Definition of Higher power:
Supreme being or deity, or some conception of God

of Higher power:
God, goddess, lord, spirituality, etc.

These notes are from recovery in AA and/or related 12 step programs. Readers are encouraged to click external links for more detail. We hope you find them helpful.

Love in fellowship.


Our understanding of a Higher Power is up to us….  The only suggested guidelines are that this Power be loving, caring, and greater than ourselves –Just for Today | More…

We grow to feel comfortable with our Higher Power as a source of strength. As we learn to trust this Power, we begin to overcome our fear of life. –Just for Today | More…

God does not ask your ability or your inability. He asks only your availability. –Mary Kay Ash | More…


Have I turned to a Higher Power for help?
Do I believe that this Higher Power can help me from drinking?

The Twelve Steps gently lead us toward a spiritual awakening. Each day we stay sober, we can rejoice in our Higher Power’s care. –Just for today | More…

When I am relaxed, God’s strength will flow into me. I will be at peace. I pray for that peace which the world can neither give nor take away. –24 Hours | More…

It’s not all that important whether or not we believe that God has planned every detail of our lives. Just coming to believe that we haven’t walked through any experience alone is where the comfort lies. –Karen Casey | More…

There is a Master Plan. There are Natural Laws that run the universe. Change will happen and every setback is only temporary. In other words, the Creator is in charge.

He designed the universe. He runs the universe and He will change what needs to be changed. As humans, it is easier for us to participate in all of this if we are spiritual. We need to be tuned in.


God gave us the spiritual concept of acceptance. When things change, we can change ourselves through the principle of acceptance. Elders | More…

God wants you to be happy and carefree. He wants you to love your life no matter what your circumstances look like.

In fact, when you have joy in the midst of difficult circumstances, it’s the evidence that you have faith and trust that God is going to bring you through. –Joel Osteen | More…

We learn to rely on a Higher Power to help us handle our experiences, we begin to grow in peace and the belief that all is well.Even when we are tormented by a decision, we can have faith that our Higher Power will lead us where we need to go. Our part of the bargain is to ask for help and to be open to guidance. –A Women’s Spirit | More…

Our understanding of a Higher Power is up to us…. We can call it the group, the program, or we can call it God. Many of us have a hard time with the idea of a Higher Power until we fully accept the depth of our own powerlessness over addiction.

Once we do, most of us are at least willing to consider seeking the help of some Power greater than our disease. The first practical exposure many of us have to that kind of Power is in the AA group. –Just For Today | More…


AA may or may not get me to heaven, but it surely got me out of he!!. If your Higher Power can handle eternity, you can surely handle right now! –Pocket Sponsor | More…

The spirit world is sometimes hard to believe in because we can’t see it. We need to believe that the Unseen World exists and the Unseen World is guided by principles, laws, and values.

 If we have doubts, we can pray to the Great Spirit to remove the doubt. He’s always ready to help us during our doubtful times. We are lucky to have such an understanding and helpful Father.–Elders Meditations/White Bison | More…

The Creator makes power available to do things. We pray to the Creator to give us the power to do these things.

Often, we are given these powers for a while, then these powers disappear. Power is given and taken from us by the Great Spirit, the source of power.

During the time we have this power, we should be responsible and use the power in a good way. Many good things can be accomplished when we realize where this power really comes from. –Elders Meditations/White Bison | More…


we also find that, the closer we draw to our Higher Power, the less we need to surround ourselves with others.

We begin to find a spirit within us that is our constant companion as we continue to explore and deepen our connection with a Power greater than ourselves. We realize we are spiritually connected with something bigger than we are. –Just for Today | More…

Deep down in every man, woman, and child is the fundamental idea of God. For faith in a Power greater than ourselves, and miraculous demonstrations of that Power in human lives are facts as old as man himself.

It was only when I came fully to believe I was powerless over alcohol, only when I appealed to God who just might exist, that I experienced a spiritual awakening. This freedom-giving experience came first, and then faith followed afterwards, a gift indeed!” –As Bill Sees It | More… (p.152)

Our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making. We had to have God’s help. This is the how and the why of it.

First of all, we had to quit playing God. It didn’t work. Next, we decided that hereafter in this drama of life, God was going to be our Director.

