Using the St. Francis of Assisi Prayer in Recovery

Using the St. Francis of Assisi Prayer in Recovery

Located on page 99 of the Twelve & Twelve of Alcoholics Anonymous, the so-called "Eleventh-Step Prayer" plays an integral part in the spiritual-- not religious!-- component of the fellowship. Some AA meetings recite it during the opening of the meeting or say it in lieu of The Lord's Prayer or The Serenity Prayer. Here's what you need to know about this significant prayer and its implementation:

Origins of the Prayer

Contrary to popular belief, St. Francis of Assisi is not the author of this prayer. It is not known who composed it, though it has been traced back to a French spiritual magazine in the years prior to World War I. St. Francis was Italian and Assisi refers to his geographic location within Italy.

Uses for Recovery

The AA program touts itself as a spiritual program as opposed to a religious one. Be that as it may, a non-denominational form of Judeo-Christian worldview appears on the pages of the Big Book and Twelve & Twelve. Fear not-- all that's required is a belief in the possibility of a Higher Power.

 What the St. Francis prayer boils down to is "letting go and letting God." This concept continuously presents itself throughout the program and its literature. "God's will, not mine" is a common refrain. Life-- and the pursuit of sobriety-- becomes infinitely easier when we stop trying to run the show. 

Far too often, alcoholics come into recovery weary and defeated. It isn't just the alcohol that's taken a toll, it's the sheer exhaustion of constantly trying to run the show. The sense of relief once we relinquish control to our wise and loving Higher Power is almost palpable. 

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