1938 Original Manuscript for 1939 1st Edition BigBook Searchable 1976 3rd Edition BigBook On-Line
The Prescription
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The Third Step and Your Prayer

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him.

This statement follows the Third Step Prayer on page 63 of the Big Book:
"The wording [used for the prayer to affirm our "3rd Step Decision"] was, of course, quite optional so long as we expressed the idea, voicing it without reservation."

Some of our founders and early members of the fellowship used a prayer other than the one on page 63 of the Big Book to take newcomers through their "decision" -- namely because the Big Book wasn't printed until 1939 and they got our Program from Oxford Group principles. Bill W., Dr. Bob, and Bill D. started making 12 Step calls and taking others through the original 6 "steps" in the summer of 1935.

Here are a couple examples of "3rd Step Prayers" used by our early members:


Dear God,
I'm sorry about the mess I've made of my life.
I want to turn away from all the wrong things I've ever done and all the wrong things I've ever been. Please forgive me for it all.
I know You have the power to change my life and can turn me into a winner. Thank You, God for getting my attention long enough to interest me in trying it Your way.
God, please take over the management of my life and everything about me. I am making this conscious decision to turn my will and my life over to Your care and am asking You to please take over all parts of my life.
Please, God, move into my heart. However You do it is Your business, but make Yourself real inside me and fill my awful emptiness. Fill me with your love and Holy Spirit and make me know Your will for me. And now, God, help Yourself to me and keep on doing it. I'm not sure I want You to, but do it anyhow.
I rejoice that I am now a part of Your people, that my uncertainty is gone forever, and that You now have control of my will and my life. Thank You and I praise Your name. Amen.

THIRD STEP PRAYER used by Clarence Snyder. Clarence started A.A. Group #3 in Cleveland.

(Both sponsor and protégé on their knees...)
Sponsor says: God, this is __________, he is coming to You in all humility to ask You to guide and direct him. __________ realizes that his life is messed up and unmanageable. __________ is coming to You Lord in all humility to ask to be one of your children - to work for you, to serve and dedicate his life to you and to turn his will over that he may be an instrument of your love.

(Protégé repeats after the sponsor):
Lord, I ask that you guide and direct me, and that I have decided to turn my life and will over to you. To serve You and to dedicate my life to You. I thank you Lord, I believe that if I ask this in prayer, I shall receive what I have asked for. Thank you God. Amen.

The Prayer that my sponsors gave me to begin each day as I confirm my Third Step Decision. I have used it daily since then, virtually the only prayer that I use, and now many of my sponsees do too.

God, help me today to not put anything into my mind or body that you would not have there. Take all of my relationships in life and make of them what you will. Thy will only be done in their life as well as in mine. And let me know the Truth. Amen.

You see, there is no set prayer that "MUST" be used, just a simple prayer of your own wording to confirm your willingness to take action as a result of your decision, to do whatever is necessary to place your Higher Power in control of all aspects of your life, to abide by His will, that you might stay sober this day, Today.

Love and Peace, Barefoot

Index of AA History Pages on Barefoot's Domain

As in so many things, especially with we alcoholics, our History is our Greatest Asset!.. We each arrived at the doors of AA with an intensive and lengthy "History of Things That Do Not Work" .. Today, In AA and In Recovery, Our History has added an intensive and lengthy "History of Things That DO Work!!" and We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it!!

ABC Page 60 from the Big Book



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On the Web January 2, 2002 in the Spirit of Cooperation

Three mighty important things, Pardn'r, LOVE And PEACE and SOBRIETY