Definition of Prayer:
a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or another deity.
Synonyms of Prayer:
invocation, intercession, devotion, worship, communion, request, 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.

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 Actions have consequences.
Prayer is a great source of joy and the best protection from depression. | More…

Never be too busy to pray. –Unknown
Choice, not chance, determines destiny. –Aristotle

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Most of us pray when we are hurting.
We learn that if we pray regularly, we won’t be hurting as often or as intensely

That first contact with a Higher Power, and that first freedom, has grown into a life full of freedom. We maintain that freedom by maintaining and improving our conscious contact with our Higher Power through regular prayer and meditation. –Just For Today | More…

Prayer is the only real action in the full sense of the word, because prayer is the only thing that changes one’s character. –Emmet Fox | More…

Praying and meditating are ways we take care of our spirit. Prayer and meditation are disciplines suggested by the Eleventh Step.

Praying is how we connect with God. We don’t pray because we have to, we pray because we want to. It is how we link our soul to our Source. –Melody Beattie | More…

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Thank You God, for all You have given me.
Thank You God, for all You have taken from me.
But most of all, I thank You God for what you have left me;
Recovery, along with peace of mind, faith, hope, and love. –12 Step Prayer Book #30 | More…

Prayer is opening the heart to God . . . . It has its listening side. Prayer is more than speaking to God; it is giving God an opportunity to speak to us. –The Upper Room, 4.4/’39 | More…

O Lord, I ain’t what I ought to be,
And I ain’t what I want to be,
And I ain’t what I’m going to be,
But O Lord, I thank You
That I ain’t what I used to be. –12 Step Prayer Book | More…

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In the life of the Indian there was only one inevitable duty, the duty of prayer, the daily recognition of the Unseen and Eternal. His daily devotions were more necessary to him than daily food.” — Charles A. Eastman (Ohiyesa), SANTEE SIOUX

The most important habit one can develop is the daily act of prayer. Prayer is our eyes, our ears, our feelings, our success, our guidance, our life, our duty, our goal.

There really is only prayer and meditation.
We can only help others through prayer.

We can only help ourselves through prayer.
You can never become an Elder unless you pray.

You can never stay an Elder unless you pray.
You never get wisdom unless you pray.

You never understand unless you pray. –Elders | More…

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All the Good I Can
Dear God, guide me to
Do all the good I can
By all means I can
In all ways I can
In all places I can
To all people I can
As long as I can. –The 12 Step Prayer Book

Spiritual laws allow healing; they allow forgiveness to occur; they cause miracles to happen; they cause hate to disappear; they heal broken relationships; they guide every moment of our lives; they allow us to love even when it’s hard. Prayer allows us access to the Spirit World. –Elder’s | More…

Without prayer, we have failed in our sacred responsibilities Our sacred responsibility is to be of maximum service to the Creator, and to serve the people. –Elder’s | More…

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Pain stretches us. It pushes us toward others. It encourages us to pray. We develop our character while handling painful times. The agony that accompanies a wrenching situation is dissipated as quickly and as silently as the entrance of our higher power, when called upon. –Each Day a New Beginning: Daily/Karen Casey | More…

We learn that prayer helps us with our faulty dependence on people, places, and things by giving us the insight and strength to rearrange our priorities. Prayer doesn’t change God, but it changes those who pray. –Easy Does It/Anonymous 26/06 | More…

Serenity Prayer (full 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 hardship 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.
That I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with Him forever in the next. -Amen.

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Prayer is of many kinds, but of whatever kind, prayer is the linking up of the soul and mind to God. So, if prayer is only a glance of faith, a look or a word of love, or just a feeling of confidence in the goodness and purpose in the universe, still the result of that prayer is added strength to meet all temptations and to overcome them. The soul, when in its human body, still needs the things belonging to its heavenly habitation. –24Hours 31/05 | More…

Set Aside Prayer…
God, please help me to set aside; everything I think I know about myself, this book, the twelve steps and you God, so that I may have a new understanding and a new experience with all of these things. Please help me to see the truth.

Set Aside Prayer:
God, today help me set aside
Everything I think I know about You
Everything I think I know about myself
Everything I think I know about others, and
Everything I think I know about my recovery;
For a new experience in myself
A new experience in my fellows and my own recovery.

