Alcoholics Anonymous 11th Step Prayer
Spiritual growth comes from seeking in a power greater than ourselves. It is in that seeking through the 11th Step and the 11th Step Prayer, that we continue to grow closer to our higher power and thus in our sobriety. Let us take a deeper look into Step 11 and the Step 11 Prayer so that you can maximize your relationship with yourself and your Higher Power.
AA 11th Step Prayer
Step 11: Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out. AA Big Book, p96.
Step 11 is an action step that suggests prayer and meditation in the morning before continuing on with the day, and again in the evening before falling asleep. There are actually specific instructions for how to practice this step and meditation in the AA Big Book on pg96.
Step 11 allows you to start each day new and end each day cleansed of any negativity that could hold you back from growing towards the best version of yourself. It is the act of prayer and meditation, in combination with all the other steps, that helps keep alcoholism in remission. Once all the steps are complete; steps 10, 11, and 12 become our maintenance steps to continue on in sobriety.
Step 11 Prayer: Found in the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions is the Step 11 Prayer (also known as the Saint Francis Prayer). This prayer is an excellent reminder of what we strive for in our sobriety. It is by living this way of life that we become whole and feel a sense of peace and serenity.
11th Step Prayer:
“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. Amen.”
Prayer & Meditation In Sobriety
In addition to the 11th Step Prayer, there are many other very good prayers that are suggested throughout the program to help you grow spiritually.
3rd Step Prayer
“God, I offer myself to Thee to build with me & 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 & Thy way of life.” – AA Big Book, p63.
7th 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.” – AA Big Book, p76.
Serenity Prayer (Long Version)
“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. Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; so that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him forever and ever in the next. Amen.”
Your Meditation Is Unique To You
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t believe in one particular God. Your higher power is personal to you and it can be mother nature, the universe, the desire to do the steps, or even AA as a group. You can also totally change the language of any of these prayers so it feels personal and comfortable to you. Many people also include daily readings, art, music, yoga, etc… into their meditation. It is entirely up to you how to enhance your 11th Step Prayer practice. These are merely suggested prayers to help you get started, so that you can allow your higher power, the steps, and the program of AA to work in your life instead.
How do you practice Step 11 prayer and meditation? We want to know! Please share in the comment feed below.