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:
THIRD STEP PRAYER used by Dr. Bob
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.
The Third Step Prayer
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!
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