Sunday, May 22, 2016

AA Prayer Works…and Now a Study Shows Us

Early in recovery we are often given the instruction to memorize the Serenity Prayer and to use it as often as possible. Over the years that prayer and others like the Prayer of St. Francis and our own
Seventh or Third Step prayers become tools on long-term recovery.

I  have wondered if those prayers are just good cognitive habits or spiritual tools or a kind of magic, but I always love the stories we hear in meetings about a man or woman in recovery encountering a tough situation and then, they say, "I prayed, and then …" And then something happened. The situation changed or it didn't change , but says the speaker, "I didn't drink."

So now we have the start of some real research looking at the power of prayer for people in long recovery. And it turns out that the early evidence shows that using prayer to resist or decrease cravings works:

Here is what the researchers at NYU are finding:

“Our findings suggest that the experience of AA over the years had left these members with an innate ability to use the AA experience — prayer in this case — to minimize the effect of alcohol triggers in producing craving,” said senior author Marc Galanter, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Division of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse at NYU Langone.
Like me, you may want to share this bit of encouraging spiritual and recovery evidence with folks you know, so here is the link to the full article at PsychCentral. A gratitude prayer may also be in order after reading this news:

More news: My new book, "Never Leave Your Dead" will be published by Central Recovery Press in early June.  It's the story of  military trauma and family trauma, and the long but possible road to
recovery for veterans and families. It is a story of resilience and redemption. I hope you'll take a look.

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