The Lords prayer

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The Lords prayer

Postby Soberguy27 » Sun Sep 24, 2017 4:19 pm

Ok, first I am an atheist but I do say the Lords prayer at the meetings I attend because it's what they do. I was just wondering though if AA not is allied with any sect or denomination and is not a religious organization then why do we say a christian prayer at the end of meetings? Also, how do you all feel about people who constantly share at meetings and always have to go into talking about Jesus? It's a bit annoying to me but no one seems to care at my meeting. I don't say anything because everyone at my meeting knows I'm an atheist and I don't want to start any controversy at the meeting. You thoughts?
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Re: The Lords prayer

Postby Noels » Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:03 pm

Hi Sober. I can't really comment on the Serenity Prayer side apart from saying it seems to give a feeling of 'bonding ' as well as hope. When you hold each others hands - all in a circle - just feels powerful to me. A oneness both with the group as well as our Higher Powers.
Regarding the sharing or incorporating Jesus or God or our individual Higher Powers - to me that's a personal matter. God and Jesus is a part of my life so whether I'm at a meeting, on the forum, in the bathroom. .... they always with me so they'll be part of everything I do, think, say. ....
Your religious, spiritual or none of the above have nothing to do with me so I can't even try to comment on that.
Have a beautiful evening.
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Re: The Lords prayer

Postby Brock » Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:43 pm

It does seem a bit strange, that in the book, and speaking to newcomers here or in meetings, we encourage higher power of your own understanding, group of drunks, whatever, then at the end saying our father in heaven. It doesn’t trouble me personally, but I can see where it makes others uncomfortable. Our inter group has asked that all area groups adopt something with broader appeal, and most groups changed to the serenity prayer, or just the responsibility pledge.

AA does not or should not set out to convert anyone, but after the step process and a few years of happy sobriety, I have seen many former atheists start here typing the name god, and a year or two later put the capitol G in God, and many in meetings who frowned at the mention of such things change their minds as well.

I don't hear the name Jesus at all in meetings, but have used the odd bible quote here and there myself, a lot of AA is based on biblical teaching, but most folks don't like to hear it, especially here you will quickly see objections. What I don't understand is that a whole fellowship for atheists was established, their own meetings and wording of steps without God, the whole works, why is it a flop.
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Re: The Lords prayer

Postby desypete » Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:24 pm

each aa room or meeting, is its own version of aa

there are no rules in aa so each group can run there meeting however they like, it took me a long time to understand that aa is what we want it to be as there are no bosses etc
i wanted every aa meeting to be the same as the meetings i like to go to and i didn't like all this god stuff or prayers. but the thing i was missing was the fact that others do like it and enjoy it and believe in it
so if its working for them and there happy then there is no problem, there are plenty of different meetings around by me the only meetings i dont go to are the type of meeting that hero worships aa member's like chris r or there type of aa ram it down your throat message.
they seem to poke fun at the rest of aa and i really dont like that type of thing and if its there evidence there god exists then who wants to follow that type of thing ?

that sort of thing should have no room in aa but this is where aa is unique as it really doesn't matter as once again some people believe in that kind of aa so i can just ignore it and find meetings that i enjoy and dont waste my time getting caught up in negative stuff
its up to me if i want to feed my negative or feed my good and the more good i can try to do the more at peace i am with myself

we dont have any meetings in my area at all that end with the lords prayer its just the serenity prayer that everyone says at the end of the meeting ( except me of course lol ) since my son died i stopped saying any sorts of prayers including the serenity prayer the only time i say it is when i do the main chair in a meeting and i have to lead off at the end of the meeting and i do that out of respect for others in aa and the fellowship itself which i love
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Re: The Lords prayer

Postby Soberguy27 » Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:44 pm

I know there are atheists meeting but I don't attend those meetings. I don't feel a need to go to any specialty meetings. I respect whatever the format of the meeting I am attending is. I don't go out of my way to say that I am an atheist becaise I just don't like labels. I don't believe in the god of the bible but do believe there is a natural flow of energy which is affected either negatively or positively and what I put into to it is what I get out of it. I respect all life. Guess I am closer to my native american roots spiritually than anything else. Don't know what you would call that. Anyway, my question was not meant to be mean spirited. I just think if we say God of your understandong but some members are obviously talking about the christian god then new comers could get confused.
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Re: The Lords prayer

