The 11th Step, An Important Tool For Recovery










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.

The Importance of the Eleventh Step

Prayer and meditation is the concept behind the eleventh step of the twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and any other twelve step program. The spiritual life is not a theory, The Big Books Of Alcoholics Anonymous emphasizes. “Step eleven suggests prayer and meditation,” the book plainly points out. “We shouldn’t be shy on this matter of prayer. Better men than we are using constantly. It works, if we have the proper attitude and work at it.”

So as not to be vague, the book continues to outline the different ways one can pray and meditate through each phase and development of their day. Step eleven is about more than meditation, though many people assume it to be because of the text. It is about prayer and meditation, a two step process.

The authors refer to this as a two way communication network. Prayer, it is often said, is talking to one’s Higher Power whereas meditation is listening. In order to maintain a “conscious contact” with our higher power, we have to practice both prayer and meditation.

Meditation and Its Stress Reducing Effects

Meditation and associated practices like mindfulness have come under academic and scientific fire in recent years. As yoga and meditation has taken over mainstream western culture, many have questioned its validity and efficacy. Dozens of articles highlight the benefits of meditation from its effect on alleviating the symptoms of depression to the way it reduces stress.

Prayer, on the other hand, is so secular that many avoid it. Few discuss the neuroscience of prayer the way they do meditation. Prayer can be called many different things, from intentions to conversations. Talking to a higher power, setting your wishes and intentions into the energy that be, is a powerful practice. It takes what is deep inside and brings it to the surface, verbalized and out into the open, even though prayer can be silent and private.

Why are prayer and meditation important? They keep a recovering addict and alcoholic connected to the mystery and miracle of recovery. Rather than hold everything in and get pent up, prayer and meditation creates a flow and a process for getting through the ups and downs of life.


Lakehouse Recovery Center utilizes twelve step programs and philosophies while also offering non-recovery focused healing. Your path to recovery can start here. For more information on our residential treatment programs, call  877.762.3707 today.


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