Third Step Prayer

It isn’t fully clear who first wrote the Third Step Prayer. Many people have attributed it to either Bill W. or Dr. Bob, the co-founders of AA in the early 1900s. Both the step and the prayer are important statements about seeking a right relationship with God. They emphasize submission and moving toward selflessness, two traits that every believer will benefit from developing. So, becoming familiar with this prayer can be a blessing for anyone, in recovery or not, who wants to grow into maturity.

I have found the people act according to what they believe. Developing a belief system that works under any and all circumstances and is not dependent how how you feel takes practice. I started with the Third Step Prayer and incorporated it and others in “My Belief System”. I also incorporated the belief that “God is doing
for us what we could not do for ourselves”. Having said that, I have had a few what I call Ah Hah life challenges that presented a opportunity to practice what I believe. So when a Ah Hah moment arrives, I surmise that God has looked at the situation and determined that I can handle it, otherwise He would be doing it. So then I do – because I Believe it. This belief helped me become a “Doer” instead of a “Tryer”.

I stopped using the word “Bad” when someone asked about my day. Now all days are good, some are just more comfortable than others. Problems have become opportunity’s for me to learn and/or practice my beliefs. I am honored to be involved in the lives of so many – because I believe this is God’s Will for me.

All of us have beliefs about ourselves, others, the world and God. Some of these are based in truth, some in half-truths and others pure nonsense. By applying the 12 steps of AA towards our daily lives, we will better understand our beliefs and will have the freedom to live a life free of bondage. We Do Recover!

AA Third Step Prayer

God, I offer myself to Thee – to build with me and 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! – Pg. 63 AA Big Book


When we’ve taken steps one and two we have learned and accepted that our lives are unmanageable, we are alcoholics and a power greater than ourselves can restore us to sanity.

What if we were to surrender the manageability part? We can surrender a lifetime of self-will run amok by making the decision to turn it all over to a Higher Power and allow someone and something to care for us. We can stop wearing ourselves out trying to make and force everything to happen as if we were in charge of everything in the world.

Recovery is a spiritual process and step three is when the doors of hope, faith and trust are opened allowing us to once again take a deep breath and feel the serenity: a gift of sobriety. The essence of step three is turning over your will, getting out of the way, and being restored to reality, honesty, balance and peace of mind. Let Go And Let God!The third step prayer is one of many AA Big Book prayers and AA Step prayers.

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NA Just For Today Daily Meditation Email Subscriptions NA World Services
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Just For Today JFT NA is a book of daily meditations, readings with quotes and prayers from the Basic Text and other NA-approved literature including the “Information Pamphlets”.