This prayer was popularized in part by the Big Book Experience book study guides and tapes. The origin of the prayer is open to discussion –| More…

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Praying to God won’t keep us sober if we don’t also go to Twelve Step meetings. Praying to God to heal our relationships with others won’t help unless we’re willing to make amends.

Health and recovery are a combination of prayer, communication with our Higher Power, and a commitment to do our part. –Body, Mind, and Spirit | More…

A prayer treatment is a form of prayer based upon right thinking, namely thinking of God the Good. A vehicle through which healing is achieved. The principle of treatment, is to “stop thinking about the problem and think only about God’s perfect world.” –Emmet Fox | More…

We agnostics liked A.A. all right, and were quick to say that it had done miracles. We felt different; in fact, we knew different; and so we were sold on meditation and prayer. It has been well said that “Almost the only scoffers at prayer are those who never tried enough.” –As Bill Sees It | More… (p.189)

When I am selfish, I am useless to myself, You, and others. My life has been saved by what others have given me. I must, in turn, give it away to keep it. –12 Step Prayer Book | More…

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New Day: Thank You, God, for today.
This is the beginning of a new day. I can waste it or use it for good.

What I do today is important because I am exchanging a day of my life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever-leaving in its place something I have traded for it.

I want it to be gain, not loss; good, not evil; success, not failure; in order that I shall not regret the price I paid for today. —12 Step Prayer Book | More…

Someone Does Care

I found God in the morning; we just sat and talked.
I kept Him near me everywhere I walked.
I called on God at noon time, a heart filled with despair.
I felt His quiet Presence; I knew He was there.
We met again at sunset, the waning of the day.
I had made Him happy; I had lived His way. –Someone does care. –12 Step Prayer Book p.89/#121 | More…

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

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 | More…

Each time we lift our thoughts to God, it is easier the next time. Then, as we keep praying, we discover that we have begun to establish a familiarity.

Our heart is opening to God without our realizing it. When we are willing, God fills our heart. –In God’s Care/Karen Casey 15/07 | More…

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While praying sincerely, we still may fall into temptation. We form ideas as to what we think God’s will is for other people. It is A.A.’s experience that partially in these cases we ought to pray that God’s will, whatever it is, be done for others as well as for ourselves. –As Bill Sees It | More… (p.206)

The Serenity Prayer expresses some key guidelines to our philosophy of living. One group member explained it this way:

“For me, the things I cannot change are other people, places, and circumstances. The only things I can change are my attitudes, reactions and action toward the people, places and circumstances in my life.

“The wisdom to know the difference, well, that’s a hard one.
I don’t always know what I can and cannot change until I try changing it.

Wisdom comes by trial and error. The more experience I have, the more understanding, knowledge, and wisdom I have.” I will accept that much of my wisdom can only come through my daily experiences.

I need to expect to make some mistakes in my attitudes, actions, and judgment of what I can and cannot change. I will learn to be patient with myself and others as I gain more understanding from my mistakes. –The Reflecting Pond/Liane Cordes | More…

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Let nothing upset you,
Let nothing frighten you.

Everything is changing;
God alone is changeless.

Patience obtains the goal.
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone fills all our needs. –Sister Theresa of Avila

Worship is consciousness of God’s divine majesty.
As you pause to worship, God will help you raise your humanity to His divinity.

The earth is a material temple to enclose God’s divinity. God brings to those who worship Him a divine power, a divine love, and a divine healing.

You only have to open your mind to Him and try to absorb some of His divine spirit.
Pausing quietly in the spirit of worship, turn your inward thoughts upward and realize that His divine power may be yours, that you can experience His love and healing. –24Hours | More…

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Patience is a quality that frequently eludes us.
We want what we want when we want it.

Fortunately, we don’t get it until the time is right, but the waiting convinces us our prayers aren’t heard. Our prayers will be answered, sometime, somewhere. Of that we can be sure.

They will be answered for our greater good. And they will be answered at the right time, the right place, in the right way. –Each Day a New Beginning/Karen Casey | More…

Prayer is an effort of the will. After we have entered our secret place the most difficult thing to do is to pray

What we have to fight is wandering thoughts. We have to learn to discipline our minds and concentrate on wilful deliberate prayer – Oswald Chambers | More…

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We talk about prayer as if God hears us regardless of what our relationship is to Him.
You cannot receive until you have the attitude of a ‘good child’ (child of God)

I am a child of God only by being born again, and as His child I am good only as I “walk in the light. There is no use praying unless we are living as children of God.  –My Utmost for His Highest/Oswald Chambers | More…

We learn to be careful of praying for specific things
In recovery, we learn acceptance.  We have a choice.

