Keeping Faith!

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Brock
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Keeping Faith!

Post by Brock » Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:33 am

Like most places, where I live gets it’s fair share of new members struggling with the concept of a higher power. One such person asked in a meeting -

“How do you have faith when all your prayers are not answered"?

I think we gave fair answers to that question, but would be interested to see what others might say, and there may be readers here who are new to AA, and wondering the same thing.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

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PaigeB
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Re: Keeping Faith!

Post by PaigeB » Sat Jan 12, 2019 1:32 pm

I heard early on that God has only 3 answers to prayer: YES. NO. And WAIT.

A teeny tiny bit of Faith can get one through. Be willing to be willing and be where your hands are. Look at what is in front of you to do and do the Next Right Thing. Have smart feet. Good things will come to pass (Pg 164 BB)
Step 6 is "AA's way of stating, the best possible attitude one can take in order to make a beginning on this lifetime job... with most of them we shall have to be content with patient improvement." 12&12 Step Six, p.65

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PaigeB
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Re: Keeping Faith!

Post by PaigeB » Sat Jan 12, 2019 1:36 pm

I love how the Daily Reflection often comes as an answer to my daily "problems". It is, indeed, an Act of Providence.
January 12th
ACCEPTING OUR PRESENT CIRCUMSTANCES

Our very first problem is to accept our present circumstances as they are, ourselves as we are, and the people about us as they are. This is to adopt a realistic humility without which no genuine advance can even begin. Again and again, we shall need to return to that unflattering point of departure.

This is an exercise in acceptance that we can profitably practice every day of our lives.

Provided we strenuously avoid turning these realistic surveys of the facts of life into unrealistic alibis for apathy or defeatism, they can be the sure foundation upon which increased emotional health and therefore spiritual progress can be built.
AS BILL SEES IT, p. 44

When I am having a difficult time accepting people, places or events, I turn to this passage and it relieves me of many an underlying fear regarding others, or situations life presents me. The thought allows me to be human and not perfect, and to regain my peace of mind.

From the book Daily Reflections
Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.
Step 6 is "AA's way of stating, the best possible attitude one can take in order to make a beginning on this lifetime job... with most of them we shall have to be content with patient improvement." 12&12 Step Six, p.65

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positrac
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Re: Keeping Faith!

Post by positrac » Tue Jan 15, 2019 10:59 am

PaigeB wrote:I heard early on that God has only 3 answers to prayer: YES. NO. And WAIT.
Hard to grasp when I wanted it now!
In time it all falls together.
Work hard, stay positive, and get up early. It's the best part of the day.
George Allen, Sr.

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PaigeB
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Re: Keeping Faith!

Post by PaigeB » Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:37 pm

“How do you have faith when all your prayers are not answered"?
So maybe what a person means is, "When prayers are not answered with YES?"

It would be hard to see for someone who does not practice daily self examination, but this is a bit unreasonable. A bit childish in fact. We ought to start early to pray rightly and I suppose it is ok to look ahead to Steps 10 & 11 for some insight on doing that AND on taking NO for an answer.

It is sad when we want to pray for a very sick person to live and they die even after fervent prayers. But are we really not praying for what we think is the right answer? "God save this sick child!" We think every child ought to have the right to live, yet all do not make it through their tender years. Who are we to say what the Big Plan is? What is God's Will?

Prayer WITHOUT expectation is easy for an Atheist. It is a bit harder for someone who believes God will help them. It is near impossible for folks who think that God will answer their every whim like a good grandfather on Sunday afternoon. As usual, the spiritual axiom* fits... when we are uncomfortable the problems lies within US - not God or anybody else.

*BB Acceptance, p.417 ~ When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation -- some fact of my life -- unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.
*12&12 Step Ten, p.90 ~ It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us.
Step 6 is "AA's way of stating, the best possible attitude one can take in order to make a beginning on this lifetime job... with most of them we shall have to be content with patient improvement." 12&12 Step Six, p.65

MagMary
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Re: Keeping Faith!

Post by MagMary » Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:09 pm

Yes, I was one who wanted instant answers and gratification when I was drinking. Wanting exact answers for what I wanted. Everything that “happened in my life”, I blamed on God. I had a lot of fear and insecurities. Working the 3rd step and building a firm foundation has been a life saver for me. I never thought I’d be able to actually get up in the morning, hold down a job, have true friends, much less be there for others! Wow! Every morning, when I get up, I ask my HP to point my feet in the direction he wants me to go. I can’t see the big picture, but I have faith that I’m going in the right direction. =smile

Layne
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Re: Keeping Faith!

