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No regrets - Beazley H.

Beazley H. No regrets - Wiley publishing , 2004. - 234 p.
ISBN 0-471-21295-4
Download (direct link): noregrets2004.pdf
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was ultimately grateful not only for his sobriety but for AA and the work that had made it possible.
How to Pray
We have explored five types of prayer in terms of content, but the question remains: What is the mechanism of prayer? How does one pray? Since prayer is a conversation with God, we open that conversation by praying to the God of our understanding, whatever that understanding is. We may address God by our chosen name or term, or we may use no name at all. If we are open to prayer but don’t believe in God, we can pray “to whom it may concern.” We can even begin our prayer with, “I don’t believe in you, but...” All of us have seen the power of love in our lives, so we can pray to love. The term doesn’t matter. Prayer works regardless of how we address the higher power.
Although prayer is a conversation with God, no specific words are prescribed as long as they are sincere and authentic. We say what we need to say in our own words, making the prayer as simple or elaborate as we want. We can even begin with, “I feel very awkward doing this, but...” Although many beautiful prayers have been written over the centuries across all the religions of the world, we can believe that no words are more beautiful to God than the heartfelt words we offer in moments of need and thanksgiving. Some people get down on their knees to pray because it reminds them that prayer is a sacred moment. Others kneel as a way of expressing their humility before God. Other people stand. Many people sit. Prayers can be said from any position with equally good effect. The traditional way to end a prayer in the Western tradition is with “amen,” a Hebrew word meaning “to trust” that was used to indicate acceptance of what someone had said or as approval for a course of action. The use of amen signals that our prayer has ended.
When we take our problems to God in prayer, it is like taking them, as a child, to a trusted and loving parent. We know God will solve them, but the solution will be determined by God, not by us. Although we may think that we know the best solution and the answer we want to our
prayer, we don’t know it. We can’t know it, because we cannot see to the end of our lives or beyond. Nor can we know, in an ultimate sense, what is best for others for whom we pray despite our belief that we do. For these reasons, an appropriate closing for every prayer is, “Your will, not mine, be done,” leaving open the possibility of something happening that is much better than we could have imagined for ourselves or others.
The Role of Prayer in Letting Go of Regret
Prayer can be used to help you achieve specific goals related to each of the steps. For example, one of the uses of prayer is to help you do something that you couldn’t otherwise do or to do it more thoroughly, with greater ease, and with less fear. In working each step, you will create specific prayers tailored to the step and to your needs related to that step. For example, in a given step, you might pray for:
• Courage to overcome your fear of working the step.
• Strength to start the step and the perseverance to complete it.
• Support and encouragement for what you are doing through the words, presence, and friendship of others.
• The insights and recall you need to carry out the activities of the step.
• Solutions for problems you encounter in working the step.
Each step and its activities will present its own challenges that prayer can help you overcome. In every case, the most effective prayer will be the one you create from the heart.
Answered Prayers
When we complain that God has not answered our prayers, what we really mean is that God has not given us the answer we wanted.
God always answers our prayers. Sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes the answer is “Not now, but when you are ready,” and sometimes the answer is no. The only answer we really like is the first one, but we often
get the second or the third answer. When we get the second or third, we often say that God hasn’t answered our prayers, and we feel abandoned or deprived. Why we do not get what we want and why we are sometimes made to suffer are two of the great mysteries of our existence. Most faith traditions attempt to explain them in one way or another, but we cannot know for sure, because that knowledge is denied to us as human beings. One possible explanation is that the second or third answers are given to us because we need them. Just as small children do not always get what they want for their own sakes, we may not get everything we want for our own sakes. That’s hard to believe when our prayer was to spare the life of a child. Yet, we don’t know why our request was denied. All we know is that we did not get the answer we wanted, and we are disappointed, even deeply saddened that we didn’t. That does not mean, however, that God has abandoned us, only that the answer to our prayer was no for reasons that we may never understand.
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