Sunday, September 25, 2011

Make the Language Work for You

Every day I say--actually read-- the Third Step Prayer and the Seventh Step Prayer. As often as I can remember, I try to really hear the words I'm saying and not allow the rote familiarity to let me skim over the meaning. When I slow myself down and think about the words I can ask myself, "Do you mean this today?" And mostly I do or I  can pray about that too.

Years ago a sponsor showed me a word change she made that worked for her, and I have incorporated that. In the Third Step Prayer wherever it says "Thee" or "Thou" I say "you"and "Thy" becomes "your" my version of the prayer reads like this:

"God, I offer myself to you--to build with me and do with me as you will...Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do your will....Your power, Your love and Your way of life." That subtle shift makes the prayer true to me and helps me to better hear what I am saying.

Yesterday another friend gave me another shift to use in the Seventh Step Prayer that makes it more personal and more real in each day. Her suggestion is to make this addition/substitution:

Where it says, "I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character..." she suggested saying or thinking --kind of in parentheses--the actual defect that's on top of your list.

It makes the prayer go like this:

"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--(like my gossiping and my need to be in control) which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and to my fellows. Grant me strength as I go out from here to do your bidding. Amen"

In these ways I make these prayers very personal and relevant.

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