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.
Remove worry, remorse or morbid (sick) reflections that I may be of usefulness to others.
AMEN (p. 86 BB)
God direct my thinking today so that it be divorced 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 give me what I need 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 name of the Steps I pray.
AMEN (p. 86 BB)
On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead.
We consider our plans for the day.
Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives.
Under these conditions we can employ our mental faculties with assurance, for after all God gave us brains to use.
Our thought-life will be placed on a much higher plane when our thinking is cleared of wrong motives.
In thinking about our day we may face indecision.
We may not be able to determine which course to take.
Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision.
We relax and take it easy.
We donít struggle.
We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a while.
What used to be the hunch or the occasional inspiration gradually becomes a working part of the mind.
Being still inexperienced and having just made conscious contact with God, it is not probable that we are going to be inspired at all times.
We might pay for this presumption in all sorts of absurd actions and ideas.
Nevertheless, we find that our thinking will, as time passes, be more and more on the plane of inspiration.
We come to rely upon it.
We usually conclude the period of meditation with a prayer that we be shown all through the day what our next step is to be, that we be given whatever we need to take care of such problems.
We ask especially for freedom from self-will, and are careful to make no request for ourselves only.
We may ask for ourselves, however, if others will be helped.
We are careful never to pray for our own selfish ends.
Many of us have wasted a lot of time doing that and it doesn't work.
You can easily see why.
If circumstances warrant, we ask our wives or friends to join us in morning meditation. If we belong to a religious denomination which requires a definite morning devotion, we attend to that also.
If not members of religious bodies, we sometimes select and memorize a few set prayers which emphasize the principles we have been discussing.
There are many helpful books also.
Suggestions about these may be obtained from oneís priest, minister, or rabbi. Be quick to see where religious people are right. Make use of what they offer.
As we go through the day we pause, when agitated or doubtful, and ask for the right thought or action. We constantly remind ourselves we are no longer running the show, humbly saying to ourselves many times each day "Thy will be done." We are then in much less danger of excitement, fear, anger, worry, self-pity, or foolish decisions. We become much more efficient. We do not tire so easily, for we are not burning up energy foolishly as we did when we were trying to arrange life to suit ourselves.
It works - it really does.
We alcoholics are undisciplined. So we let God discipline us in the simple way we have just outlined. But this is not all. There is action and more action.
"Faith without works is dead."
(from "Alcoholics Anonymous pg. 86-88)
(A QUICK NOTE-- sometime between the 10th printing in 1971 and the 29th printing in 1985, the "12 & 12" was re-typset so the page numbers are no longer the same. My copy of this pamphlet has page numbers coinciding with the 10th printing. That kind of indicates how long it has been floating around the fellowship. I include both sets of page numbers here for the sake of accuracy (current version / older version).
When we retire at night, we constructively review our day.
Were we resentful, selfish, dishonest or afraid?
Do we owe an apology?
Have we kept something to ourselves which should be discussed with another person at once?
Were we kind and loving toward all? What could we have done better? Were we thinking of ourselves most of the time? Or were we thinking of what we could do for others, of what we could pack into the stream of life?
But we must be careful not to drift into worry, remorse or morbid reflection, for that would diminish our usefulness to others.
After making our review we ask God's forgiveness and inquire what corrective measures should be taken.
(from "Alcoholics Anonymous pg. 86)
EXCERPTS FROM 12 & 12
And when we turn away from meditation and prayer, we likewise deprive our minds, our emotions, and our intuitions of vitally needed support. (p. 97 in 29th printing/ p. 100 in 10th printing ) One of its first fruits is emotional balance.
With it we can broaden and deepen the channel between ourselves and God as we understand Him. (p. 101-2 / 104 ) But its object is always the same: to improve our conscious contact with God, with His grace, wisdom, and love. (p. 101 / 104)
As the day goes on, we can pause where situations must be met and decisions made, and renew the simple request: "Thy will, not mine, be done." If at these points our emotional disturbance happens to be great, we will more surely keep our balance, provided we remember, and repeat to ourselves, a particular prayer or phrase that has appealed to us in our reading or meditation. Just saying it over and over will often enable us to clear a channel choked up with anger, fear, frustration, or misunderstanding, and permit us to return to the surest help of all - our search for God's will, not our own, in the moment of stress. (p. 102-3 / 105)
In A.A. we have found that the actual good results of prayer are beyond question. They are matters of knowledge and experience. All those who have persisted have found strength not ordinarily their own. They have found wisdom beyond their usual capability. And they have increasingly found a peace of mind which can stand firm in the face of difficult circumstances . . . We discover that we do receive guidance for our lives to just about the extent that we stop making demands upon God to give it to us on order and on our terms. (p. 107 / p. 104) . .
. Any experienced A.A. will tell how his affairs have taken remarkable and unexpected turns for the better as he tried to improve his conscious contact with God...new lessons for living were learned, new resources of courage were uncovered, and that finally, inescapably, the conviction came that God does "move in a mysterious way His wonders to perform." (p. 104-5 / 107)
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.
An early explanation of the Lord's Prayer from the Cleveland Intergroup
An early pamphlet distributed in Washington D.C. in September of 1944
An early Step Study guide as prepared by Clarence Snyder
You can buy accurate copies of some of the above pamphlets by writing to the following or by clicking on the links:
Akron A. A. Archives
Akron Intergroup Office
775 North Main Street
Akron OH 44310
Chicago Area Service Office Bookstore
200 N. Michigan Avenue, Room 501
Chicago IL 60601
Cleveland District Office
1701 East 12th Street
Cleveland OH 44114
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