AA Acceptance prayer or aa prayer is a prayer that aa members say during an aa meeting. Alcoholics Anonymous is a non-profit spiritual program helping people find peace of mind and resist addiction.
AA offers free bible study and support meetings with other people who want to stop drinking, using drugs, smoking, and gambling. It offers compassion and an open heart to aid people in getting on the right path.
The program was designed to help people who desire to change and those who have already decided to do so. Each level of the 12 step program teaches individuals how to walk in Christ’s love step by step.
This 12 step program directs members on forgiving themselves without guilt or shame. Many of the members feel self pity and have to learn how to change thru the grace of God’s love and power. (View Inspirational Quotes About Prayer, Quotes for addicts, Bible quotes about love and Archangel Michael prayers)
Serenity Prayer Meaning (What is the Acceptance Prayer)
The serenity prayer is a saying that is often recited at the end of many prayers. It is a reminder to seek peace and tranquility in all things, even when they are difficult, through faith and acceptance of the universe. The prayer states:
“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.”– Serenity Prayer
AA Acceptance Prayer
Serenity Prayer AA Origin
The prayer gained wider recognition after one of the earlier members of the AA’s discovered it in an obituary in the New York Herald Tribune.
The Serenity prayer AA was credited to Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr (read about him towards the end of the article), due to the fact that he had used it in his sermons and because he published this prayer in a 1951 magazine. (Read more about the Serenity Prayer)
The Serenity Prayer had earlier versions. Winnifred Crane Wygal wrote the earlier version in 1933 but these early versions had no title.
The Serenity Prayer was adopted by the Alcoholics Anonymus program in 1941 along with other 12 step programs.
There are 2 versions of the Serenity Prayer AA. The short version and the full serenity prayer.
Short Serenity Prayer
“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.”
Full Serenity Prayer
(Longer Serenity Prayer)
“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 hardships 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 things right If I surrender to His Will; So that I may be reasonably happy in this life And supremely happy with Him Forever and ever in the next. Amen.”
The History of Alcoholic Anonymus
It all started with Bill Wilson, and Dr. Bob Smith, a psychologist who had been in touch with him since he arrived at the Minneapolis hospital. Dr. Bob Smith’s first introduction to Bill W. and his drinking problems came when he noticed Bill W climbing out on the balcony of St. Thomas Hospital and throwing up into the gutter.
He later said, “I didn’t know whether to be impressed by his courage or frightened by his fear. He was a very sick man”. Bill W had become sicker from his drinking and suffered in silence. He didn’t want to lose the friends who were with him or put a stop to his excessive drinking. He was afraid of doing something wrong if he did.
So, as many alcoholics do, Bill kept it inside for too long. After about two months of treatment at St. Thomas Hospital, Bill found himself sober enough to leave and return home.
He had accumulated a supply of beer, wine, whiskey, and other alcoholic beverages in the rented flat. Bill began drinking all day long. He brought up the idea of turning his home into an alcoholics’ “pub.” He also brought up the idea of beginning another religious study. Bill wanted to delve deeper into his alcoholism.
He contacted Smith at a meeting one night and told him about his plan to open a bar. Smith then introduced Bill to Ed Foland (the co-founder of aa), who was also attending that meeting.
Ed wanted to start a group that would help people who needed help with alcohol. He agreed to work on starting such a group with Bill. The group would be called Alcoholics Anonymous.
Acceptance Is The Key (Serenity Prayer)
Acceptance is the most powerful word in the world. The word acceptance is created from God’s inspiration or individual experience in life. Acceptance is being able to say, ” this is it.” It’s a state of mind that can not tell whether it is good or bad.
Acceptance means being me as I am and you, as you are. It does not mean denying my problems – it’s just saying, ‘ This is where I am at right now, and I’m going to take it “.
When we understand that what comes out of the mouth is not as important as what remains in the heart in our lifetimes, I think that it’s important for us to try to understand what God meant by the acceptance prayer AA because it helps us in finding a way to get over all our problems in life.