He is the Principal; we are His agents. He is the Father, and we are His children. Most good ideas are simple, and this concept was the keystone of the new and triumphant arch through which we passed to freedom. –Big Book p.62 | More…


Nothing can be more demoralizing than a clinging and abject dependence upon another human being. This often amounts to the demand for a degree of protection and love that no one could possibly satisfy.

So our hoped-for protectors finally flee, and once more we are left alone–either to grow up or to disintegrate.” We discovered the best possible source of emotional stability to be God Himself.

We found that dependence upon His perfect justice, forgiveness, and love was healthy, and that it would work where nothing else would. If we really depended upon God, we couldn’t very well play God to our fellows, nor would we feel the urge to rely wholly on human protection and care. –As Bill Sees It | More… (p.72)

When we saw others solve their problems by a simple reliance upon the Spirit of the Universe, we had to stop doubting the power of God. Our ideas did not work. But the God idea did. –Big Book p.52 | More…

Like a blind man gradually being restored to sight, I slowly groped my way to the Third Step. Having realized that only a Power greater than myself could rescue me from the hopeless abyss I was in, I knew that this was a Power that I had to grasp, and that it would be my anchor in the midst of a sea of woes.

Even though my faith at that time was minuscule, it was big enough to make me see that it was time for me to discard my reliance on my prideful ego and replace it with the steadying strength that could only come from a Power far greater than myself. –Daily Reflections | More…


The god that people reject is not the true god, it is a god they have conjured up apart from proper education, and understanding.

The Elders teach us that the Creator is a loving and forgiving God. He loves us during our good days and He loves us during our bad days. There is one thing that God cannot do and that is refuse help to one of His children who asks. –Elders Meditations | More…

With the Creator in our lives, we are everything. Without the Creator, we are nothing.

When the Creator is in our life, suddenly the impossible becomes possible. The extraordinary becomes ordinary.

Things we thought could never happen start to happen. Talents we never knew we had, start to blossom.

Resources appear. Help arrives to give us guidance and direction. We become happy. We have peace of mind and confidence.  –Elders Meditations/White Bison | More…


It takes time, effort, open-mindedness, and faith to acquire a working belief in a loving Higher Power that would guide us through life’s challenges. Even after we come to believe in a Power greater than ourselves, our old ideas can come back to haunt us.

Major setbacks in our lives and the insecurity such events can trigger may give rise to the return of our old, inadequate ideas about God.  When this happens, we need to assure ourselves that our Higher Power has not abandoned us but is waiting to help us make it through the hard times in our recovery.

No matter how painful our loss may be, we will survive our setback and continue to grow if we maintain the faith our program has given us. –Just For Today | More…

The phrase ‘God as we understood Him’ is a reminder that we’re not about telling others what they should believe. We’re only suggesting that you begin with your own understanding of a Higher Power.

It’s a phrase that expresses real respect for each individual and his or her own intuition.
GOD can stand for Good Orderly Direction that comes from any source–even a Group of Drunks. –Hazelden | More…

We never apologize to anyone for depending upon our Creator. We can laugh at those who think spirituality the way of weakness.


Paradoxically, it is the way of strength.
The verdict of the ages is that faith means courage.

All men of faith have courage. They trust their God. We never apologize for God.
Instead we let Him demonstrate, through us, what He can do.

We ask Him to remove our fear and direct our attention to what He would have us be. At once, we commence to outgrow fear. –Big Book p.68 | More…

Let me remember that HP is in charge.  If I get upset at another person today, let me remember that the most important thing I can do is to first talk to HP because when I am right with HP, it is impossible to be out of harmony with my brothers and sisters. –Elders Meditations | More…

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 don’t struggle. We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a while. –Big Book p.86 | More…


We use the word “God” because it communicates most effectively to most people a basic understanding of the Power underlying our recovery. The word, we use for the sake of convenience.

The Power behind the word, however, we use for more than convenience. We use that Power to maintain our freedom from alcohol and to ensure our ongoing recovery. –Just For Today | More…

Recovery is an intensely spiritual process that asks us to grow in our understanding of God. Trying to understand God may boggle our mind because of what we have learned and experienced so far in our life.

We can learn to trust God, anyway. I have grown and changed in my understanding of this Power greater than myself.

