Eleventh Step Prayer

"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."

So reads the Eleventh Step of twelve step programs.  Nestled into that chapter of the Big Book of AA (pg. 99) is quoted a prayer that has typically been attributed to St. Francis of Assisi.  It is offered as an example of a prayer to use in meditation, and rightly so as it has not become popular among so many by accident.  It reinforces multiple principles that help so many in recovery.

Once again, like so many of the prayers found here, this prayer runs counter to so much in our culture today.  It is all about being other-centered instead of self-centered and essentially living a life of love and service to others.   Such an attitude is essential for anyone who wants to grow in sobriety and break free from compulsive behaviors.

Of course some would contend that the essence of this prayer is for anyone who wants to grow spiritually and connect more deeply with their creator.  Our Lord Himself came not to be served but to serve and give himself as a ransom for us.  We have a perfect example and no matter how opposite this message is to popular notions, it is the core of the Christian Message.

Actually, it is the core of many spiritualities that have lately fallen out of style.

Which is why we embrace it here on the farm, for 'some things are worth fighting for' as Sam Gamgee would say, or at least worth planting over and over in the fields of our minds.  So the farm grew The Little Arrow Prayer versions of the St. Francis Prayer and tried them out in real life with other countercultural folks.

They seem to help some of us.

That is more than enough reason to keep planting them again and again and again...



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