“Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings”
Now that we have listed the defects of character that drive our acting out behavior (Step 6), it is once again time to ask God’s help in our recovery. This step is similar to Step 3 in that the Big Book outlines a specific prayer that is recommended:
“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 which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding. Amen.”
Praying this prayer from the heart has no doubt helped many addicts over the years. But my sponsor took it one step farther. We met together for about 2 hours one day and prayed this prayer for every individual character defect that was on my list – all 26 of them! Together, we talked through my list and after each defect I prayed the prayer above, replacing “every single defect of character” with the specific defect that we were discussing. It took some time, but it was worth it.
My sponsor also suggested a daily practice around Step 7 that I have found very useful. In my daily prayers and meditations (Step 11), he suggested that I examine the day before or the day ahead, and consider the top 2 or 3 character defects that happen to be near the surface. Maybe something happened the day before that put one of my defects on full display. Or maybe there is an upcoming event that I know could trigger one of my defects. When I identify my top 2 or 3 for the day, he recommended that I pray through those. As I mentioned in my post on Step 6, often God will remove a character defect, only to have me snatch it back the next day. Praying through my top 2 or 3 defects daily, makes this less likely to happen. It also gives me an awareness of things to look out for as I go through my day.
I have found that practicing Step 7 on a regular basis has been one of the most helpful parts of all of the 12 Steps when it comes to my day-to-day walk. It helps me to deal with underlying feelings and emotions in a healthy manner. It gives me something to check in with my sponsor, even when my sobriety is strong. And it helps me see the things that could lead to acting out and stop them before it becomes a problem.
May you have the willingness to ask God to remove every single defect of character in your life, today!
-A grateful member of the Awaken community
Awaken is a Birmingham, AL based ministry walking with individuals, couples, and ministry leaders who have been impacted by sexual brokenness & addiction. Our goal is to help people experience hope, connection, and healing through the gospel and the recovery process. If you want to know more about Awaken or our resources, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!