My understanding has not grown on an intellectual level, but because of what I have experienced since I turned my life and my will over to the care of God, as I understood, or rather didn’t understand, God. God has shown me, beyond all else, that how I come to understand God is not nearly as important as knowing that God understands me. –The Language of Letting Go/Melody Beattie | More… 

Sometimes I don’t feel like praying. Sometimes when I have done something wrong, I’m ashamed to come to You.


though You have always been there for me, I sometimes choose to stay away. Today, I’ll start by thinking of You.

I’ll think about all the times You have helped and guided me in the past. You are life, You are love, You are power, You are desire, You are truth, You are principle, You are intelligence, You are courage. With You I am everything; without You I am nothing. –Elders Meditations | More…

I cannot hide my true spirit and intent from the Creator. He created a system of justice.

This system of justice says we will get back whatever we plant. If I plant good then good returns – if we plant bad, then we will suffer the consequences.

Whatever we think about another person, the same things are thought about us.
Whatever we send out is sent back.

Man cannot alter this system of justice. It doesn’t matter what we say or do. What really matters is what we really, really did. –Elders Meditations | | More…  


with God means practicing the presence of God in your daily affairs. It means asking God for strength to face each new day.

It means turning to Him often during the day in prayer for yourself and for other people.
It means thanking Him at night for the blessings you have received during the day.
Nothing can seriously upset you if you are “walking with God.”  –24Hours | More…

We don’t have to fear people. They can’t wreck our spirit. We don’t have to fear money problems. We won’t have to starve to death.

Our Higher Power will lead us on a safe path through life. Our Higher power wants us to be safe, happy, and wise.

Our Higher power wants us to feel loved. We’ll learn to trust our Higher Power.

And we’ll learn to trust the happiness we find in our new way of life. People may still hurt us, but there will be much more love to carry us through. –Keep It Simple | More…


we didn’t always know, and what we still forget on occasion, is that we have a ready and willing Partner who will join us in every pursuit. Serenity accompanies our increasing understanding of life’s many mysteries.

We have an appointment with life. And our appointment will bring us to the place of full understanding, the place where we’ll be certain, forever after, that all is well. And that life is good. Each Day a New Beginning/Karen Casey | More…

I realized that if I was doing what I was powerless alone to do, then surely I was doing so by some Power outside my own and obviously greater. Have I surrendered my life into the hands of God? –A Day at a Time | More…

To be doomed to an alcoholic death or to live on a spiritual basis are not always easy alternatives to face. Lack of power is our dilemma.

We have to find a power by which we can live, and it has to be a power greater than ourselves. God’s grace is like the sunshine.

Let your whole being been wrapped in the Divine spirit. Faith is the soul’s breathing in of the Divine spirit. It makes glad the hearts of human beings. The Divine spirit heals and cures the mind. –24Hours | More…


seek God’s presence and “they who seek shall find.” It is not a question of searching so much as an inner consciousness of the Divine spirit in your heart.

To realize God’s presence you must surrender to His will in the small as well as in the big things of life. This makes God’s guidance possible.

Some things separate you from God–a false word, a fear-inspired failure, a harsh criticism, a stubborn resentment. These are the things that put a distance between your mind and God. A word of love, a selfless reconciliation, a kind act of helpfulness–these bring God closer. –24Hours | More…

The Master doesn’t talk, she acts. When her work is done, the people say, “Amazing: we did it, all by ourselves!”

Our Higher Power works like the Master. Quietly. In fact, we usually take the credit ourselves! –Keep It Simple | More…

People believe in A.A. when they see it work. Divine control and unquestioning obedience to God are the only conditions necessary for a spiritual life. –24Hours | More…


I believe there must be a Higher Power which helps me. I think of that power as the grace of God.

I pray to God every morning for the strength to stay sober today. I pray that my will may be directed toward doing His will. –24Hours | More…

Make it emphatic your prospects do not have to agree with your concept of God. They can choose any concept they like, provided it makes sense to them.

The main thing is that they be willing to believe in a power greater than themselves and that they live by spiritual principles. Unless you want Him to go, God will never leave you. He is always ready with power. –24Hours | More…

God’s purpose is not simply to make us beautiful grapes, but to make us grapes so that He may squeeze the sweetness out of us. –Oswald Champers/My Utmost for His Highest | More…

Our program of recovery teaches us that we each must lean on a Higher Power. It doesn’t matter what or who each person has for a Higher Power.

