As I work through the 12 steps, I’ve been writing prayers for many of them. Here are two prayers I wrote during step 6.
Amendment of Life
God, I want to recover from my addiction and all the shitty things that I do to myself and to others as part of it. I want you to change the ways that I think and act, so that I treat people better and live a life that is worth living. I confess to you that I can’t get out of this mess on my own, and I ask you to help me amend my life so that I will be able to walk in sobriety.
I’m scared to have you removed all my defects of character, because they have served me well for a long time, but they were defects then and they are defects now. The problem is that I’m not sure what the hell will happen to me when I allow you to remove them. I’m scared, because these are coping methods that I’ve used for a long time. I understand that they have led me to where I am now, fucked up and addicted.
I don’t want to be this way, but my need to control things because I am scared is still getting in the way. I do want to have you remove these things, please help the part of me that doesn’t want to, that instead I will trust that you will heal me and replace those behaviors with something much better. I’m committed to the process. Bring me to the place where I want it badly enough to where I will put the fear aside and invite you to take it.
Sixth Step Prayer
You know, God, I’ve gone ahead and admitted that I’m powerless over my addiction, and that my life was unmanageable, because we both know that’s the cold, hard truth of the matter. That was never up for debate, although I tried to fight it for so long.
Then it took me some time to actually realize and admit that it was only you who could heal me. I’d tried many schemes in the past, but those only made things worse because this isn’t something I can even accomplish and I need you to accomplish it for me, please. I want the healing, but I’m unable to heal myself, despite what the self-help books say.
I made a conscious decision to turn my life over to you, not even knowing that much about you. I didn’t actually realize that you loved me, and I sure as hell didn’t know if you even cared if I was healed at first. I’m a cynic by nature and it’s served me well until now. My understanding of you has changed and grown so much richer, the incarnation of Jesus changing absolutely fucking everything. It’s so deep, and I’m just scratching the surface but damn, that stuff has changed my life, and continues to do so. This is perhaps the most important thing I’ve learned yet.
Then I made an inventory of the shitty things I’ve said and done. The need to control everything because I give in to fear, the way I lie about anything, both to myself and others, then expect people to believe the words out of my lying lips. I’ve hurt so many people through verbal acts of violence, which is just as devastating as physical violence and perhaps more so, as physical wounds heal quicker. My ass is also very stubborn, and at times that has kept me alive. All this shit has kept me alive, but the problem is that these are old behaviors that no longer serve me and perhaps never did.
Then I listed all this shitty stuff, especially the lies, and owned up to it to my friend, although I didn’t want to reveal the kind of person that I am. I was deeply ashamed but it was also somewhat healing.
But now I’m being asked if I want all these shitty things about myself taken away by you and…I do, but I’m scared. How am I going to live without these coping methods? I want to heal, and I know this shit holds me back and as much as I want to heal, I’m not quite willing yet to give these things up. But I know that I want to be willing to give them up. Could we start there, God? Can you help me to become willing? That would sure be awesome. I have hurt a lot of people including myself and I don’t want to keep doing that, and yet still I hover, unsure, mostly because I’m afraid. It’s that fear and that need to control things and situations.
But as we move forward together, God, I want to be willing.
***St. Maximilian Kolbe, pray for me, an addict, that I might be willing to do the things I need to do to walk in sobriety.***