Post by Layne » Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:13 am

I feel that my prayers are answered. Sometimes I am so busy waiting for the answer that I want, I don't realize the actual answer that came my way.

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Re: Keeping Faith!

Post by tomsteve » Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:27 pm

Brock wrote:
“How do you have faith when all your prayers are not answered"?

I think we gave fair answers to that question, but would be interested to see what others might say, and there may be readers here who are new to AA, and wondering the same thing.
when my prayers arent answered its because i already have a preconceived idea of how they should be answered. when i open my mind and look, my prayers are answered-just not how i feel they should be.

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Tosh
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Re: Keeping Faith!

Post by Tosh » Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:42 am

Faith - to me - isn't some weak belief in something, it's more of an action. For example I had to have faith that asking someone to be my sponsor (which was a big deal for me) would be somehow beneficial. Doing a Step 4 and 5 was a huge leap of faith. I came to A.A. to find a way to stop drinking - more faith - NOT engage in some spiritual 'woo woo' path.

But I found the faith to take the actions outlined in the Big Book by seeing how those actions worked in the lives of others.

Faith without works etc...
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)

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Re: Keeping Faith!

Post by VKwon » Fri Feb 15, 2019 6:56 pm

Hi, I'm new here. I have about 9 years of sobriety. I am wondering, is this board lean towards religion, given the topic of this thread? I myself am an agnostic. I don't care if people believe in god or a higher power. The way I was taught the steps: Step 1: The problem is bigger than me. Step 2: The solution is bigger than me. Step 3: Trust the solution.

Is there room for agnostics here? Thanks! =smile

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Brock
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Re: Keeping Faith!

Post by Brock » Fri Feb 15, 2019 7:36 pm

Welcome here.

I assure you there is room for agnostics, plenty room, and we have several members who are non believers in the traditional concept which religion teaches. The member who posted above you ‘Tosh’ is one, and a little above that Paige says -
Prayer WITHOUT expectation is easy for an Atheist. It is a bit harder for someone who believes God will help them. It is near impossible for folks who think that God will answer their every whim like a good grandfather on Sunday afternoon.
She is an old timer here and an atheist herself, you are welcome to post on any subject, including your own feelings of what a higher power is.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

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Spirit Flower
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Re: Keeping Faith!

Post by Spirit Flower » Sun Feb 17, 2019 12:36 pm

My answer to praying for things does not come from the program. It comes more from metaphysics. Praying for things, even healings from cancer, doesn't work. Prayers said in churches are remedial and pretty much useless.

HOWEVER, step 11 says to pray for knowledge of his will for us and the power to carry it out. Somewhere it says we stopped praying for ourselves. Also, there are set prayers for step 3, 7. Page 86 has more prayers. St Francis prayer. Page 552 prayer.

Praying as the program suggests is what I would tell a newcomer. I always get these prayers answered.
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VKwon
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Re: Keeping Faith!

Post by VKwon » Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:54 pm

I have found that there is a difference between praying and rain dancing (ancient tribes dancing to their sky gods to make it rain). As an agnostic, I hope for serenity courage and wisdom. That's all I can reasonably hope for. If you're rain dancing, you're always going to be disappointed because a drought will always happen at some point.

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Re: Keeping Faith!

Post by JeffS. » Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:38 pm

“How do you have faith when all your prayers are not answered"? This was a topic at a meeting a few years ago. For the most part everyone's prayers were about themselves. Praying for material things etc... and when we didn't receive what we asked for we lost faith. I try very hard to just pray for other and not so much myself. Good things happen and bad things happen when I finally learned everything in Gods world happens for a reason I no longer questioned anything.

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avaneesh912
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Re: Keeping Faith!

Post by avaneesh912 » Fri Mar 22, 2019 4:14 am

The 3rd step promise says if we sincerely took such a position it says:

Being all powerful, He provided what we needed, if we kept close to Him and performed His work well.

It took a while to see the panoramic view of my whole life before even starting this way of life, there has been key turning points in my life, steering me this way. Looking at the current situations its frustrating at times but when we go through it I see some of them have no impact on the life. The mind always liked to play tantrum like a kid. When I was ready what I need to receive, I received and keep receiving.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

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