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Bill Wilson wrote, “Never had we seen so much A.A. in so few words”.
An abbreviated version of the The Serenity Prayer can be found toward the end of the discussion on
Step Three in the 12x12 (Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions). What follows is the full text as
commonly accredited to American, Protestant theologian Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr written in the
God grant me the serenity to
Accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And the Wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking as He did, this World as it is,
Not as I would have it.
Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
And Supremely happy with Him,
Forever in the next.
|Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our
conscious contact with God ...
Praying only for his will and the power to carry that out.
Having had a spiritual awakening ...
We tried to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Alcoholics Anonymous® reprinted with permission
Third Step Prayer
-The Third Step Prayer is from page 63, The Big Book:
We were now at Step Three. Many of us said to our Maker, as we understood Him:
"God, I offer myself to Thee - to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the
bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them
may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy
We thought well before taking this step making sure we were ready; that we could at last abandon
ourselves utterly to Him.
Seventh Step Prayer
-The Seventh Step Prayer is from page 76. The Big Book
When ready, we say something like this:
"My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now
remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you
and my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding. Amen."
We have then completed Step Seven.
-(Both derived from page 86 in the Big Book)
God, direct my thinking today so that it be empty of self pity, dishonesty, self-will, self-seeking and
fear. God, inspire my thinking, decisions and intuitions. Help me to relax and take it easy. Free me
from doubt and indecision. Guide me through this day and show me my next step. God, show me
what I need to do to take care of any problems. I ask all these things that I may be of maximum
service to you and my fellow man. In the spirit of the Steps I pray. AMEN
God, forgive me where I have been resentful, selfish, dishonest or afraid today. Help me to not keep
anything to myself but to discuss it all openly with another person - show me where I owe an
apology and help me make it. Help me to be kind and loving to all people. Use me in the
mainstream of life, God. Free me of worry, remorse or morbid (sick) reflections that I may be of
usefulness to others. AMEN
St Francis Prayer
-From Chapter 11 of “Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions"
“Lord, make me a channel of they peace,
that where there is hatred, I may bring love;
that where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness;
that where there is discord, I may bring harmony
that where there is error, I may bring truth;
that where there is doubt, I may bring faith;
that where there is despair, I may bring hope;
that where there are shadows, I may bring light;
that where there is sadness, I may bring joy.
Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted;
to understand, than to be understood;
to love, than to be loved.
For it is by self-forgetting that one finds.
It is by forgiving that one is forgiven.
It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life.” St. Francis Assisi (1182-1228).
Closing the Meeting
(Letter from Bill W. referring to the Lord's Prayer)
April 14, 1959
…Now about the business of adding the Lord's Prayer to each A.A. meeting. This practice
probably came from the Oxford Groups who were influential in the early days of A.A. You
have probably noted in AA. Comes of Age what the connection of these people in A.A. really
was. I think saying the Lord's Prayer was a custom of theirs following the close of each
meeting. Therefore it quite easily got shifted into a general custom among us...)
The Lord's Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Taken from the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, 1662.