Prayer and Meditation
B. © 2005. All rights reserved
make a big deal about A.A.’s “prayer
and meditation.” It’s summarized
from Bill Wilson’s standpoint in
the Eleventh Step and in his Big
Book instructions for “doing” it.
It is nothing more than praying
and studying or “pondering” what
you are reading. Maybe reading some
helpful literature if you can’t
readily understand the reading.
Maybe talking to a rabbi, minister,
or priest if you want one-on-one
explanations and guidance.
is an apt description of how Dr.
Bob did it. You’ll find it in DR.
BOB and the Good Oldtimers.
He simply went upstairs in his home
three times a day. He prayed. He
studied a topic in the Bible.
He asked his Creator how he should
utilize the rest of the day and
then, as he put it, “went about
my Father’s business.” That’s the
whole shindig. Twenty minutes!
one simple way to hold a “Quiet
Time” the way the Akron pioneers
did is to go to a quiet setting
and ask your Heavenly Father what
He would have you read, what He
wishes you to do to serve Him, and
then proceed throughout the day
to follow His directions for doing
His will. Next, you open your Bible
and study something the early AAs
regularly studied – something directly
in the Book of James, Jesus’s Sermon
on the Mount, or 1 Corinthians 13.
You can get some subject topics
from The Runner’s Bible if
you want to see what to study –
topics like “forgiveness,” “love,”
guidance from God, “asking and receiving,”
and so on. When you’ve finished
your prayers and your study, ask
our Heavenly Father in the name
of His son Jesus Christ just what
he wants you to do that will be
in accordance with His will and
will glorify Him. End of your session.
not talk to your Father directly?
Why not read His guide book—the
Good Book? Why not follow directions?
you need a meditation book? A reflections
book? An A.A. reflections book?
A Hazelden Twenty-Four Hour book?
It’s your choice. But Dr. Bob simply
pointed to James, Matthew, and Corinthians;
and said “read them.”
I say anything about “talking” to
God?” Or “listening” to the “Voice?”
Or writing down laundry lists of
thoughts? No I did not. And there
is little or no evidence that either
Dr. Bob or his wife Anne or even
Bill and Lois did that. That’s Oxford
Group stuff. And A.A. was not the
Oxford Group in Akron, and it’s
not the Oxford Group today. Bob
and Anne preferred direct prayers
to God and simple studies in the
Bible for their Quiet Time. What
little Bill and Lois did of that
nature seemed to consist largely
of wading through Oswald Chambers’
“My Utmost for His Highest.” Not
“talking” to God. Not “listening”
for a “Voice.” Not journaling every
word that flowed through their minds.
Even the Oxford Group people didn’t
use those terms. They prayed. They
studied the Bible. They waited for
thoughts from God. They wrote down
every thought that came to their
mind. And they sorted out those
they thought were from God. But
there’s little or no talk about
studying James, the Sermon, 1 Corinthians,
or The Runner’s Bible or
The Upper Room. Not
“God Calling.” Not the Little Red
Book Not some commentary or
treatise. Why? Because they didn’t
were Akron practices to a limited
degree. But Akron was focused on
the Bible—three brief parts. These
were the “absolutely essentials
of their program. And, while Oxford
Groupers prayed, studied the Bible,
waited for “luminous thoughts,”
wrote down whatever came their way,
and then “checked” the thoughts,
the Akron crowd kept it simple.
people looked to the Bible. The Bible
tells you precisely how to pray. And
Anne Smith’s Journal added details.
The Bible tells you how God communicates
with those who choose to become His
kids. He can speak directly and out
loud. He can even write out tablets
like the Ten Commandments. He can
speak through prophets. He can speak
through angels. He gave Jesus Christ
the words to speak and spoke to us
through His son’s words. He
can teach the spirit of those who
have received His holy spirit. Most
importantly perhaps, He communicates
to all those who study and “search
the Scriptures” to find exactly what
He wants His people to learn and know.
Get into a Father-child
relationship with Yahweh, the Creator
of the heavens and the earth.
Pick up the Bible and
search for its truths.
Ask God to guide your
reading and explain it. That’s exactly
what Anne Smith suggested.
Utilize the Quiet Time
in a “quiet” place.
Focus on the Book of
James, Matthew 5-7, 1 Corinthians
13. Read them over and over.
Follow God’s directions
on prayer – thanksgiving, praise,
forgiveness, forsaking disobedience,
asking for wisdom and knowledge, asking
for healing, praying for others, asking
what will serve our Heavenly Father
in every area of your life.
Go about your Father’s
Couple of Thoughts from Dr. Bob
Study the Bible and Cultivate
the Habit of Prayer
Stick to the real yardsticks of
love and service
Yahweh knows His way; He will show
it to you on request
of you who have taken the time to
familiarize yourself with Dr. Bob’s
simple remarks will see the following.
Over and over Bob spoke of a loving
God. Over and over he stressed study
of the Good Book. Over and over
he pointed to the Book of James,
the Sermon on the Mount, and 1 Corinthians
as the most important areas of study.
Over and over he referred to his
standards of love and service. These
were standards in the Christian
Endeavor of his youth. They were
standards in the Bible. They were
the essence of the Twelve Steps
as Dr. Bob viewed them.