Postby Blue Moon » Sun Sep 24, 2017 9:11 pm

Soberguy27 wrote:Ok, first I am an atheist but I do say the Lords prayer at the meetings I attend because it's what they do. I was just wondering though if AA not is allied with any sect or denomination and is not a religious organization then why do we say a christian prayer at the end of meetings? Also, how do you all feel about people who constantly share at meetings and always have to go into talking about Jesus? It's a bit annoying to me but no one seems to care at my meeting. I don't say anything because everyone at my meeting knows I'm an atheist and I don't want to start any controversy at the meeting. You thoughts?


It depends on where you are. Where I sobered up, no meeting used the Lord's Prayer. I'm not sure I could have sobered up in the meetings that I attend nowadays.

I think if I was in a meeting where Jesus got mentioned with regularity, I'd go find another meeting.
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Re: The Lords prayer

Postby positrac » Mon Sep 25, 2017 2:55 am

Really the main purpose is our sobriety and faith is important to the efforts whether you believe in Jesus or a rock in the parking lot. If it keeps you happy and we/I/them feel it is then who cares.....? I've been sober almost 28 years and I never really questioned the foundation of AA as I needed structure and a means to break my cycle in life. Look at yoga for example: Many different religious believers do the stretches and yet aren't hindu or what ever the yogi chants are..... just saying that if it ain't broke why fix it as it is one of the few things in life as I understand it that hasn't totally changed to fit society.
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Re: The Lords prayer

Postby Patsy© » Mon Sep 25, 2017 3:19 am

Soberguy27 wrote:Ok, first I am an atheist but I do say the Lords prayer at the meetings I attend because it's what they do. I was just wondering though if AA not is allied with any sect or denomination and is not a religious organization then why do we say a christian prayer at the end of meetings? Also, how do you all feel about people who constantly share at meetings and always have to go into talking about Jesus? It's a bit annoying to me but no one seems to care at my meeting. I don't say anything because everyone at my meeting knows I'm an atheist and I don't want to start any controversy at the meeting. You thoughts?


I was very upset when I was first coming to AA to hear the Lord's Prayer closing each of our AA meetings. I couldn't stand the "God" signs either! lol I brought this up at our A.A. business meetings, hoping to bring it to a vote! :lol:

It was my wonderful sponsor who shared with me that if I didn't want to say the Prayer, then simply don't....but lets not ruin it for all the other AA members who already voted that the Lord's Prayer was to be used at this AA Group close. I wasn't happy with her sharing that with me, however over the next few years, I found myself not only saying the Lord's Prayer, but coming to rely on it. Today, I love the Lord's Prayer and any other prayer that is said. There are those who don't want to say it, and I share with them "More power to ya".....if that is what they choose for themselves, then great!

I have to be honest that I don't like it when "Jesus" is shared at AA meetings, because it does give the impression that this is a Religious Program....and of course its not, its Spiritual. And the newcomer, has no idea that its "God as we understood Him"..... I try to reach out to newcomers and share with them, what was shared with me.... "If you don't like his, hers or their conception of God, then simply choose one of your own, one that makes sense to you".......... it works :D


It is mentioned in Dr. Bob and the Good Old-timers that the prayer was used from the very beginning in the Fellowship, at least as early as 1938 and 1939. In those days there was no AA literature, so the early groups relied heavily on existing prayers, and on the Bible and Oxford Group literature for inspiration and guidance. Bill W. commented several times in his correspondence about the early early use of the Lord's Prayer. He wrote a letter to a member in 1959 in which he stated the following:

"The practice probably came from the Oxford Groups who were influential in the early days of A.A. You have probably noted in A.A. Comes of Age what the connection of these people with A.A. really was. I think saying the Lord's Prayer was a custom of theirs following the close of each meeting. Therefore it quite easily got shifted into a general custom among us"
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Re: The Lords prayer

