The AA Prayer is a prayer that Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) members recite to help them stay sober. This prayer was originally written by the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, Bill Wilson. It has been used for decades as an effective tool in recovery from alcoholism and addiction. This blog post explores the origins of AA Prayer and how it is used as a part of recovery.
What is the AA prayer?
The aa prayer is the first step in a series of 12 steps that are designed to help people recover from alcoholism. It starts with an admission of powerlessness over alcohol and ends with thanking God for one's sobriety. For many, this prayer has been a way to turn their lives around and get out of the cycle of addiction.
AA prayer is a form of meditation. It encourages people to take the time for themselves and find peace in their lives.
The AA Prayer
The AA prayer is part of the Serenity Prayer, which is a prayer written by the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr in 1939. It was originally published as "Serenity Prayer" and has been used to help people of all faiths find peace for years, not just alcoholics.
AA members believe that this prayer is powerful because it addresses the spiritual aspect of recovery so clearly. By acknowledging a higher power, people can have the strength to find their own spirituality.
There are many different versions of AA prayer. In short, they all include a meditative aspect and spiritual awakening to it.
"God, give me the courage to change what I can; give me the serenity to accept what I cannot change, and give me the wisdom to know one from another."
This prayer or meditation within spiritual and mental health can help one to stay sober.
AA Prayer and the 12 steps
According to AA World Services, the 12-step-program is a series of steps that people take to recover from addiction.
The first step in AA is admitting powerlessness over alcohol or drugs. This is followed by developing a firm resolve to never drink again.
The second step is looking deep within yourself and getting honest about your character defects, including the arrogance that makes you think you're better than other people. It is about learning to live a new lifestyle that includes spiritual principles.
The third step is a prayer for guidance and strength, which is followed by asking God to remove our shortcomings. It is a decision of what you want your life to be without alcohol (some people refer to this one as the "big question").
The fourth step is a list of people you have harmed and become willing to make amends with them all. It is all about making amends for harm done in the past, with regard to others and oneself. Oftentimes individuals will write letters or do some other form of apology.
"In recovery from addiction, it’s important not only to forgive yourself but also more importantly those who have harmed you in any way at all."
The fifth step involves taking inventory and recognizing that we are human beings, flawed like everyone else.
AA's sixth step suggests accepting God as our higher power. It can help us realize how fortunate we are and how much we need to be thankful for.
The seventh step is a way in which the individual can let go of resentments, dislike, and animosity towards others. While The eighth step talks about practicing these steps every day as part of your life.
The ninth step continues on with abstaining from addictive behavior.
The tenth step involves a personal inventory to see if we have done our best in the last 24 hours. It also focuses on sharing this message with other addicts who still suffer.
The eleventh step is a way for those who are recovering from addiction to relay their experience with other addicts, so that they might benefit and heal as well.
The twelve-step is the last one. In it, we are to share our experience and strength with other addicts so that they might recover also.
What is the Serenity Prayer?
One of the more recognizable prayers recited by a recovering alcoholic is the Serenity prayer. This prayer was written by an anonymous contributor over 50 years ago:
"Grant me the serenity to accept things I cannot change; courage to change things that I can; and wisdom always knowing the difference between them."
Or in the version adapted to Alcoholics Anonymous:
"God grant me the serenity to accept my alcohol problems; courage to change them; wisdom to know that I cannot do it alone; patience if you don't get me sober tomorrow or even next year or ever. Help!"
The Serenity Prayer's origins are in Christianity and it makes a clear distinction between the physical world of troubles and the spiritual one. It’s a simple reminder for individuals seeking recovery from addiction that they need not be defined solely by their struggles with substance abuse.
The Serenity Prayer is usually said at the end of an AA meeting.
How to get started?
If we don't know how to get started, here is a simple prayer.
"Dear Heavenly Father, I thank thee for thy many blessings upon me. Help me today to feel worthy of all thou hast given unto me. To remember always my infinite debt of love both great and small. Give me patience and faith-fullness of hope; please give me new courage and bestow thy grace upon my mind, body, heart, and soul. Amen."
Why prayer is important?
Prayer is a conversation between you and God, not an order or a demand. Prayer is one way of practicing surrendering control over some things and trusting God for good.
God listens to prayer. But don't expect a quick answer. They can be answered if you are patient enough and keep faith alive. Prayer is answered if you are patient enough and keep faith alive no matter how long it takes.
Prayer doesn't need to be said out loud or in a group of people.
Some prayers don't ask for anything, they simply thank God.
Prayer is not just for Christians, it's for everyone who believes in God!
Prayer is a means that can be used by any person to connect with God and find peace in any situation. "It is a way for people to seek forgiveness from their past mistakes or sins, as well as guidance on how they should live the rest of their lives. Prayer can also be used when someone needs help or support through difficult times."
Forms of Prayer
Prayers can take many forms: from words to thoughts in your head to prayer beads or rosary that you hold in the palm of your hand while reciting "Hail Mary".
- Pray for the things that are important to you.
- When prayers seem unanswered, it may be because your prayer request is outside of God's will for that time period or circumstance in life.
- Learn how to pray with this helpful guide from Alcoholics Anonymous. It explains what prayer can do for us and provides some examples of common prayers such as The Lord's Prayer, Hail Marys, Grace before Meals (Blessing), General Thanksgiving after Communion (Prayer).
- More than just reciting words together, praying helps people develop their relationship with Jesus Christ.
Sometimes when people are feeling down they don't want help from anyone else because they believe all problems in their life come from others not helping them enough. I think many alcoholics find themselves frustrated with other people due to how society has treated them. Neglectful parenting, bullying at school, addiction within their family. When people experience these things, they start to feel there's no point in trying because everything will end up going wrong anyway. With the aa prayer, Serenity Prayer, and a connection to God people can find a sense of comfort in knowing that they are not alone.
We need help on this journey. Not only because it will be difficult but also because we cannot do it alone. The aa and serenity prayer, as well as others, are important because it allows you to be reminded about all the blessings you have. It may give you more hope and courage to continue on your path towards recovery from addiction. It also helps with remembering how much we owe God for His love and compassion. God bless you on your Journey to him!