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How to Work Step 11 of the 12 Steps

“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.”

Are you working Step 11 of the 12-Step Program? This step focuses on deepening your connection with your Higher Power as you cultivate your spirituality through the practice of prayer, meditation, or some other type of spiritual practice.

Unfortunately, preconceptions of the word “God” can sometimes get in the way of working this step. However, you don’t have to pray to a specific God to grow spiritually. You get to choose what this process looks like in your life! The overall purpose of Step 11 is to work on connecting with your Higher Power through spiritual practices. 

Below, we’ve provided some general guidance on how to work Step 11, as well as an explanation of its purpose and why it’s important in recovery.

Related post: What to Expect at Your First AA Meeting

What Are the 12 Steps?

Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.

Step 2: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

Step 4: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

Step 5: Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

Step 6: Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

Step 7: Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

Step 8: Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.

Step 9: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

Step 10: Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

Step 11: 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.

Step 12: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

What Is Step 11 of the 12-Step Program?

Step 11 of the 12-Step Program is: “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.”

What Is the Purpose of the Eleventh Step in the 12-Step Program?

The purpose of Step 11 of the 12-Step Program is to improve your connection with your Higher Power. As a result, you’re also more likely to stop, think, and reflect when you face challenges in recovery.

As you establish a life of sobriety, you’ll inevitably face challenges. Through working the 12 steps, you may discover that you’ve begun to build on a spiritual aspect of your life that wasn’t there before. Ideally, you will have discovered your Higher Power, and as you work Step 11, you can get to know that Higher Power more intimately.

Whether your Higher Power is God, nature, family, or something else, by prioritizing regular spiritual practices like prayer, meditation, or mindful quiet time, you will become more conscious of your spiritual journey. Therefore, you’ll be able to draw on your Higher Power in times of need or growth.

For example, if you find yourself in a particularly challenging stage of life, you might take some time each day to ask your Higher Power for guidance as you make decisions. In these moments, you’re more likely to reflect on the ways it/he/she has provided for you in the past. Or, you may take a few moments to stop and pray or reflect on your own thoughts and emotions.

Common Misconceptions About Step 11

  • You have to pray to a specific God. You get to determine who or what your Higher Power is. Also, your interpretation of the practice of “prayer” is whatever you determine it to be. Whether it’s meditating, asking your Higher Power for guidance, or taking a few moments to practice mindfulness, setting aside time for spiritual practices is what’s most important.
  • Prayer is the only way to connect to your Higher Power. You can connect with your Higher Power using whatever type of spiritual practice you prefer. For example, some people practice yoga. Others get out in nature or spend 15 minutes a day practicing mindfulness meditation.

How to Work Step 11: 3 Tips

1. Choose the type of spiritual practice you’d like to incorporate into your life.

At first, it may take you some time to get the hang of making a spiritual practice part of your everyday ritual. However, it can look however you want it to. For example, try praying, meditating, practicing yoga, or getting out in nature to connect with your Higher Power. Depending on your personal preferences or even the day, one practice may feel more right than the other.

2. Allow your Higher Power to lead you.

Instead of relying on your own knowledge and experience to guide you through recovery, trust your Higher Power to lead you and help you make wise decisions. Also, a part of this process may involve letting go of preconceived notions about yourself. Some of these ideas may be holding you back from living the type of life you want for yourself. 

3. Make sure you have a quiet and distraction-free environment for reflection.

Additionally, wherever you choose to meditate or pray, make sure it’s a place that’s conducive to mindful rest. Get rid of all distractions by leaving your phone elsewhere and dedicating a set amount of time to your spiritual practice each day. Many people in recovery choose to do this first thing in the morning before the day begins.

Related post: What Is the AA Success Rate?

Get Help to Work Step 11

Working Step 11 is an essential part of maintaining your sobriety and cultivating a healthy spiritual life. If you need help working Step 11, your sponsor, counselor, or therapist can assist you. If you’re completing an addiction treatment program, a treatment professional can also help you work through Step 11 (as well as the other steps of the 12-Step Program).

Eudaimonia Recovery Homes operates several sober living homes in Austin, Houston, and Colorado Springs. Each home is managed by sober house managers who have personal experience working the 12-Step Program and can provide support and accountability to residents.

Eudaimonia also requires all sober home residents to attend community support group meetings and provide the following recovery support services to help clients sustain long-lasting recovery:

In summary, if you’re striving to maintain a life of sobriety, but you need help, the professionals at Eudaimonia Recovery Homes can help. We’re here to assist you as you work your way through the 12-Step Program and as you adjust to a new life outside of rehab. Please call (512) 363-5914 to learn more about our sober living homes and recovery support services.

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