Understanding What is a Set Aside Prayer

The set aside prayer is used at the beginning of many twelve-step group meetings for persons in addiction recovery. It is painful to acknowledge that you have been holding yourself back all along. We nurture habits that don’t allow us to move forward in life. Also, we come to hold beliefs that guide us nowhere.

We harbor fears that do not let us leave our comfort zone. Furthermore, we think we already know everything there is to know about ourselves and others. Besides, we are too proud to admit we are wrong and refuse to keep an open mind.

What is the Set Aside Prayer?

Set Aside Prayer is a special prayer recited by many people recovering from addiction in the 12-Step program by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).

“God, today help me set aside everything I think I know about You, everything I think I know about myself, everything I think I know about others, and everything I think I know about my own recovery so I may have an open mind and a new experience with all these things. Please help me see the truth.”

What is the meaning of Set Aside Prayer?

The adherents of the 12-step program say it in the hopes of paving a new path in their lives, seeking a novel experience in their faith, forming new relationships and better habits, and exploring the territory they have never set foot in.

Secondly, It encourages us to be open-minded by putting aside our egos and looking at the world from a beginner’s perspective without judgments and finding fresh opportunities.

Where did the Set Aside prayer come from? Set Aside prayer originated from The Big Book. The prayer is derived from The Big Book’s chapter To The Agnostic.

Who wrote the Set Aside Prayer? And what is The Big Book?

The book is also known as The Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism. The co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, William G. Wilson, also known as Bill Wilson, wrote and first published the book in 1939. The book is the fundamental basis for Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).

It contains accounts of other sober alcoholics in recovery who also attained sobriety through the program. The Big Book also offers resources and ways to support alcoholics and their families.

The Big Book is a significant and influential piece of literature. It highlights the 12-Steps and 12 Traditions that form the cornerstone of the AA and have been adopted and replicated by other support groups not just for alcohol addiction but also for others, such as gambling, drugs, or food addiction.

How Do you Use the Set Aside Prayer?

Anyone can try “set aside prayer” who are willing to change and look for a fresh start in life. It helps you improve your life in various ways.

It allows you to practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is the ability to be fully aware of our sensations and feelings at the moment, where we are in the present and our surroundings without making judgments or reacting to anything around us. It helps us to manage stress, anxiety, and even addiction.

It helps us to eliminate our preconceived notions and to be open-minded when experiencing something new. Meditation and prayer help us achieve this state of mindfulness and adopt a fresh perspective.

It lets you let go of what you cannot control

So, set aside prayer helps us achieve serenity. It makes us understand not everything is under our control. Letting go of control gives us a sense of calm and peace.

It encourages you to be open-minded

We like to assume we are right in life. Sometimes we are right. Other times we are wrong. However, accepting when we are at fault can be difficult for us. And this can develop into a false sense of arrogance, which hinders rehabilitation. Having an open mind lets us let go of this arrogance and consider other possibilities.

It can help you practice humility

Practicing humility makes us understand that we do not know it all. It opens up the route to other prospects in life. It helps us admit that we cannot make it through our journey alone, and it is okay to look for help. The prayer refers to a higher power as the provider of aid. Though it can be whatever holds the most significance to you.

These are some of the areas that Set Aside prayer helps you to excel at. The Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book contains 12-step prayers, which in conjunction with the Set Aside Prayer, aid people in overcoming their addictions.

What is the 12-Step Prayer program by Alcoholics Anonymous?

The 12-step program by Alcoholics Anonymous is designed to help people dealing with alcohol addiction become sober. The program operates under the belief that recovery from addiction is possible once you submit yourself to a higher power. The higher power does not have to be a Christian God. You can be a follower of any religion or even agnostic to benefit from this program by imagining the universe or whatever divine entity you believe in as the higher power. These steps are designed consecutively but are ongoing. These are developed with the help of people who have taken this program.

What is the First Step Prayer?

The first prayer is based on encouraging people suffering from addiction to acknowledge that they had no control over their desire to consume alcohol and that trying to control their lives made it even more difficult to manage.

Additionally, the prayer requires them to seek help in truly comprehending their helplessness to make them stop denying their addiction.

What is the Second Step Prayer?

The second prayer aims to seek help and acquire the belief that a power higher than them can bring them back to the right path and help them get rid of their addiction and distorted thinking. 

What is the Third Step Prayer?

The third prayer asks them to entrust God with their will and lives, to surrender completely to the higher power. To pray to Him to remove their obstacles so that the people they get to help by His aid witness their success in overcoming their hurdles. 

What is the Fourth Step Prayer?

The fourth prayer encourages people with alcohol addiction to acknowledge their errors, accept that they cannot reverse them, and assess their moral character thoroughly and without bias.

What is the Fifth Step Prayer?

The fifth prayer asks them to seek His help in admitting their errors and mistakes to God, themselves, and other human beings. To ask for His assurance and help while advancing into rehabilitation.