Recovery is possible for everyone. One thing is sure… the program that works if you work it –One Day At A Time 07/04 | More…


The old ones say, the most important thing we can do is remember to take the time to pray. We should pray every morning and every evening.

All Warriors know their greatest weapon is prayer. To spend time talking to the Creator is a great honor. –Elders Meditations | More…

We had a new Employer. We became interested in seeing what we could contribute to life.

We felt new power flow in, we enjoyed peace of mind, we discovered we could face life successfully, we became conscious of His presence, we began to lose our fear of today, tomorrow, or the hereafter. We were reborn. –As Bill Sees It | More… (p.104)

Our whole treasured philosophy of self-sufficiency had to be cast aside. I see that I have been loved back to recovery by my Higher Power, who envelops me. My Higher Power becomes that source of love and strength that is performing a continuing miracle in me.  –Daily Reflections | More…

We failed to see that, though adult in years, we were still behaving childishly, trying to turn everybody into protective parents. We refused to learn that overdependence upon people is unsuccessful because all people are fallible. We are now on a different basis: the basis of trusting and relying upon God –As Bill Sees It | More… (p.264)


a lifelong process of coming to believe, our understanding of God will change. As we grow in recovery, so will our understanding.

We’ll begin to see that the only limits to God’s love and grace are those we impose by refusing to step out of the way. The loving God we come to believe in is infinite. –Just For Today | More… –Just for Today | More…

Most of our spiritual experiences are of the educational variety, and they develop slowly over a period of time. Quite often friends of newcomers are aware of the difference long before they are themselves.

They finally realize that they have undergone a profound alteration in their reaction to life and that such a change could hardly have been brought about by themselves alone  –24Hours | More…

The right to a God of your understanding is total and without any catches. Because we have this right, it is necessary to be honest about our belief if we are to grow spiritually. –Just for Today | More…

Who really gives us our life? Who really gives us our food and nurturing?


really allows us to be born? We are born through our parents who act as the vehicle of life for the Creator and Mother Earth.

Our parents take care of us for a little while and when we are ready we must leave them and be faithful to our true Father, the Creator, and our true Mother, the Earth. Then we need to be of service to the Creator and be respectful to Mother Earth. –Elders Meditations/White Bison | More…

For many addicts, rebelliousness is second nature.  Dependence on a Higher Power would not limit us, we discovered; it would free us.

The Power we find in recovery is the power we lacked on our own. It is the love we were afraid to depend on others for. It is the sense of personal direction we never had, the guidance we couldn’t humble ourselves to ask for or trust others to give. –Just for Today | More…

Actually, I don’t know of anybody who went off and died of alcoholism because of some atheist’s opinions on the cosmos. But I do always entreat these folks to look to a ‘Higher Power’ – namely, their own group. –As Bill Sees It | More… (p.276)

By surrendering control, we gain a far greater power. Scheming was our way of denying our powerlessness. As long as we could distract ourselves with our plans, we could put off accepting that we were out of control. When we admit our powerlessness, we stop trying to control and manage our way to a better life—we surrender. –Just For Today | More…


in A.A. are offering a spiritual program. The fundamental basis of A.A. is belief in some Power greater than ourselves.

This belief takes us off the center of the universe and allows us to transfer our problems to some power outside of ourselves. We turn to this Power for the strength we need to get sober and stay sober.

We put our drink problem in God’s hands and leave it there. We stop trying to run our own life and seek to let God run it for us.  –24Hours 05/08 | More…

With my recovery has come a certain success, and with the success comes power. Power comes with the spiritual program, but it must be exercised responsibly.

Just as the disease used alcohol to destroy my life, so it can use power to destroy me in sobriety. Abuse of power is not consistent with sobriety. –Father Leo | More…

There are two worlds – the Seen World and the Unseen World, or the Physical World and the Spiritual World. We need information from both of these worlds in order to live our lives in a harmonious way.


The most difficult way is to figure things out by ourselves and leave the Great Spirit out of it. When we do this, we are making decisions with information only from the Physical World.

