The chairperson asks that we close the meeting with the Lord’s Prayer. We stand, we hold hands and I do as I have done for years – I do not say the prayer. I stand there patiently, waiting for it to end. I look around. I see other people doing what I am doing, feeling uncomfortable; out of place. To me that prayer is a Christian prayer and if AA represents no religion, then why is it said? Am I wrong?
So, I do some research. I look at the A.A. preamble. “A.A. is not allied with any sect, denomination, organization or institution”. I read in the Big Book, “AA is not a religious organization”. We refer to a God of our “Our Understanding”. I hear the Third Tradition, “The only requirement for A.A. Membership is a desire to stop drinking”. I find out that the Lord’s Prayer is only found in religious institutions that are based in Christianity.
I think the thing that people like so much about the meetings is how comfortable we feel. Yet, the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer makes it harder for many of us to feel comfortable. Maybe many who are not Christian stay away fearing that A.A. Is a religious organization. How many people, like myself, did not come back for years because I heard, what I believe to be a Christian Prayer.
Coming back to the Third Tradition, I feel that the groups have to be open, simply, to all those who have a desire to stop drinking and should not employ a sectarian religious practice that may exclude those who are not Christian. In this day and age, it is important to respect another person’s beliefs. In AA we are not to feel alone, uncomfortable and out of place. Perhaps some have not grasped the concepts of:
Keep an open Mind
Live and Let Live
We are no longer Alone
More and more groups seem to be ending with The Serenity Prayer. Perhaps that is the answer.
About the Author, Norman S.
Born in Toronto Canada. Celebrated 10 years on August 21st. My group is the Willowdale group in Toronto. I am 73 and I have turned my life around and now enjoy my family and my grandchildren.