Prayer and Meditation | Drug and Alcohol Recovery

What is the difference between prayer and meditation and why it is so important for drug addicts and alcoholics?

Meditation is the practice in which an individual trains their mind and/or induces a mode of consciousness to help them realize some benefit [source].

Prayer, on the other hand, is an invocation or it can be a religious practice in which a person seeks to activate a rapport with a deity or object of worship through deliberate communication [source].

What these things have in common is that both prayer and meditation have been used for centuries in order to help alleviate human suffering. Consider Chinese medicine or Native American healers. While both prayer and meditation have inherent differences, there is also a great deal of overlap. For example, with ‘receptive prayer’, a person quiets his/her mind in order to receive inspiration, which is very similar to meditation [source].

Prayer and Meditation for Drug and Alcohol Addicts

The Big Book clearly states that trouble will come if the alcoholic fails to perfect and enlarge their spiritual life…the spiritual life is not a theory…we have to live it. Step eleven in Alcoholics Anonymous suggests prayer and meditation. This step is vital to maintain and grow the alcoholic/addicts spirituality.

Prayer is communication with a higher power.  Meditation is stilling one’s mind, turning their focus inward, and listening.  Both prayer and meditation strengthen the spiritual connection.



  • Prayer, Meditation, and Spirituality in Rehabilitation | Ann Cotter, M.D., et. al.