Strength in Weakness — Step 11

STEP 11: We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us, and power to carry that out.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly. Colossians 3:16

The apostle Paul has a very special place in Biblical history. Having been credited with writing most of the New Testament and being one of the most influential people in spreading the message of Christ to the new church, he definitely had a very special connection to the Holy Spirit. In 2 Corinthians 12, he even speaks of special visions from the Lord of which were revelations of paradise and heaven.

Even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God, to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.  Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (NLT)

What a powerful testament to the 11th Step! Paul sought God—in fact, he begged God three times to remove his difficulty, yet three times God denied his request. Paul didn’t get what he wanted, but he realized what he received was the best.

God knows so much better than we do of what we truly need and what is best for us. We might think that our addictions or compulsive behaviors make us weak or less than other people who have not been through the trials that we have, but God tells us just the opposite. His grace is all we need, and when we humble ourselves, His power works best in our weakness. When we were using or caught up in our compulsive behaviors, we made many bad choices. We found that our way didn’t work. Through the program, we turned our will over to God. Step 11 keeps us focused on God’s true reign over our lives. When we pray only for knowledge of his will for us, and the power to carry that out, we find peace, comfort and strength just like Paul did.

Paul’s Key Verse for Step 11

Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.  I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.  For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.  Philippians 4:11-13 (NLT)

THOUGHT TO CONSIDER: Just like the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13), Jesus taught us the best way to pray an 11th Step prayer. On the Mount of Olives the night before his crucifixion, “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”  Luke 22:42 (NLT)

 Examine your heart

  1. Are you struggling with being content with where God has you right now?
  2. What are some ways you fit prayer and meditation into your daily routine?
  3. There are times it is difficult to pray only for God’s will in our lives. Is there anything you are having a difficult time accepting or turning over?

Learn More

There are two powerful Step 11 stories in the Bible that are referenced in this teaching. The first is about Paul’s difficulty in 2 Corinthians chapter 12. The second is Jesus’ emotional prayer during his last day in Luke chapter 22. The book of 2 Corinthians is located on page 1479 and the book of Luke is found on page 1285 in the second edition of The Life Recovery Bible.

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