It is common for those who have experienced the unrelenting devastation of substance dependency to relinquish any belief in a God of any kind, having felt true hopelessness and abandonment while in the throws of active addiction. However, participation and success in any of the many available 12-step fellowships requires active dedication to forming and strengthening a connection with a higher power of your understanding – and a major facet of this connection, you will undeniably come to find, is prayer. The concept of prayer in general tends to turn off the vast majority of recovering addicts and alcoholics who may have completely lost any sense of a relationship with a power greater than themselves. It is common to be completely averted to the concept in its entirety at first, and to nothing short of scoff when a sponsor requests a sponsee to kneel in reflective meditation first thing in the morning and right before bed. The truth of the matter is, however, that while prayer as conceptualized religiously does not bear great significance to recovery, praying in a spiritual sense has proven to be massively beneficial if not entirely essential.
Why Prayer Is Important
There are two main types of prayer – prayer for worldly benefit and prayer for personal spiritual growth. Prayer always includes aspects of love, respect, yearning, pleading, and faith to some degree. While many employ prayer to ask for assistance in areas in which they may be lacking, the benefits of prayer in recovery tend to revolve more around a gratitude-based connection with a higher power. Prayer is an important tool used to facilitate overall spiritual growth, and even something as simple as a whispered “thank you” to an unknown force constitutes as active prayer.
Is The Effectiveness of Prayer a Result of God… Or the Human Mind?
A staggering 83% of American citizens agree that God or some other higher power does indeed answer prayers. Thus there may be some sort of solid scientific evidence behind the fact that He (or whom or whatever) actually does. Or at the very least, there is evidence to support that the human brain is capable of training itself to truly connect to inner experience and alter the vividness and potentially the reality of said experience based on modification of personal perception. Thus whether you enter the program with a prior basis in faith or come in believing in little other than the human mind, there is immense indication that praying can immensely benefit the spiritual, emotional, and mental wellbeing of every individual who takes 5 minutes a day to kneel and give thanks.