We can spend all our time fighting to make things come out our way, or we can surrender to God’s will.  Peace can be found in accepting the ebb and flow of life. –Just For Today | More…

God, I offer myself to Thee – to build with me and 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, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always! — Big Book p.63 | More…

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We talk about prayer as if God hears us regardless of what our relationship is to Him We mistake defiance for devotion arguing with God instead of surrendering

We are all good at producing spiritual fog that blinds our sight. There is no use praying unless we are living as children of God – Oswald Chambers/Mu Utmost for his highest | More…

We cannot get along without prayer and meditation. The basis of all our prayers is: Thy will be done in me and through me today.

Breathe in the inspiration of goodness and truth. It is the spirit of honesty, purity, unselfishness, and love.

It is readily available if we are willing to accept it wholeheartedly. –24Hours | More…

I’ll begin today with prayer. Through prayer, I’ll stay tuned to God today, reaching forward to become that to which I aspire.

Prayer will redirect my mind, helping me rise in consciousness to the point where I realize that there’s no separation between God and me. As I let the power of God flow through me, all limitations will fall away. –A Day At A Time | More…

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I asked God for strength, that I might achieve…
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health, that I might do greater things…
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.
I asked for riches, that I might be happy…
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men…
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need for God.
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life…
I got nothing that I asked for, but everything I hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am among all men, richly blessed.
–This prayer was found on an unidentified Civil War soldier

When you pray for anyone you tend to modify your personal attitude toward him. With practice, prayer becomes easier. Through prayer, life becomes easier too. –In God’s Care/Karen Casey | More…

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Walk With Me
Don’t walk in front of me… I may not follow.

Don’t walk behind me… I may not lead.
Just walk beside me and be my friend. –12 Step Prayer Book p.93/127 | More…

My experience has been that what I do between “The Lord’s Prayer” and “The Serenity Prayer” is more important than what I do between “The Serenity Prayer” and “The Lord’s Prayer.” –As We See It | More..

No matter whether we pray in need or pray in joy, the important thing is to keep making the effort. Our prayers will be shaped by our experience with the Twelve Steps and our personal understanding of a Higher Power.

As our relationship with that Higher Power develops, we become more comfortable with prayer. In time, prayer becomes a source of strength and comfort.  –Just For Today | More…

On awakening, let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We usually conclude our meditation with a prayer that we be shown all through the day what our next step is to be, asking especially for freedom from damaging self-will. –As Bill Sees It | More… (p.243)

Say your prayers and then don’t worry – know that the Great One has heard you. It’s so much easier to do this, Grandfather, when I feel connected to You. –Elders | More…

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Note that the basis of our effectiveness in carrying the message to others is the reality of our own spiritual awakening. When you are faced with a problem beyond your strength, you must turn to God by an act of faith. Not only the power to face trials, but also the comfort and joy of God’s nearness and companionship are yours for the asking.  –24Hours | More…

Prayer takes practice, and we should remind ourselves that skilled people were not born with their skills. If we find ourselves stumbling in our prayers, we may ask other members to share with us about how they learned to pray.

No matter whether we pray in need or pray in joy, the important thing is to keep making the effort. –Just For Today | More…

Prayer is more than ‘talking to God’ — prayer is a relationship with God.  It is a two-way system — I talk to God but I must also listen to Him.

Like any relationship that is going to work and grow, it needs time.  But more than this, prayer is a yearning for truth within the center of my being.

In prayer I get in touch with that part of me that will be forever restless until it finds rest, eternal rest, in Him. –Father Leo | More…

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Favourite prayers:
Help. Please. Don’t.

Show me. Guide me. Change me.
Are you there?

Why’d you do that?

Thank you. –The Language of Letting Go/Melody Beattie | More…

When you look to God for strength to face responsibility and are quiet before Him, His healing touch causes the Divine Quiet to flow into your very being. When in weakness you cry to God, His touch brings healing, the renewal of your courage, and the power to meet every situation and be victorious –24Hours | More…

When we dance to the drum we pray to the Creator and attract the heartbeat of the earth. We never dance without reason; every dance has a purpose.