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List Of Character Defects

This is a small list of character defects

Listen to the steps Here or read the steps online Here


  • Abrasiveness, hostility, belligerence, being generally bad-humored.  Do I have to make other people suffer when I am angry, annoyed, even hurt?
  • Ambition – an earnest desire for some type of achievement or distinction, as power, honor, fame, or wealth.  Seeking these things rather than to be a worker among workers, or to be as useful as possible to God and my fellow human beings.
  • Anger, hatred, aggression, resentment, being argumentative, defiant, oppositional, irritable or sullen.
  • Anxiety – A general way of viewing things with an eye toward what is wrong, what might be wrong, what has been wrong or what is going to be wrong. Excessive worry, especially about things I cannot change.  Failing to live in the now.
  • Apathy, indifference
  • Arrogance, conceit– Offensive display of superiority or self-importance; overbearing pride.  An excessively favorable opinion of one’s own ability, importance, wit, etc.  Being a know-it-all.  Telling others how I am better than someone else, or thinking those thoughts to myself.
  • Being undependable – being late, not being where I should be, not doing what is mine to do, letting others down,  not doing my part.
  • Childishness- being immature, foolish, naive, self-centered, dependent.
  • Closed mindedness – Contempt prior to investigation. Disregarding things and ideas just because they are new and unknown. Being unwilling to try things or follow suggestions. Failing to remain teachable.  Having a mind firmly unreceptive to new ideas or arguments.  Can I at least SEE the other point of view?
  • Controlling attitude toward people, places and things; self will – Trying to control others by manipulation, bribery, punishment, withholding things or tricking them into acting as I wish, even when I believe it is in their best interest to do so. Failing to be equal partners with others and to consider their knowledge and opinions.  Trying to force outcomes.
  • Dependency, over dependency, co dependency – Relying on others to provide for me or do for me what I ought to provide for myself (or letting or getting others to provide things for my family or others I should be providing for). Feeling I must be in a relationship, or must hold on to others who want to move on. Letting others control me to an extreme due to my fear of being alone, abandoned, or independent.
  • Depression, pessimism, complaining – Generally seeing the dark side of things.  Entertaining, feeding and indulging in negative thoughts.
  • Dishonesty and hypocrisy- Sins of omission and commission. Telling lies, hiding things, telling half truths or pretending something is so that isn’t. Withholding important information. Adding untrue details to stories and situations.  Telling lies about another person.  Hurting someone’s reputation.  Pretending to be or to believe something I don’t, especially giving the impression that I am virtuous.  Stealing, cheating, taking things that aren’t mine and that I’m not entitled to.
  • Fear
  • Guttony, greed – Wanting and taking too much: food, sex, time, money, comfort, leisure, material possessions, attention, security.  Acquiring things (material things, relationships, attention) at the expense of others.  Feeling entitled to (like I have done something to deserve) things like money, time off, privileges, material things, praise, inclusion, benefits.
  • Gossiping – Speaking or writing about others in a negative manner, especially to get them in trouble or to feel superior to them and bond with someone else against the target of the gossip.  When I find myself talking about someone, I must pause and check out why I am mentioning their name.  Am I talking about them with genuine love, interest, and/or concern?  Or am I really putting them down?
  • Humility, a lack of humility – Feeling better than and/or worse than others, and being self centered.
  • Impatience – Being frustrated by waiting, wanting often to be some time in the future, wanting something to change or improve rather than accepting it as it is.
  • Intolerance – Not accepting people or things for who or what they are.
  • Inventory taking, being judgmental, criticizing – Noticing and listing, out loud or to myself, the faults of others.
  • Irritability and touchiness – emotionally sensitive, easily offended
  • Jealousy and envy – Wanting what others have, feeling we don’t have enough or deserve more, wishing we had what others do instead of them. This applies to material possessions like houses, cars, money and such. It also applies to non material things like relationships, a nice family, children, parents, friends and partners, and fulfilling work relationships. We can envy others their looks and physical appearance, their talents and physical abilities or attributes such as thinness, tallness, sports ability or musical talent.
  • Laziness, procrastination, sloth – Not doing as much as is reasonable for us to do. Putting things off repeatedly. Not carrying our own load as much as we are able. Letting others provide things for us that we ought to get for ourselves.
  • People-pleasing, being a “yes” person – Being false by saying yes when I mean no, and feeling resentful about it.  Trying to trick others into liking me by saying what I think they want to hear, rather than what is true.
  • Perfectionism, compulsiveness, being a workaholic – Expecting or demanding too much from myself or others. Treating things that aren’t perfect as not good enough. Not recognizing a good try or progress.  Concentrating too much on what is wrong.
  • Prejudice and favoritism- Pre-judging people based on a group they belong to. Negative or positive feelings about someone based on their religion, race, nationality, age, disability, sexual orientation, accent, politics, economic status, physical characteristics like height, weight, hair style, clothing style, physical fitness, age.  Not treating everyone as equal and devaluing or elevating a person or people in my family, meetings, workplace, school, or any group of people.
  • Pride – a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc.  Being grandiose or arrogant.
  • Pride in reverse, guilt – from Step Four, page 45 of the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions – Spending too much time thinking about how bad I am, how I screwed up, what’s wrong with me.
  • Rationalization, minimizing and justifying, self-justification – Saying and/or believing I had good motives for bad behavior.  Saying that I did bad things for good reasons, or that what I did really wasn’t that bad.
  • Resentment – The feeling of displeasure or indignation at some act, remark, person, etc., regarded as causing injury or insult.
  • Rigidity and fear of change
  • Sarcasm, cruelty, meanness
  • Sex: misuse of sex – withholding sex to get my way, being promiscuous, using people, cheating on a partner; lust
  • Shyness, aloofness, being self-conscious (what are people thinking about me?)
  • Self-centeredness, selfishness, self-seeking, attention-seeking – Spending excessive time thinking about myself. Considering myself first in situations. Not having enough regard for others or thinking about how circumstances hurt or help others. Thinking about what I can get out of situations and people, what’s in it for me? Spending too much time considering my appearance, acquiring things for myself, pampering myself, indulging myself.
  • Self pity, being discouraged

12 Step Recovery Prayers

3rd step prayer

Common 12 Step Recovery Prayers And Quotes

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1st Step Prayer

I admit that I am powerless over my addiction. I admit that my life is unmanageable when I try to control it. Help me this day to understand the true meaning of powerlessness. Remove from me all denial of addiction.