What is the Sixth Step Prayer?

The sixth prayer makes them ask God to remove all their character flaws that act as obstacles on their path to recovery.

What is the Seventh Step Prayer?

The seventh prayer required them to ask God to take away their shortcomings that act as hurdles in their effort to be of service to God and their colleagues. 

What is the Eighth Step Prayer?

The eighth prayer requires them to curate a list of all the people they had hurt and to apologize to each of them while also forgiving others as God has forgiven them.

What is the Ninth Step Prayer?

The ninth prayer encourages them to make reparations to the people while being aware of the potential to hurt them. It further motivates them to practice abstinence, help others, and develop spiritually. 

What is the Tenth Step Prayer?

The tenth prayer inspires them to keep their actions in check, take responsibility for them, correct any errors, and always remember that they need His help. 

What is the Eleventh Step Prayer?

The eleventh prayer encourages them to strengthen their connection with God through prayers and meditation, to ask for awareness of His plan for them and the help to carry it out.

What is the Twelfth Step Prayer?

Atlast, the twelfth prayer asks them to spread the message they received from their spiritual awakening to other addicts and to practice it in all their dealings.

What Is Serenity Prayer? Does Aa Use The Serenity Prayer?

Alcoholics Anonymous also utilizes a modified version of the Serenity Prayer that was originally written by the American theologian Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr in 1932 or 1933. Alcoholics Anonymous ensures that the Serenity Prayer is recited at the beginning of their 12-step meetings and at the end. Here is the prayer:

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,

And wisdom to know the difference.”

With the help of divine power, you can attain the qualities of prayers.This is also a principal attribute of Alcoholics Anonymous. They recite the prayer to seek peace, courage, and wisdom from a higher power, which gives them the strength to face another challenge, another step, and another day.

What Is The Full Serenity Prayer?

God, give me the grace to accept with serenity the things that are constant. Courage to change the things which should be changed, and the Wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.

What’s Wrong With The Serenity Prayer?

Since some people raise the argument against Serenity Prayer that it makes people accept things as they are, keeping them from striving for the better. It makes them opt for the path of least resistance and stay in their comfort zones. It hinders growth and progress. People who choose to live by Serenity Prayer are also accused of ‘making excuses’ and considered ‘lazy’ by some. Critiques of the Serenity Prayer also argue that people who believe in this prayer underestimate the control they have over their lives and very consciously make themselves victims of inertia.

Despite the criticisms, Serenity Prayer is still very widely employed alongside Set Aside Prayer in recovery and rehabilitation programs.

Alcoholics Anonymous’ Set Aside Prayer is helpful for people suffering from addiction and can also be used by anyone feeling stuck and struggling to come out of their current situation. It encourages you to move ahead in life by helping you put aside your ego and judgment and become more humble, mindful, open-minded, and willing to take on new opportunities. 

Final Thoughts

Consequently, set aside prayer works wonder in alcohol addiction recovery. Anyone should try this method if he’s going through any addiction.


What is the AA resentment prayer?

The Alcoholics Anonymous resentment prayer is based on asking God to help you release resentment by making you realize how much the world and the people around you have influenced you. The prayer progresses with asking God to show how you are capable of being killed by the wrongdoing of others. Whether it is imagination or real, to help you to control your anger by helping you realize that those who hurt you might have had spiritual problems and to help you to treat those you dislike with the same tolerance, compassion, and patience that you would gladly extend to a sick friend. 

What is the AA acceptance prayer?

So the AA’s acceptance prayer begins with acknowledging that the hurt you may feel comes from an outside source–other people, place, or situation–that you cannot control. The apt solution is to accept these external sources of hurt as they are. In such a situation, you keep faith in God that everything is happening as He wills and that nothing is a mistake. Individuals with addiction cannot become sober until they accept that they suffer from alcohol addiction. The change you wish to see in things outside your control can only begin once you decide to change yourself.

How do you release resentment?

According to the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, you can release resentment by following the 12-step prayer: Write down your resentments on paper. Resentments that once seemed huge and rational in your head would begin to appear trivial on paper. Also, evaluate the role you played in causing you resentment. Often people feed their resentment themselves, unwilling to let go of it without even realizing it. Pray for the one you resent to be blessed with health, success, and everything you want for yourself. It will help you let go of it.

What does the principle three prayers mean to you?

Principle 3 prayers mean to let go of self-will that prevents an individual during serving others and their divine power. It means to trust God completely with your life and will. Giving up the desire to try to control things that are not yours to control is a form of spiritual surrender.

What page is the 11th step prayer on?

Subsequently, the eleventh step prayer is on page 86 of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Can I adapt the Set Aside Prayer to the 12-steps?

You should adapt the Set Aside Prayer with the 12-steps to achieve the proper spiritual experience. You can recite it in the 12-step group meetings for trying to overcome addiction. Additionally, the support groups offer assistance to people who have battled with food, alcohol, drug, gambling, and other addictions.

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