Two-Way Prayer

OASV Blog Editor

September 1, 2023

Two-Way Prayer

Two-plus years into my abstinence and recovery, I began to struggle. My food was in order, I was attending meetings and sponsoring, but something was missing. Using food to manage my emotions was pretty much a thing of the past, my life was much simpler and less stressful, and I found more possible to accept life on life’s terms. So the feelings of unexplained sadness and loneliness in my life baffled me. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I felt I had more work to do.

My sponsor recommended that I revisit the 12 Steps and explore my relationship with a Higher Power. Raised in a traditional church, I always thought I had a relationship with a God of my understanding, but I didn’t think that God was happy with me. I hadn’t always lived life the way I thought I was supposed to, and I assumed I was some sort of a disappointment. Believing that my Higher Power wants the best for me, I began to rediscover my Higher Power and focus on what I needed from God rather than what I thought God wanted from me.

While listening to a podcast about the practices of the original founders of AA and their fellowship, the Oxford Group, I discovered a practice they considered indispensable: Two-Way Prayer. It was a game-changer for me and has been my daily practice for the past six months. The practice is easy and does not require a faith in a specific Higher Power.

I find a comfortable quiet place as soon after waking as I can. I first prepare by quieting my mind with a few minutes of meditation and reading program literature. Then, I begin a letter to myself from God starting with, “My dear child…”. It is very important that I don’t judge what comes next. I write down anything that pops into my head. Usually, the words start slowly, but then they speed up. I don’t analyze anything or stop for a break. I keep writing until there’s nothing left to say. Then I go back and read what is on the paper and look to see if God has spoken to me in some way.

Sometimes I ask God a question and get a response or some direction for what step to take. Perhaps there is a suggestion to give service to someone in particular or in a specific way. Unless the request seems completely outlandish and contrary to practicing the principals of OA, I do everything possible to follow through. At other times, I am reassured that I am on the right path. I have been amazed at how many times situations pop up in the day that correlate to something I heard in my Two-Way Prayer.

My daily practice is evolving, but I find that any day I write is better than a day when I don’t. Once I went back and reread all my Two-Way Prayers with a highlighter pen and marked every time God made a suggestion. I am now working to complete anything that I skipped. The work brings me joy, and unexpected outcomes bring relief or comfort. In my deepened relationship with my Higher Power, I have come to believe in a power that cares about me and my recovery, and is always available when I open the door to communication through Two-Way Prayer. ~Frances C.

Image courtesy of Helene W., Santa Cruz

A gentle disclaimer: These comments are based on the member’s personal experience, strength, and hope gained through working Overeaters Anonymous 12 Steps and Traditions and using the tools of the program.

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