10/29/08 BB Into Action p 76 (step 7 prayer)

The book Alcoholics Anonymous, aka The Big Book, is the basic text for the AA program of sobriety. "Alcoholics Anonymous" Copyright 2012 AAWS, Inc. All Rights, Reserved. Short excerpts used by permission of AAWS

10/29/08 BB Into Action p 76 (step 7 prayer)

Postby Karl R » Wed Oct 29, 2008 6:16 am

Good Morning,

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

Yesterday's reading examined step 6; Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

Today's reading (in red below) looks at step 7. As BM said yesterday the step 7 prayer brings us to a clearer understanding of steps 6 and 7.
I'll let the prayer stand alone for today other then to say it points the way for us toward usefulness in our HP's will for us.

ES and H to share anyone?

When ready, we say something like this: "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." We have then completed Step Seven.
Last edited by Karl R on Thu Oct 30, 2008 5:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby jak » Wed Oct 29, 2008 12:00 pm

Are we now ready to let God remove from us all the things which we have admitted are objectionable? Can He now take them all - every one? If we still cling to something we will not let go, we ask God to help us be willing. When ready, we say something like this: "My Creator,...



As my AA family and I looked at our inventories together many of us had to admitt that we saw unwillingness. We saw that we had asked for God's help, but we continued to behave selfishly. There was a deeper will that we could not wish away.

We read Bill W's warning that "...we still liked some of them (defects) too much." and we related.

I don't know the origin of the prayer that we learned, but it is in the spirit of this instruction "...we ask God to help us be willing." that we were led to pray that "God make us willing to be willing"

We gave God permission to allow events to occure that would spur us to deeper surrender. As to the prayer, "We asked His protection and care with complete abandon" we attempted a deeper abandon in that, if it were nessesary for God to let up on that 'protection' in order for us to be 'spurred' (like a horse) then we were giving God permission to 'let it come'.

We had to hit bottom with drinking. We needed to hit other bottoms. But we wanted to avoid hurting others in that dirty process.

God does not have to 'DO' anything to us in these instances for it has been proven that we create our own missery, we place ourselves in a position to be hurt. But we have survived those hard lessons and our selfish wills are still intact. Was it that there was too much protection from this loving God? I don't know.

But I was able to give permission for a tougher love from God and from my brothers because I was not going through it alone. I wasn't the only bozo on the bus.

24 years sober and I still have more than enough defects to keep me comming back. And God still has permission to lead me to deeper surrender. And He does.

jim k
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Postby ann2 » Thu Oct 30, 2008 2:44 am

jak wrote:24 years sober and I still have more than enough defects to keep me comming back. And God still has permission to lead me to deeper surrender. And He does.


It's the constant miracle in my life -- the opportunity to get the jagged edges of my personality smoothed off, thanks to just submitting daily to the will of my HP.

Ann
"If I don't take twenty walks, Billy Beane send me to Mexico" -- Miguel Tejada
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Postby martin08 » Thu Oct 30, 2008 4:38 am

There is a lot of talk surrounding Steps 1-5 and 8-12 in meetings and discussions. And rightly so, as there is often much anxiety surrounding some of the the rigorous actions in these steps.

The importance of Steps 6 and 7 might get overlooked a bit, since we need only to "become willing" and to "ask God" to complete the action. But the ramifications of sincerely allowing God to dig deeply and dredge out the shortcomings that impeded fruitful living should not be underscored.

Steps 6 and 7 were crucial, for myself, in that they completed my turn away from selfishness and allowed me to set my sights on the needs of others.
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Postby Blue Moon » Thu Oct 30, 2008 7:49 am

The problem with getting bogged down with 6 and 7 is that I've noticed a tendency for AAs to try and work out how they can remove their own defects.

Which is taking back Step 3. Which can be risky for peace of mind, as alcoholics are prone to be perfectionist.

My own serenity seems to be directly proportional to the amount of time I don't spend worrying about what character defects I think I do or don't have to fix right now. Focusing on my own defects almost instantly brings back the problem - self-centredness. Which, incidentally, tends to throw up a bunch more fear-based defects.

If there is a God, and if he really has the power to remove my defects of character, he will do so in his own good time - regardless of my opinion on the matter. And if he decides not to, there's really not a darn thing I can say or do about it. Maybe I'm supposed to have a particular character trait right now? However, the whole time I'm spending trying to bend things to my will, I'm not getting out of myself by being useful.
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Re: 10/29/08 BB Into Action p 76 (step 7 prayer)

Postby leejosepho » Thu May 10, 2012 3:40 am

"God, I offer myself to Thee - to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt." (Step Three)
"My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad." (Step Seven)

"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." (Step Three)
"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." (Step Seven)

"Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will." (Step Three)
"Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding." (Step Seven)
"May I do Thy will always!" (Step Three)

"We thought well before taking this step making sure we were ready; that we could at last abandon ourselves utterly to Him." (page 63)
"Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character." (Step Six)

The only difference I see between Steps Three and Seven is that we now know specifically what needs to be taken away and how we can cooperate.
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================
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Re: 10/29/08 BB Into Action p 76 (step 7 prayer)

Postby PaigeB » Thu May 10, 2012 3:42 pm

It is good to know the deeper catalyst for my behavior. I like the idea Joe puts forth as "cooperate" - either way I have to operate - aka act - on re learning or
re training or taking a new path all together when it come to acting and reacting. All of my behavior can now be subject to a test of my motivations on any action.

Because now I see.

Martin said:
Steps 6 and 7 were crucial, for myself, in that they completed my turn away from selfishness and allowed me to set my sights on the needs of others.


Humility and gratitude were the lessons I learned at Steps 6 & 7. I learned that if I feel I cannot find humility, I need to practice some gratitude and I will find it. The same works in the reverse: if I can't find gratitude, I can practice some humility and I will find gratitude. I am "allowed" the opportunity to find both humility and gratitude in working with others.
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
The e-AA Group's 7th Tradition link: www.e-aa.org/group_seventh.php
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