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article is written by nationally recognized historian and
oft-quoted Alcoholics Anonymous archivist Mitchell K.
to the overwhelming and somewhat lively response to the
question of using the so-called "Lord's Prayer,"
or "Our Father" at meetings, we would again like
to submit the following article from the Central Bulletin
of Cleveland, Ohio.
first in a series of articles on the Lord's Prayer, was
published in February 1944. The Central Bulletin was AA's
first newsletter and within its pages are to be found some
of the best writing's ever relating to recovery from alcoholism.
Alcoholics Anonymous we often find ourselves caught up in
the debate concerning Spirituality vs Religion or over concerning
ourselves in so-called "New Age" mysticism. We
also appear at times to get lost in the psychobabble one
often hears at meetings.
writer would like to offer this article from a time in AA
history when many in Alcoholics Anonymous kept it simple.
are crucial words. Of all the words of the most universal
of all prayers, these two words are of greatest importance
uttering them, we turn to a Power greater than our own.
We turn from complete reliance upon our own egotistical
natures, from exaggerated self love and self exaltation.
We confess that our efforts to run our entire lives in our
own willful way have led to error, frustration, defeat,
failure. We admit that the self justification that resulted
from our errors has only deepened our defeat.
when we have seen the depth of our failure, the folly of
self justification and the pitfalls of egotism, we have
discovered that our efforts to re-establish ourselves solely
through will power have led to more stumbling. Our wills,
as one writer has observed, are where we are sickest.
we, out of desperation turn to the sure Power that has always
existed and make that Power the rock upon which we will
rebuild our lives.
of us had long since lapsed in belief in any Supreme Power.
Most of us had not addressed ourselves to that Power for
many years, except, perhaps, in an occasional desperate
the realization of the position in which we have found ourselves,
we come to a crossroads. We may continue to rely upon our
sick wills and our erring judgements, which so often speak
the words of justification. Our experience should show us
what the result of following along that path may be.
of us find it better to choose the other path. Certainly
all who have succeeded in application of the AA program
have found this other path better. We turn from our selves
to anchor our lives on something outside. Preferably, we
anchor our lives to that something outside that we consider
greater than ourselves, and eventually, we recognize that
something as being the Supreme Power.
bring that Supreme Power into our lives, and by so doing,
we lift ourselves up. We think of that Supreme Power in
our own terms, but we know that the realm of that Power
is of realm of the Good, where the spirit may find peace.
these words, Our Father, we address ourselves to the Supreme
Power. In the morning when we get up to prepare for the
day's work; in the evening when we retire and think for
a few moments about our actions during the day that has
just past, we place ourselves in the presence of that Supreme
Power with the words, Our Father.
occasion arises during the day, when we are sorely tempted,
when we are angry, when we are resentful, when we pity ourselves,
when we feel frustrated or worried, we can shift gears and
connect ourselves with the Supreme Power by uttering the
words, Our Father. There we will find help.
will be revealed