The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous
People who want to overcome an alcohol or substance abuse problem can find aid in the Big Book. Many people who have successfully recovered from alcoholism have found validation and guidance in this book.
The Alcoholics Anonymous: Big Book is about the original first 100 people in the anonymous program that recovered from alcoholism. It is recommended to those people seeking recovery to read it.
The Big Book is a collection of stories and experiences from men and women that have successfully overcome their addiction to alcohol.
The world has been made by imperfect human beings who seem unable to live in peace with one another, for which God has given us a way to help us find peace and harmony.
We as humans are each of our own Creator, and we must create our own destinies by creating our world of thoughts and beliefs.
Our heart is, in fact, the Creator of life itself. We need to pray to a higher power, the everlasting father, that he may guide his children towards salvation and peace so that his children may live a sin-free life.
AA Prayer: Pray to God For Help And Support
- God has beautifully created this world. He gave his children the gift of life, so they may explore his world’s vastness and learn from it. Pray and thank God for us and giving us this beautiful world to live in.
- Pray about the bondage of self. Ask God to help and stay strong when you need to stay strong. God can help in ways you never thought possible.
- Pray about our problems today. Open your heart to God so he may extend his hand and help you thru life’s difficult times
Not every person who seeks help from Alcoholics Anonymous has fully recovered from their addiction to alcohol unfortunately, even though those that attend aa meetings can recover and stay sober for life, some may possibly relapse at some point. For many people, a relapse occurs when they go back to using alcohol for no other reason than to feel normal again.
Acceptance Prayer (AA)
The greatest protection against relapse is the realization that none of us are stronger than the alcohol within us. AA members pay to be stronger on the path to sobriety.
The only option to deal with the addiction problem is by staying sober and working a strong program of recovery. AA members have to accept that we have no full control over our lives, we must look to God for guidance and help.
“Heavenly Father, give us the strength to change what we can, the understanding to know the difference, and the serenity to accept those things we cannot change.”
To know God means to know more than just knowing his name or attributes; it means being able to know him personally and experientially, as a living soul today, which requires us to pray to him to truly get to know him.
Many people have overcome alcoholism by talking about it daily. The most important thing is for the person to recognize that it is a disease that can be overcome. If a person is in search of real and lasting happiness, he must strive to seek the wisdom of God.
In AA, members are taught that by prayer and patience, anonymous members shall conquer all temporal and eternal difficulties.
The greatest gift God has given us is the opportunity to understand him; through this understanding, our lives are changed. Through prayer, the hard-hearted and impure man becomes humble; through Prayer, the angry and irascible man becomes gentle, long-suffering, and forgiving; through Prayer the lazy and indifferent man becomes energetic; through Prayer, he that loves himself most learns to love others.
Serenity Prayer Origin
Who Is Reinhold Niebuhr?
He is one of the most prominent Protestant thinkers in the twentieth century. Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr was a Christian, American theologian and ethicist who wrote about the connection between Christianity and social justice.
Niebuhr’s theology is often described as “Christian Realism”, which is an approach to Christianity that emphasizes the need for Christians to engage with the real world in order to promote justice and peace.
Niebuhr started his career as a pastor of a German-speaking Lutheran congregation in Detroit, Michigan. He was also professor of Christian ethics at Union Theological Seminary in New York City from 1928 until he retired in 1960.
In 1955, he was awarded the Samuel J. May Award for distinguished contributions to Christian ethics.
Niebuhr was born in Wright City, Missouri on September 14, 1892 to German immigrant parents who had settled in Kansas Territory during the American Civil War.
His father taught at a small college and his mother had been trained as an “educational supervisor” to take over her father’s role when he passed away. His parents were part of the “Christian aristocracy” and expected him to have a career in the church.
He studied at the University of Chicago and earned a doctorate from Princeton University in 1917 where he wrote his thesis on Paul Tillich’s “Theology of Culture”. After earning his degree, Niebuhr served in World War I as a chaplain in France.
