Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Prayers



Serenity Prayer
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.
(For history of this prayer, click here)

Third 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.
Reprinted with permission by A.A. World Services


Seventh Step Prayer
"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."
From The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous p. 76


Eleventh Step Prayer (Also Known as Prayer of St. Francis)
Lord, make me an instrument of thy 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.


MORNING PRAYER

God direct my thinking today so that it may be divorced from self pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives.

Adapted from The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous p. 86


A Brief History of the Serenity Prayer


Records from Alcoholics Anonymous show that Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr composed this prayer in 1932 as the ending to a longer prayer. In 1934, Dr. Howard Robbins, the Reinhold's friend & neighbour, requested permission to use that portion of the longer prayer in a compilation he was building at the time. It was published that year in Dr. Robbins’ book of prayers.
In 1939, it came to the attention of an early A.A. member who liked it so much, he brought it to Bill W., the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. Bill & the staff read the prayer & felt that it particularly suited the needs of AA. Cards were printed & passed around. Thus the simple little prayer became an integral part of the AA movement.