Postby Soberguy27 » Mon Sep 25, 2017 6:35 am

One of the reasons I asked this question is because I had a new comer ask me why we say christian prayers if aa is not religious. He said he had asked someone else at a meeting and just got an earful of because aa is spiritual and that means that most people in aa are christians. This just made me think. Although I personally have no issue with saying the lords prayer and I sometimes do say it, other times I don't. The thing is that if aa is not allied with any sect or denomination but meetings say a christian prayer then that could give mixed messages. All I'm say is let's be consistant.
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Re: The Lords prayer

Postby positrac » Mon Sep 25, 2017 6:39 am

Soberguy27 wrote:One of the reasons I asked this question is because I had a new comer ask me why we say christian prayers if aa is not religious. He said he had asked someone else at a meeting and just got an earful of because aa is spiritual and that means that most people in aa are christians. This just made me think. Although I personally have no issue with saying the lords prayer and I sometimes do say it, other times I don't. The thing is that if aa is not allied with any sect or denomination but meetings say a christian prayer then that could give mixed messages. All I'm say is let's be consistant.



For me I know you have the time similar to me and I just tell people to just go with the flow because in time they will over look those nails on a chalkboard things as they mature in sobriety.
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Re: The Lords prayer

Postby clouds » Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:03 am

It seems the name for people's higher power kinda changes with the geography somewhat.

Then some people call it H.P.! Others call it the AA group.

The important thing is that people practice the 12 steps to the best of their ability.

As far as prayers go you could just remain respectfully silent if there are prayers being said at meetings that you feel cause you to compromise yourself or your beliefs in some way.
" Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." page 98 A.A.
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Re: The Lords prayer

Postby Mary » Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:07 am

soberguy27

Hello,

You say let's be consistent. Actually I'd say lets NOT be consistent. Consistency - such a gentle word and yet Hitler, Stalin, Mao....those gentle characters were champions of consistency. People love to fly the flag of about AA not being religious. Well it kind of is and it kind of isn't. Does no one actually look up a dictionary anymore at what the word religious means? It is true that AA is not specifically allied with any church and thanks be to God for that but why not acknowledge that AA was not born out of a religious vacuum but we who benefit from AA are sat on the shoulders of giants. There would no AA without religion and Christianity for that matter.

Meetings I attend in the UK do not say the Lords prayer but I enjoy meetings in Ireland where they do say it because it adds nuance and it makes me remember. Also if you can get past your prejudice you might find it contains wisdom. Please God let AA never not be allied with WISDOM in whatever form no matter how hard the Atheists try to keep it out. I have never heard anyone talk about Jesus in a meeting except occasionally in an enlightened interesting way. In the US perhaps it's different.

Good luck endeavouring to remove all trace of religious connotations from peoples speech and the meeting format. So big of you to put up with it in the first place. You free thinker you.
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Re: The Lords prayer

Postby avaneesh912 » Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:19 am

As a person from different ethnicity i was never offended by these. I said the lords prayer because others did it. I am the only Indian (the real one from the east, not the other Indians) in almost all the meetings I go to. Occasionally i see court enforced DUI offenders. For an atheist, i agree it could be a shock. I have see people not saying it or they would leave the rooms as others are preparing for the lords prayer. Its I think perfectly fine. Maybe they can find like minded people and form their own group. One other CA meeting I visit occasionally they start with a set aside prayer and at then end they wrap it with the serenity prayer. And it has God in it, so I don't know what the logic behind it. Thats ok. All I am interested in carrying the right message about powerlessness and un-manageability. For once people realize their position, they wouldn't care much about these trivial issues.
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Re: The Lords prayer

Postby PaigeB » Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:51 am

I appreciate the God of my own understanding. I live in the Midwest and rarely hear "Jesus". Maybe I live in a liberal AA District, but I don't think so... been to all sorts of Area & Regional stuff. Nothing wrong with Good Orderly Direction, or what ever.

Glad we had Jim B back in the day.
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Re: The Lords prayer

Postby clouds » Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:27 am

AA is usually a place people feel free to develope a way of life dependent on their concept of God as they understand Him.
Why should anyone have to feel uncomfortable about it?
" Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." page 98 A.A.
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