This can be called reliance on self. If we ask the Creator to help us, we then get information from the Unseen World or the Spiritual World.

The Spiritual World is where we get our power. When we do this, we are God-reliant. Being God-reliant is the same as being on the Red Road. –Elders Meditations/White Bison | More…

Ask Him in your morning meditation what you can do each day for the man who is still sick. It finally occurred to me, as I considered the above passage, that God’s will for me was simply that I practice Step Twelve on a daily basis.

Furthermore, I realized I should do this to the best of my ability. I soon learned that the practice aids me in keeping my life in the context of the day at hand. –Daily Reflections 12/11 | More…

I am less critical of other people, inside and outside of A.A. I have found that I can never make a person any better by criticism.


You must admit your helplessness before your prayer for help will be heard by God.  Your own need must be recognized before you can ask God for the strength to meet that need.

It is not theological arguments that solve the problems of the questing soul, but the sincere cry of that soul to God for strength and the certainty of that soul that the cry will be heard and answered.–24Hours 12/11 | More…

If a mere code of morals or a better philosophy of life were sufficient to overcome alcoholism, many of us would have recovered long ago. But we found that such code and philosophies did not save us, no matter how much we tried.

The power needed for change wasn’t there. Our human resources, as marshalled by the will, were not sufficient; they failed utterly.

Lack of power: That was our dilemma. We had to find a power by which we could live—and it had to be a Power greater than ourselves –As Bill Sees It | More… (p.315)

As we become more centered within the Higher Power part of us, our ego becomes less real, less threatening, less compelling. God is as close as our breath, awaiting our invitation to take charge. Frequently this strikes us as new information. –In God’s Care/Karen Casey | More…


In these modern times we put too much emphasis on material things and on money. We believe that money is power.

If we have money, people will respect us.
If we have money, people will admire us.

If we have money, we can have anything we want. Maybe we can purchase anything in the material world, but we cannot purchase anything in the Unseen World.

The Unseen World is not for sale.
It can only be given away.

Love, affection, admiration, trust, respect, commitment — these must be earned or given away. If we use these things from the Unseen World, we are using real power. –Elders Meditations | More…

More than most people, I think, alcoholics want to know who they are, what this life is about, whether they have a divine origin and an appointed destiny, and whether there is a system of cosmic justice and love.

In A.A., and in many religious approaches, alcoholics find a great deal more of what they merely glimpse and felt while trying to grope their way toward God in alcohol. –As Bill Sees It | More… (p.323)


surrendering control, we gain a far greater power. Scheming was our way of denying our powerlessness.

As long as we could distract ourselves with our plans, we could put off accepting that we were out of control. When we admit our powerlessness, we stop trying to control and manage our way to a better life—we surrender. –Just For Today | More…

As soon as we admitted the possible existence of a Creative Intelligence, a Spirit of the Universe underlying the totality of things, we began to be possessed of a new sense of power and direction, provided we took other simple steps. –Big Book p.46 | More…

Our program will work for people who believe in god.
Our program will work for people who don’t believe in God.
Our program will not work for people who believe they are God.

If you are having trouble with this;
Read pages 61, 62, & 63 of the Big Book. –Shelley M. | More…


we look back, we realize that the things which came to us when we put ourselves in God’s hands were better than anything we could have planned. –As Bill Sees It | More… (p.2)

When I first came into recovery, I was still struggling, but I became “willing to believe” that God cared about me. I started watching for signs that He was there, ready to light my path when I could see only the darkness, ready to enfold me in His arms when I felt unlovable, and ready to protect me when I was scared.

Now that I am willing, I can find God’s love everywhere … in a friendly smile, in the kind words of a friend, in the beauty of a flower, and in a child’s eyes. Sometimes, when life gets rough, I have to look a little harder, but it’s there.  –One Day At A Time | More…


The Medicine Wheel represents everything.
All the directions originate from the center outward.

The center is the home of the Creator.
The Medicine Wheel represents the human being.

our center is the home of the Great Spirit.
This is why we are spiritual.

easiest way for us to find God and talk to Him, is for us to become centered. This means, relax our bodies, still our minds, let go of our emotions and listen quietly.
Shhh. Be still. –Elders | More…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: