Keeping Your Head on Straight, Part 1 (Regular Daily Prayer)

One of my early realizations about AA was that its brand of spirituality wasn’t enough for me. However, one of the good things it taught me was that a regular period of daily prayer and meditation was essential in “getting your head on straight” every morning. At first I read from daily devotionals based on AA’s 12 Steps. Then I progressed to seeking out Catholic texts. Prayer books were obvious.

The need for this is simple. We are at our weakest in the morning. It is then we are most susceptible to depression or any glum view of the day. To fall into a bad routine and not get out of it.

A regular prayer routine, starting as close as possible to when you awaken is essential to survival. Prayer connects you with something greater than yourself. Call it your “Higher Power” if you wish, but doing something ASAP in the general direction of God helps you to get your head oriented in the right direction.

In AA meetings you learn that sometimes a relapse back into drinking occurs before you actually take the drink. The mind relapses and the will follows and then the drinks start pouring. Meetings interrupt the flow of thought in the mental relapse; daily prayer affords the same benefits, but with greater spiritual effects. In prayer, in which you raise your heart and mind to God, either with Scriptural readings or set prayers written by Saints, you are allowing God in and enabling him to do His work. He recharges your batteries, rewires your electrical, fixes your plumbing. Re-orders your thought patterns. He heals.

And so I developed a routine of going through various prayer books I had, in addition to trying Bible reading (namely Psalms and the other Wisdom Books: Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiates, Song of Songs, Wisdom and Sirach. Job is tough and I set it aside for a while. Still haven’t yet read it through.) The Gospels are relaxing. Any of those are a great start in a regular routine of daily prayer. There is no greater prayer book on Earth than the Holy Bible. Fifteen minutes a day is a good start. Don’t be too surprised if you find yourself reading and praying longer.

Next post continues with specifics.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

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