The AA Third Step Prayer is a cornerstone of the Alcoholics Anonymous program. It is a simple yet powerful prayer that reminds us of the importance of surrendering our will to a higher power. The prayer is often recited at meetings and during personal moments of reflection, and it can be a source of comfort and inspiration for those in recovery.
The AA Third Step Prayer Goes as Follows:
“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 will always!”
This prayer is significant because it represents the turning point in an alcoholic’s life when they choose to turn their will over to a higher power. It acknowledges that we cannot do it alone and need help from something greater than ourselves.
The first part of the prayer, “God, I offer myself to Thee—to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt,” expresses the willingness to surrender to a higher power. It is an admission of powerlessness over alcohol and a recognition that we need help to overcome our addiction.
The second part of the prayer, “Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will,” acknowledges that our ego and selfishness often get in the way of our ability to do God’s will. By asking to be relieved of the bondage of self, we are asking to be freed from the things that keep us from doing what is right.
The third part of the prayer, “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,” is a request for help in overcoming the challenges we face in recovery. It acknowledges that our struggles can serve as an example of God’s power, love, and way of life to those struggling with addiction.
The final part of the prayer, “May I do Thy will always!” is a commitment to seek guidance and direction from a higher power. It is a reminder that recovery is an ongoing process that requires us to stay connected to our spirituality and continue seeking guidance from God.
For many people in recovery, the Third Step Prayer is a daily reminder of the importance of surrendering to a higher power. It helps us stay humble and remember that we do not control everything. It also serves as a source of hope and inspiration, reminding us that we can overcome our addiction with the help of God.
Other Things That Can Be Done
In addition to reciting the Third Step Prayer, there are several other ways to incorporate the principles of surrender and humility into our daily lives. For example, we can:
- Practice gratitude – by focusing on what we are thankful for, we can shift our attention away from our problems and toward the blessings in our lives.
- Let go of control – by recognizing that we cannot control everything, we can reduce our stress and anxiety and become more open to receiving help from a higher power.
- Seek guidance from others – by reaching out to our support network, we can receive advice and direction from others who have been through similar experiences.
- Stay connected to spirituality – by practicing prayer, meditation, or other spiritual practices, we can stay related to our higher power and maintain a sense of peace and serenity.
Why Does the AA Third Step Prayer Work So Well?
- Peer Support: AA provides a supportive and understanding community of individuals who have experienced similar struggles with alcohol addiction. The group setting allows members to share their experiences, challenges, and triumphs, providing a sense of camaraderie and empathy. This peer support can be precious in maintaining motivation, building resilience, and staying accountable.
- Twelve-Step Program: AA follows a structured program known as the Twelve Steps, which offers a spiritual approach to recovery. These steps involve acknowledging powerlessness over alcohol, seeking help from a higher power, making amends for past wrongs, and actively helping others recover. The Twelve Steps provide a framework for personal growth, self-reflection, and developing a new way of life without alcohol.
- Sponsorship: AA encourages individuals to find a sponsor, an experienced member who acts as a mentor and guides them through the recovery process. Sponsors offer one-on-one support, share their personal experiences, and provide accountability. Having a sponsor can be immensely helpful in navigating challenges, addressing emotional issues, and staying committed to sobriety.
- Accessibility and Availability: AA meetings are widely accessible, with sessions in various locations and at different times, often free of charge. This accessibility makes it easier for individuals seeking help to find and attend meetings, increasing the chances of receiving the support they need. Additionally, AA meetings are available in many countries worldwide, making it a globally recognized and accessible support network.
- Anonymous and Non-Judgmental Environment: AA meetings prioritize anonymity, creating a safe space for individuals to openly share their experiences without fear of judgment or negative consequences. This anonymity encourages honesty, openness, and vulnerability, fostering an environment where people can discuss their challenges and seek support without fearing stigma or social repercussions.
- Long-Term Support: AA emphasizes long-term sobriety and ongoing participation. Members are encouraged to attend meetings regularly, even after achieving initial sobriety, to support others and reinforce their commitment to recovery. This continued involvement helps individuals build a network of sober friends, maintain focus on their sobriety goals, and prevent relapses.
Overall, the AA Third Step Prayer is a powerful reminder of the importance of surrender and humility in recovery. By incorporating these principles into our daily lives, we can stay connected to our spirituality and continue to grow in our recovery journey.