We dance for rain; we dance for healing; we dance for seasons; we dance for joy; we dance for our children; we dance for the people; we dance for courage. The drum plays to the beat of the heart, to the beat of the Earth.

The drum connects us to the Earth while we dance our prayers. –Elders | More…

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More and more these days, as I progress in my recovery, I seem to do a lot of listening—quietly waiting to hear God’s unmistakable voice within me. Prayer is becoming a two-way street—of seeking and listening, of searching and finding. A favourite bit of Scripture for me is, “Be still and know that I am God.” –A Day At A Time | More…

Am I going to do the things that I know I should do before my time runs out? By the way, what is my purpose for the rest of my life? The grace of God is always available for every human being who sincerely calls for help. –24Hours | More…

We had not prayed rightly. We had always said, “Grant me my wishes,” instead of “Thy will be done.” The love of God and man we understood not at all. Therefore, we remained self-deceived, and so incapable of receiving enough grace to restore us to sanity. –As Bill Sees It | More… (p.295)

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Too often we worry about the words we use in prayer.
We focus on the words.

What really counts is the spirit and intent behind our words.
It is the spirit and intent that the Creator responds to.

He reads and listens to our heart.
Prayer isn’t only when we fold our hands and pray.

Prayer is when we talk to the Creator even when we are walking down a path or sitting on a hill or walking in the mountains. The Elders say, walk in prayer.  We should be willing to talk with the Great One. –Elders | More…

When our conscious contact with God improves, our subconscious contact will too.
We will find ourselves increasingly tuned in to God’s harmony and will for us. We will find and maintain that soul connection, the God connection. –The Language of Letting Go/Melody Beattie | More…

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We agnostics liked A.A. all right, and were quick to say that it had done miracles. We felt different; in fact, we knew different; and so we were sold on meditation and prayer. It has been well said that “Almost the only scoffers at prayer are those who never tried enough.” –As Bill Sees It | More… (p.189)

We ask especially for freedom from self-will and are careful to make no requests for ourselves only. I practice a discipline in letting go of selfish attachments, caring for my fellows and preparing for the day when I will be required to let go of all earthly attachments. –Daily Reflections | More…

It may take a lot of effort and self-honesty to establish sobriety, but a routine of simple steps can keep it going on a daily basis. For most people, daily meditations and regular attendance at meetings are enough to maintain a straight course in the right direction. The danger comes when people become too lazy or careless to take even these simple steps. –Walk In Dry Places/Mel B. | More…

Our task is to stay sober and to help others who still suffer from addiction. Pray that you come to know the Steps well. Pray that you’ll want to help others—always. Pray for these things, and you’ll have a strong program. –Keep It Simple| More…

We often tend to slight serious meditation and prayer as something not really necessary. God allowed me to recognize my dishonesty and to become teachable again.

Miracles began to happen. But primarily I relearned the whole meaning of the Eleventh Step. –Daily Reflections 19/11 | More…

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If he persists (in praying), he will most surely find more serenity, more tolerance, less fear, and less anger. He will acquire a quiet courage, the kind that isn’t tension-ridden.

He can look at “failure” and “success” for what these really are. Problems and calamity will begin to mean his instruction, instead of his destruction. –As Bill Sees It | More… (p.321)

Lord, make me a channel 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.

No matter where I am in my spiritual growth, the St. Francis prayer helps me improve my conscious contact with the God of my understanding.

All that I am certain of is that if I work the Eleventh Step regularly, as best I can, I will continue to improve my conscious contact, I will know His will for me, and I will have the power to carry it out. –Daily Reflections | More…

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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…

Some of us in The Program are inclined to make the mistake of thinking that the few moments we spend in prayer and meditation — in “talking to God” — are all that count.
The truth is that the attitude we maintain throughout the entire day is just as important.

If we place ourselves in God’s hands in the morning, and throughout the day hold ourselves ready to accept His will as it is made known through the events of our daily life, our attitude of acceptance becomes a constant prayer.

Prayer is an attitude. –A Day At A Time 14/12 | More…

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The most important habit one can develop is the daily act of prayer. Prayer is our eyes, our ears, our feelings, our success, our guidance, our life, our duty, our goal.

There really is only prayer and meditation.
We can only help others through prayer.

We can only help ourselves through prayer.
You can never become an Elder unless you pray.

You never get wisdom unless you pray.
You never understand unless you pray. –Elders | More…

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