3rd Step Prayer – AA step 3 prayer and acceptance prayer aa

God, I offer myself to Thee – to build with me and 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! – Pg. 63 AA Big Book 3rd step prayer

3rd Step Prayer –  NA

Take my will & my life, Guide me in my recovery, Show me how to live. Pg. 26 NA Basic Text aa 3rd step prayer 

4th Step Prayer (Sick Man’s Prayer) – AA

When a person offended we said to ourselves,
“This is a sick man.
How can I be helpful to him?
God save me from being angry.
Thy will be done.”

7th Step Prayer – AA

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 – Pg. 76 AA Big Book 7th Step Prayer AA

Step 11 – AA

Suggests prayer and meditation. We shouldn’t be shy on this matter of prayer. AA morning prayer

  • Morning – Before we begin our day, “we ask god to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives”. Pg. 86 AA Big Book
  • Morning – In thinking about our day, “We ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or decision”. Pg. 86 AA Big Book 11th step prayer
  • Morning- We usually conclude the period of mediation 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 especially ask for freedom from self-will, and are careful to make no requests 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. Pg. 87 AA Big Book
  • Evening – After mediation on the day just completed, “We ask God’s forgiveness and inquire what corrective measures should be taken”. Pg. 86 AA Big Book aa night prayer
  • All Day As we go through the day we pause, when agitated or doubtful, and ask for the right thought or action. Pg. 87 – 88 AA Big Book

 Step 12 – AA & NA

  • Ask Him in your morning meditation what you can do each day for the man who is still sick. The answers will come IF your own house is in order. Pg. 164 AA Big Book
  • 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 it out. Pg.59 AA Big Book, Pg.49 NA Basic Text

The OA Promise (also known as Rozanne’s Prayer and the Unity Prayer) – OA

I put my hand in yours, and together we can do what we could never do alone. No longer is there a sense of hopelessness, no longer must we each depend upon our own unsteady willpower. We are all together now, reaching out our hands for power and strength greater than ours, and as we join hands, we find love and understanding beyond our wildest dreams. overeaters anonymous prayers

Acceptance Prayer – AA & NA

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.

The Recovery Prayer -NA

“We cannot change the nature of the addict or addiction. We can help to change the old lie “Once an addict, always an addict,” by striving to make recovery more available. God, help us to remember this difference.”AA morning meditation

The Literature Prayer – NA

“GOD, grant us knowledge that we may write according to Your Divine precepts. Instill in us a sense of Your purpose. Make us servants of Your will and grant us a bond of selflessness, that this may truly be Your work, not ours-in order that no addict, anywhere, need die from the horrors of addiction.”

The Just For Today Prayer – NA

  • Just For Today my thoughts will be on my recovery, living and enjoying life without the use of drugs.
  • Just For Today I will have faith in someone in N.A. who believes in me and wants to help me in my recovery.
  • Just For Today I will have a program. I will try to follow it to the best of my ability.
  • Just For Today through N.A. I will try to get a better perspective on my life.
  • Just For Today I will be unafraid, my thoughts will be on my new associations, people who are not using and who have found a new way of life. So long as I follow that way, I have nothing to fear

The Trust Prayer – AA & NA

“Higher Power, I’ve learned to trust your guidance, yet I still have my own ideas about how I want to live my life. Let me share those ideas with you, and then let me clearly understand your will for me. In the end, let your will, not mine, be done.”

The Gratitude Prayer – NA

“I’ve recovered something I never had, something I never imagined possible: the life of a recovering addict. Thank you, Higher Power, in more than words can say.”

The Self-Acceptance Prayer – AA & NA

“Higher Power, help me live in accordance with spiritual principles. Only then can I approve of myself.”

The Acceptance Prayer – AA & NA serenity prayer

“Higher Power, grant me the wisdom to know the difference between what can be changed and what I must accept. Please help me gratefully accept the life I’ve been given.”

The Patience Prayer – AA & NA

“Higher Power, help me discover what’s most important in my life. Help me learn patience, so that I can devote my resources to the important things.”

The Set Aside Prayer – AA

Dear God,
please set aside everything I think I know
about myself, this book, my disease, these steps,
and especially about you dear God
so that I might have an open mind And a new experience
with all these things.
Please help me to see the truth.

St Francis Prayer – AA

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.prayer for healing and recovery 

“O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console; to be understood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love; for it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.” Amen.

