Many people find that saying prayers before bed can help them narrow the focus of their beliefs and values, and bring added comfort.
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) has its roots in Christian belief, and many of the prayers used by the group are Christian based and mention a god.
However, a higher power takes a different form for everyone, and the ideas can also be useful for focusing humanistic intentions for people who are more secular.
The nighttime recovery prayers said in AA vary. These prayers can help members let go of stressors from the day and retain focus while following the 12 steps.
Many ask for peaceful rest and the strength to continue being a positive influence. Below are three common prayers found in AA that are considered nighttime recovery prayers.
The Seventh Step Prayer
The seventh step in AA states, “Humbly ask Him [god, higher power] to remove our shortcomings,” and the seventh step prayer reflects and supports this step.
The seventh step prayer is as follows:
“My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad.
I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows.
Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding.
The 11th Step Prayer
The 11th step prayer is also known as the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi, who was a Christian mystic named Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone.
This is the 11th step prayer:
“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.”
This prayer highlights some of the concepts learned in AA, such as the drive to focus less on the self by avoiding self-pity, self-seeking behaviors, and a total focus on self-will.
The idea is that the less we focus on ourselves, the more we are able to learn about others and discover the capacity we have in ourselves to be of service and benefit to others.
The Big Book Night Prayer, Page 86
William Wilson, or “Bill W” as he is affectionately known among AA members, co-founded Alcoholics Anonymous and wrote a book by the same name, which has come to be known as “the big book.”
It offers the following nighttime prayer:
“God, forgive me where I have been resentful, selfish, dishonest, or afraid today.
Help me to not keep anything to myself but to discuss it all openly with another person — show me where I owe an apology and help me make it.
Help me to be kind and loving to all people.
Use me in the mainstream of life, God.
Remove worry, remorse, or morbid reflections, that I may be of usefulness to others.
The Serenity Prayer
The Serenity Prayer is one of the most well-known prayers in AA meetings, and is often used as a daily prayer or morning prayer as well.
The Serenity Prayer states:
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.”
The Significance Of Night Prayers In AA
There are many prayers to a higher power that AA members can say at night for encouragement and comfort.
Members can also meditate on the daily quote offered in AA Grapevine, the international journal of AA.
Whether praying to Jesus or sending positive energy out to the universe, prayers and intention can be comforting and supportive during the recovery journey.
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Published on January 18, 2024
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- Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) Grapevine: The International Journal of Alcoholics Anonymous — NOVEMBER 2023: Gratitude
- Bible Gateway — Matthew 6:9-13
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) — Find Treatment