, or, should I say, wants. How shallow I must have seemed.

Now, I spend more time communicating with God, rather than just asking for special favours. For a long time, I had to accept blindly the validity of prayer before I got to the point where prayer was truly meaningful for me. I believed in my belief until it became reality. Today, I pray in many ways: kneeling at the foot of my bed for morning prayers and for giving thanks, or just a brief moment of mental connection before some activity in which I feel vulnerable. At other times, it's a chat during my commute to work. Sometimes I feel the need for additional support, and include prayer circles. Talk about "moving mountains!" It doesn't seem to matter where or how, God is always right there, wherever I am. He hears; I just have to open my mind and my heart and speak.

Prayer: O God, we offer you thanks for the many blessings we're about to receive today. Please help us to forgive those who seem to go against your will or who approach us with negativity. Show us how to relate to each person or situation that appears to be counter to your grace, with love and compassion. May we remember, all during the day, that you are just a prayer away. No matter where we are, you are there and hear us. And, as the sun sets tonight, remind us of the lessons we have learned, the love we have shared and the progress we have made towards accepting your grace. Amen.

About the author:

Buddy Chambless
Alexandria, Virginia, USA

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