Upon his return at 19, he went on a trip with his brother when they both decided they wanted different careers. His brother went into banking and Reintold went into ministry with a focus on social justice and political change in countries throughout Europe.
Niebuhr was ordained a minister in the United Church of Christ, and served as pastor of the New York City congregation for eight years before going to serve as President Harry Truman’s Secretary of Labor from 1945 to 1947. He also wrote the influential book “The Children of Light and the Children of Darkness” (1943).
In 1950, Niebuhr accepted an offer from Union Theological Seminary in New York City to become the Arthur Holmes professor of Christian ethics.He was also a key proponent of the idea that humans are inherently sinful and given to evil, which he argued was not just a flaw but an inescapable part of human nature.
He believed that people should not attempt to avoid sinfulness, as this would lead them into escapism; he also did not believe one could earn God’s favor by good deeds, as Christ had done on his behalf.
He believed in following “Christ’s example of self-denial, freedom from all external influences, and complete dependence on God.”
He was against the concept of hell and believed that people should not fear eternal damnation. He was one of the first commentators to write on the “New Testament Apocrypha”.
Who Was St. Francis of Assisi?
St. Francis of Assisi is a Catholic saint and a patron of animals and the environment. He is often depicted with a bird, symbolizing his love for nature. St. Francis was born in Assisi, Italy on October 4th, 1181 to wealthy parents Pietro di Bernardone and Pica de’ Petricci.
He was baptized Francesco—in honor of his father—but he became known as “Francis” after his father’s death in 1193.
His father had been an unsuccessful businessman who invested heavily in trade ventures but met with little success; Francis himself had no interest in business or trade and instead devoted himself to religion from an early age, becoming an ordained priest at the age of 18.
Francis preached to people about giving up worldly goods and pleasures such as riches, wine, hunting animals for sport, or wearing clothing that would show status like expensive jewelry or or fine clothes.
Francis preached to people about giving up worldly goods and pleasures such as riches, wine, hunting animals for sport, or wearing clothing that would show status like expensive jewelry or fine clothes. Francis’ teaching of poverty became very popular with the poor in 13th century Europe.
In 1209 Francis gave away his cloak of skins when he came to Rome and was given a new one by the Cistercian monks in Rome’s churches. In 1210 he used his cloak as a blanket during his visit to France, England and Spain, where he was warmly received by the people.
The Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi
Francis is best known for his ministry of preaching the Gospel to the poor and suffering, on which basis he founded the mendicant orders–the Franciscans and Dominicans.
Francis is also deeply loved for spreading love God through prayer. His teachings include: “Love God above all things”, “Humility” (a state in which one has nothing) and “Leave behind your past and be always open to the future.”
The Saint Francis Prayer is a prayer attributed to St. Francis of Assisi which he is said to have spoken before his death.
The St. Francis of Assisi Prayer
“Lord, make me an instrument 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.”
The Lord’s prayer is also often said in AA meeting and members when seeking help and strength.
“Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.”
12 Step Program
Alcoholics anonimous is a 12 step program helping members to overcome their habits. This 12 step program leads them to sobriety. The 12 steps are shown below:
- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
AA Prayer: Final Thought
AA is a wonderful organization for people with alcoholic or substance use problems.
Whether it works or not depends solely on the person if he/she is committed or not and if they truly want to make a change in their lives.
A strong support system is also necessary for the person to succeed in the program. They must all pass the first step, which is to accept the fact that they have hit rock bottom and they need to make a change.
During these anonymous meetings and support groups, members are able to offer support to each other in their daily life.
Members must accept that we are all a child of god and that reaching out to God thru prayer is how we can succeed in leading a better life.
We all need to lead a spiritual life in order to feel God in daily lives. While saying the Serenity Prayer, make sure to think about the Serenity Prayer meaning!
Must have a spiritual awakening in order to believe that God can help us thru life’s difficult paths and tests. There are many treatment options for people with alcohol or substance abuse problems but whatever treatment a person may choose, they always have to accept that they need help and always need to have the desire to change.
One thing to always remember is, that God doesn’t give us any trials or challenges we cannot overcome.