Alcoholics Anonymous - The Primary Purpose Group Elmira, NY


The Set Aside Prayer (or lay aside prayer)

Dear God,
please set aside everything I think I know
About myself,
this book,
my disease,
these steps,
and especially about you dear God
so that I might have an open mind And a new experience with all these things.
Please help me to see the truth.

The set aside prayer is said before we read the big book, at the beginning of step work and at the beginning of some meetings.  The words are not important, so please don't get hung up on words.  it my experience that what is important is my desire, humility and effort at seeking our creator.

The set aside prayer asks our creator to take away all I think I know so that I may learn something new. All through the book I am told that what I think I know will kill me. My personal experience confirms this.

The set aside prayer is built from directions in the big book regarding my preconceived beliefs and fears. Here are a few examples:

Pg 42, paragraph 2:
"It meant I would have to throw several lifelong conceptions out of the window"

Page 46, paragraph 1:
"We found that as soon as we were able to lay aside prejudice and express even a willingness to believe in a power greater than ourselves. We commenced to get results even though it was impossible for any of us fully define or comprehend that power which is God."

Pg 47, paragraph 4:
"Do not let any prejudice you may have against any spiritual terms deter you from honestly asking yourself what they mean to you."

Pg 47, paragraph 4:
"Besides a seeming inability to accept much on faith, we often found ourselves handicapped by obstinacy, sensitiveness, and unreasoning prejudice."

"It finally beat us into a state of reasonableness. Sometimes this was a tedious process; we hope no one else will be prejudiced for as long as some of us were.:

Page 49, paragraph 2:
"We who have traveled this dubious path, beg you to lay aside prejudice, even against organized religion."

Page 58, paragraph 3:
"Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely."


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The primary purpose group website is neither endorsed nor approved by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services.  This website is simply part of our 12-step work; its main purpose is to show the alcoholic who still suffers the simplicity and the effectiveness of the program of alcoholics anonymous when practiced as described in the big book of A. A.   

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