God, grant me the serenity…
Hi, my name is Jessie and I’m an alcoholic. Perhaps one of the things I struggled with the most when I was just being introduced to Christianity was prayer. I couldn’t wrap my mind around sitting and talking to God. It seemed like a strange and foreign concept to me, but as weeks and months went by, I learned that there isn’t a by-the-book way to pray, and that I could ease up on some of the pressure I was putting on myself. I was trying so hard to do things perfectly that I didn’t realize the great things that would come if I just relaxed and tried. Now I start and end each day with prayer, and if I need a little extra in the middle, well, it won’t hurt.
The thing I’ve come to accept for myself is that more than anything, it is important to thank God for all the good in my life while I’m praying. I know I am fortunate and that God has blessed me with an incredible life, and I make sure that thanking Him is one of the first things I do when I pray. I thank Him for my family and friends who continue to love and support me each and everyday. I also make sure to thank God for allowing me to find Him and for showing me how His presence has changed my life. My sobriety would not be achievable without His will and guidance, so in my prayers I thank God for allowing myself and all of the alcoholics of the world to live another day sober. Perhaps most importantly, I thank Jesus for sacrificing Himself for my sins so that I may live life here on this earth with the knowledge that there is a love and acceptance more powerful than I can understand.
Asking God for help seems selfish at times, but I know He is there to answer our questions and hear us ask for His help when we need it. Each day I ask God for another day of sobriety for myself and all of the other alcoholics, because without Him, we could not stay sober. I ask Him for health, happiness, and safety for all of my family and friends. I ask God that He may allow me to live my day as He wants me to so that I may flourish under His guidance. I ask that God continue to pull me towards Him, that He continues to let my faith blossom. If I don’t have a strong faith, I feel as though I won’t succeed in the rest of my affairs.
Specifically personal prayers for myself and for others are the ones I spend the most time on. Lately, I’ve been focused on a few personal prayers. I’ve been asking for God’s guidance in how to speak with my parents about my alcoholism and my faith. I know that He would want them to know the truth, and that He would want them to see the difference that His presence has made in my life, so I trust that he will answer these prayers and give me the time, resources, and words to speak openly and honestly. I’ve also been praying a lot for security. I need to know that I will be able to fulfill the commitments I’ve made over the next year. I’ve really been praying for sobriety when times are challenging, not just for myself, but for others. I know that us alcoholics are faced with obstacles that we may not know how to overcome right away and that our first instinct is to run to alcohol for help, but its not the answer. I know that God will provide us with ways to overcome these obstacles if we simply allow His presence into our hearts and minds.
I recently read in a book that it is important to pray for those in purgatory so that their souls may reach Heaven. Thinking of my friend Amber in particular, I began to realize that it was an important prayer I was leaving out. I now add it to my daily routine, praying not only for her, but for all of the souls that may be resting in purgatory. The book reminded us that although when our loved ones pass we instantly regard them as angels in Heaven seated next to God, that isn’t always the case. It is important to pray for these souls that rest in purgatory, and if you aren’t already doing so in your daily prayer routine, I ask that you do the same.
Throughout the day when I hear words of wisdom, advice, or when someone asks for a prayer, I try to do so immediately. I find that taking just a small amount of time to say a short prayer is a refresher to my day and a reminder that God is ALWAYS with us. Prayer is part of a special relationship we are blessed to have with God, and we have to utilize it the best we can. We need to thank Him, adore Him, and continue to ask for His guidance and blessings.
My belief in the power of prayer came to me on Saturday, March 18th, 2017 in the chapel of a beautiful Catholic Church during our Holy Spirit retreat for the Alpha course. I sat in that chapel and for the first time I truly prayed to God, I asked Him to allow me to feel His presence and show me that He was with me, and He did. Since that day, my life and the way I pray changed for the better. The prayer is powerful and beautiful, and we are so lucky to be blessed with the opportunity to speak with our God on such a personal level with the comfort of knowing that He is always listening.
Our Father, who art in Heaven…
I’m blessed to be here with all of you on this 24th day of sobriety, and I look forward to many more.