The primary means by which any 12-step This refers to the members of AA and the bonds of support between them. It is this fellowship that allows addicts to share their stories and accept each other in a world that is not always understanding. More encourages its members to approach In 12-step programs, an individual is sober when they are no longer partaking in the behavior or substance to which they are addicted and living a better life following the program. Both are necessary to achieve sobriety. More is by methodically working the The steps are a practical guide to recovery and full spiritual life, laid out in the Big Book of AA, and used by a large number of groups ever since. By definition, a 12-step program is based on the belief that recovery is best facilitated by diligently working the steps. The steps guide addicts by ... More. The 3rd step is a massive one, ending the early stages of the steps. As recounted in the Big Book of AA, this step calls on members to have “decided to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand Him.”
This is a highly significant moment. In the first two steps, we admitted our lives had become unmanageable and that a Higher Power could restore us to sanity. We saw that we have not been good for ourselves. Instead of making good and healthy decisions, we have constantly tripped ourselves up. We realized in this process that we needed to get out of our way. It was time to, according to a well-worn AA saying to “let go and let God.”
Here we take that knowledge and apply it. This is why the third step is considered the first “action step.” The first two, involve a crucial process of Accepting an inability to cope with addiction alone, is a major part of the recovery process. The same process involves accepting our flaws, responsibility for our actions, and the need to surrender to a Higher Power. More, contemplation, and reflection. Meanwhile, the third step involves the act of surrendering some of our most destructive behavior in favor of a healthy and productive relationship with a 12-step programs greatly stress surrender to and daily communication with a Higher Power. Having trust in something greater than yourself is considered essential for returning sanity in the unmanageable life of an addict. This can be a traditional deity, a spiritual entity or a social one such as th... More.
We cease clinging to our attempt to control our own lives, which have led us to increasingly dark places in our lives. Instead, we allow ourselves to believe in and follow the path intended for us by the Higher Power we have chosen.
The 3rd Step Prayer
Some groups and sponsors will ask those reaching the 3rd step to recite or memorize a relevant prayer. This is normally done at the very start of work on the step, and the prayer is normally first recited in the presence of your sponsor.
This is the 3rd step prayer:
“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.”-Alcoholics Anonymous, the The basic text of AA was the first to methodically introduce the 12-steps. It is still the main source for meetings and is quoted in just about all AA and other 12-step literature. the Library of Congress named it one of the 88 “Books that shaped America.” Read more about the Big Book of AA. More Page 63
Due to its importance, many recovering addicts recite this prayer every morning.
Is The 3rd Step Prayer A Religious Prayer?
Some members are put off by the apparent religious nature of this step. This is understandable, considering the specific mention of God in the text. However, the 3rd step was never intended to dictate what vision of God members may turn to.
Over the years, the fellowship has grown more spiritual, and our understanding of a Higher Power has become even less coercive. As it turns out, the realm of spirituality is limitless and vastly inclusive. Any belief system you are comfortable with, can and should be utilized to discover your own personal Higher Power.
Religion vs. Spirituality
Some individuals believe in a traditional monotheistic God, while others believe in elements of nature, polytheistic gods, the universe, or the power of the group. For some members of AA, G-O-D stands for “group of drunks.” For these addicts, it is the benevolence and wisdom of the entire group which replaces the influence of an omnipotent God.
The only true requirement is that you believe in a power greater than yourself and abandon harmful attempts to control your own life. The Big Book of AA reminds us that once we have completed this step, “we have ceased fighting anything or anyone – even An organic compound used in many products, most notably intoxicating drinks. Alcohol addiction is known as alcoholism. The first 12-step program was devised to deal with that malady. More.” Instead, our Higher Power is now firmly in control of our path. Our job is now to make sure we are aware of and keep to this better path. By doing so, we are destined to improve our lives tremendously. Once the 3rd step is completed, our The process by which addicts attempt to break the hold a certain substance or behavior has on their lives. This can refer to participation in a wide variety of methods. What they all have in common, is a sense that life is improving and the addict is regaining control. More will be on much firmer footing.
What Does The 3rd Step Prayer Mean?
It is a call for release from the patterns that have led us to pain. We tend to think of alcoholism as a loss of control, and to an extent it is. But The use of a drug in a quantity that is harmful to the user mentally or physically. Death and serious harm are usually caused by regular abuse rather than the casual use of drugs. More can also be seen as an attempt to control your emotions and reactions through self-medication. While in the throes of addiction and pain, we very often thought only of ourselves. We now realize that by being part of something larger than ourselves, we can release ourselves from the bondage of our self-destructive selfishness. The path of our Higher Power will take us towards empathy and AA and other 12-step fellowships do not normally have employees. Instead, members volunteer and take roles necessary for the operation of the different groups and the larger infrastructure of the fellowship. Common roles of service include secretary, treasurer, and chairing meetings. More to others.
Self-Will vs God’s Will
Even in recovery, we continue our unhealthy attempts to manage relationships (which often amounts to an attempt to manage other people) or situations we cannot even remotely control. This adds completely unnecessary stress to our lives and burdens us on the difficult road to recovery.
It is also self-will which stopped us from embracing our Higher Power and receiving help from friends and family when we needed it.
Due to our destructive tendencies, we must now seek spiritual surrender. We stop trying to control our behavior, how people see us, and what we feel. We humbly accept the will of our Higher Power.
The Third Step Prayer is one of the more important prayers in 12 step programs. It is also often recited at 12 step meetings. Brad Yates put together a video guide on how to memorize the 3rd Step Prayer:
“When we sincerely took such a position, all sorts of remarkable things followed. We had a new Employer. Being all powerful, He provided what we needed, if we kept close to Him and performed His work well. Established on such a footing we became less and less interested in ourselves, our little plans and designs. More and more we became interested in seeing what we could contribute to life. As we felt new power flow in, as we enjoyed peace of mind, as we discovered we could face life successfully, as we became conscious of His presence, we began to lose our fear of today, tomorrow or the hereafter. We were reborn.” – Big Book, Page 63
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