Let Gratitude Be Your Attitude

  • Every day of your life is a gift from God.
  • Don’t squander it.
  • Don’t waste it by being angry with anyone.
  • Don’t let it slip away by feeling sorry for yourself.
  • Be grateful for this precious gift of life and spend it by being as happy and as thankful as you possibly can
  • Let your mind dwell on the good things which have happened to you.
  • Let gratitude be your attitude.
  • Think of your assets, and don’t let anyone else spoil your day for you.
  • Enjoy every day of your life to the fullest.
  • Realize that you can add to the joy of each day by making someone else happy.

Recovery Prayer

God, help me to accept other people as they are. Recognize my own feelings, meet my own needs and learn to love myself just as I am

Footprints Prayer

One night I had a dream…

I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord, and
Across the sky flashed scenes from my life. For each scene I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand; One belonged to me, and the other to the Lord. When the last scene of my life flashed before us, I looked back at the footprints in the sand. I noticed that many times along the path of my life, There was only one set of footprints.

I also noticed that it happened at the very lowest
and saddest times in my life
This really bothered me, and I questioned the Lord about it.
“Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you,
You would walk with me all the way;
But I have noticed that during the
most troublesome times in my life,
There is only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why in times when I
needed you the most, you should leave me.

The Lord replied, “My precious, precious
child. I love you, and I would never,
never leave you during your times of
trial and suffering.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you.

Lords Prayer

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

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AA Principles


Spiritual Principles Of Alcoholics Anonymous

The AA Principles & Virtues from the 12 Steps

Spiritual Principles (as found in the 12 &12)

Bill W. considered each step to be a spiritual principle in and of itself, however, particularly in the 12 & 12, he outlined the spiritual principles behind each step. The most important of these is Humility.

1. Honesty: Fairness and straight forwardness of conduct: adherence to the facts. gives us something positive to look for and move towards. Honesty is the ability to match up our insides with our outsides. It allows what we don’t care about to go away and what we really want to appear and develop in our lives.

12 principles of aa and spiritual principles list

2. Hope: To expect with desire; something on which hopes are centered to the things we cannot change through our own power is a way to get on with our lives. Hope gives us something positive to look for and move towards. We can admit our need for help as we begin to share in our common welfare.

AA 12 principles

3. Faith: Complete confidence; belief and trust. Allows evasion and denial to give way to reality and peace. Faith is the evidence of our trust in God. True faith is the result of surrender coupled with experience that God can and will do for us if we ask for help.

4. Courage: Firmness  of  mind  and  will  in  the  face  of  extreme  difficulty;  mental  or  moral  strength  to withstand fear.

5. Integrity: The quality or state of being complete or undivided; soundness.

6. Willingness:  Prompt to act or respond; accepted and done of choice or without reluctance. To try is the beginning of doing our part. Willingness to try is the beginning of doing our part. However grand or humble that might be, it is a state of readiness replacing depression and anxiety

7. Humility: Not proud or haughty; not arrogant or assertive; a clear and concise understanding of what we are, followed by a sincere desire to become what we can be. Humility is the evidence of our trust in God. aa spiritual principles

8. Brotherly Love: Unselfish concern that freely accepts another in loyalty and seeks his good to hold dear. It is knowing the other person has the same spirit in them as us and being curious about what that spirit is trying to do.

9. Discipline: Training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character; to bring under control; to train or develop by instruction. Justice is taking time for things to move into place without force or breakage.

12 principles of aa

10. Perseverance : Steadfast despite opposition or adversity; able or willing to bear; to persist in an understanding in spite of counter influences. It is knowing the importance of doing our part well and being open to the many forms of help required for a full and abundant life.

spiritual principles of aa

11. Spirituality: Alive and alert; vigilance in observing is given where we sense our spirit in another human being. We seek a Higher Power of our own understanding and that becomes our ultimate guide and source of strength.

aa principles

12. Service: A  helpful  act;  contribution  to  the  welfare  of  others;  useful  labor  that  does  not  produce  a tangible commodity. It is the active and passive forms of love that keeps us alive and allowing God to use us as instruments.

the 12 Spiritual Principles Of AA

“Alcoholics Anonymous is not a religious organization and does not mandate any particular belief system. It does teach basic spiritual principles such as honesty, open mindedness, faith, willingness, and humility that may be applied in everyday life. The specific practical application of spiritual principles is determined by each individual. Recovery in AA is not a miracle cure that happens within a given period of time. It is a process, ongoing and personal. Members make an individual decision to join and recover at their own pace.AA principles when applied will change your life

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