“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!”
In the heart of every struggle, particularly the journey through addiction to recovery, there is the potential for profound spiritual awakening.
This truth resonates deeply within the Third Step Prayer. Let’s take a deeper look at this prayer and take some time to live with its truths in the context of addiction treatment and recovery.
Origins and Application of the Third Step Prayer
The Third step prayer is a proclamation of need. Of surrender. Of humility and a recognition of the truth that the battle will not be won if it is left to us. For some, coming to this truth has moved them from non-belief to recognizing that there is indeed a Higher Power as understood by the individual.
Originating from the AA’s foundational text, the Big Book, we remove our work from the equation when we turn ourselves over to God or the Higher Power. We rely on the miracle of recovery that is steeped in humility and trust. It is a good idea to take some time every day to recite the prayer. Give yourself space and time to meditate on the truth of surrender for the upcoming day.
Breaking Down the Third Step Prayer in Addiction Treatment
1. Surrender to God
- “God, I offer myself to Thee — to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt.”
This is a reminder that we are not in control. But neither is alcohol or other substances. The Higher Power is in control, which is how the transformation occurs. God is asked to build with “me” (use me in any way you see fit) and to do with “me” whatever you will. This is God’s vision; we are there to allow him to continue the work.
2. The Bondage of Self
- “Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will.”
Here, the prayer touches the heart of addiction — the often overwhelming focus on self, whether in pain, desire, isolation, or, of course, the desire to satisfy the longing for drugs or alcohol. Like a bird trapped in a cage of its own making, this line seeks freedom, not just for oneself, but to serve a purpose beyond personal confines. This moves the person with the addiction away from “me only” and into an outward posture towards the world around.
3. Overcoming Difficulties
- “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.”
This section echoes the words of the Lord’s Prayer, a request to keep us from evil, temptation, or difficulties. In the 3rd step prayer, the request is to show that it can be done. When we allow God to free us from addiction, we become a living witness (or living proof) that addiction can be defeated.
4. Commitment to a Higher Will
- “May I do Thy will always!”
The quickest way to lose sight of the transformational power of this prayer is to assume we are the ones creating the change. Nothing will stop us when we are aligned with God’s way. So, when we ask to be in or do God’s will, we join his recovery and healing efforts. As opposed to trying to accomplish the task ourselves.
The Role of the Third Step Prayer in Addiction Treatment
The Third Step Prayer in addiction treatment finds its strength in its simplicity and depth. It is a tool that transcends the mere physicality of addiction, reaching into the spiritual realm where true healing occurs. Here are some ways it aids in addiction treatment:
- Fostering a Sense of Belonging: In group settings, this prayer creates a shared spiritual language a collective voice in the wilderness of recovery.
- Encouraging Humility and Openness: It reminds individuals that there is strength in vulnerability and that surrender can be the first step to empowerment.
- Providing a Source of Daily Reflection: The prayer serves as a touchstone, a daily reminder of one’s journey and commitment to recovery and spiritual growth.
The Gentle Reminder
In conclusion, the Third Step Prayer in addiction treatment is not just a set of words but a living, breathing prayer that supports our journey of recovery. It is a gentle yet powerful reminder that in the tapestry of recovery, every thread, no matter how frayed, has a place in the larger, beautiful design of a life reclaimed and renewed.
In the echoes of this prayer, we find not just a call to a Higher Power but an invitation to embark on a profound journey of self-discovery and transformation.
Christian Rehab in Orange County
At Covenant Hills addiction treatment (rehab) program, we offer comprehensive and aggressive treatment to our clients living in Orange County and beyond.
Our Christian professional staff applies the best of psychiatric, pastoral, medical, psychological, behavioral, and theological training and expertise to our unique program. It helps them combat substance abuse and the devastation it causes to people who suffer.