"All of us, without exception, pass through times when we can pray only with the greatest exertion of will."
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions page 105
All of us, without exception. What can you tell others that will help them get back on the track with prayer and meditation when they become complacent? How does one muster up that exertion of will?
Answer: “Exerting the will to pray.”
Let’s start with several Bible verses which are guides: (1) The Book of James was the A.A. favorite and states: “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16). A righteous man is one of His kids walking in fellowship with God—obeying His commandments. Fervent means “persistent” and “keep at it.” “availeth much” means “such prayer works.” (2) James 1:22 states: “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving our yown selves.” (3) In John 14:13, Jesus promises, “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name that will I do that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (4) 1 John 5:14-15 assures: “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions we desired of him.” (5) 1 Thessalonians 5:17 states: “Pray without ceasing.” (6) Mark 16:17 begins: “And these signs shall follow them that believe.”
How do I “exert” myself in these directions? I have got free will. I can choose or decline. I am one who chooses to believe the Good Book—the above and lots more. I am one who believes that, if I am walking in fellowship with my Heavenly Father, and if I ask for something in accordance with His will (such as healing), and if I persist in believing prayer according to His will, and if I ask in the name of His son Jesus Christ, and if I believe that God will make good on His Word, I will find the answers. God will determine what should or should not be done. I look to Him for the answers. I can sit on my tail and wish, or I can fervently get off my tail and start studying the Word, asking God for guidance, giving thanks to Him and praying in the name of His son, and believing that if I ask and walk and do according to His will, He lovingly takes care of my needs. He is my sufficiency. No exertion, just action and believing. And when the times are tough, it may take the help and prayers of other believers to whom I address requests for prayers and help. James 5:14 suggests: “Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.” These are some solid biblical precepts that I find were the assured challenges to which early AAs responded and I try to respond.
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