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Breaking Down the Third Step

“Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him.”

Step Three is referred to as a vital and crucial step (BB pg.64) and although I was skeptical, it has proven to me to be the most important decision I ever made in my life. This step asks that, “We thought well before taking this step making sure that we were ready.”

In order to think, we’ll we have to understand what it is asking of us. The Third Step suggests that we…

Made a decision

A decision is a conclusion or resolution reached after consideration. There are many things that we have to consider: Are we powerless? Do we have a choice whether we pick up a drink or not? Can we reason our way out of picking up a drink? Can we not just suddenly pick up a drink? Have we been successful in managing our own life drunk or sober? I have to concede to all of these considerations. 

So, the next thing to consider is am I willing…

to turn 

Which in this Prayer means undertaking help. I was definitely willing to admit I need help with…

our will

Which is the faculty by which we decide on and initiates action (our thoughts),

and our lives

Which is our way or manner of living, (the actions we take). 

When it comes to making decisions and the actions I took on my own they mostly did not end well. My life was absolutely unmanageable. So again I have to concede. 


Which is expressing passage. I’m not doing a good job with my life so here it is God.

to the care of God as we understood Him.

After consideration and accepting the fact that I am powerless, etc.  I was able to see the need for care, which is provision of what is necessary for the health, welfare, maintenance, and protection of our life. God is not running our life but is caring for it. 

That’s the step. Now, let’s take a look at the Third Prayer

Third Step Prayer (BB pg. 63)

God, I offer myself to Thee

This is an expression of readiness to have God care for us. My decisions and my life have been much better when I do this.

To build with me and to do with me

This describes to us a partnership with a God. What better partner to have in life than the “one who has all power” (BB pg. 59)

as Thou wilt.

As your God will. The results of our life, are no longer our business. This has not always felt good for me at first. But we are always provided what we need, not necessarily what we want at first.

Relieve me of the bondage of self,

So our troubles, we think, are of our own making…” (BB pg.62) This comes to light in steps 4 & 5. We discover our difficulties (character defects, resentments, fears).

that I may better do Thy will.

  • More and more we became interested in what we could contribute to life.” (BB pg.63) 
  • “Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God’s will into all of our activities. How can I best serve Thee—Thy will (not mine) be done. These are thoughts which must go with us constantly. We can exercise our will power along this line all we wish. It is the proper use of the will.” (BB pg.85)

Take away my difficulties

Our difficulties for this purpose are defects of character that are not serving for the better good. Which stand in the way of our usefulness to God and the people around us.

that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy love & Thy way of life.

The removal of our defects and our actions are living proof to others, through Steps 9, 10 & 12 of what God can do in and through us. 

I was definitely able to recognize that God was working in my life as I was cleaning up the wreckage, admitting my wrongs and helping others. 

May I do Thy will always.

Please God, merge with me in order to bring forth the true desire of God in and through me always.

Notice that there is no Amen at the end of this Prayer. Amen means so be it or end of Prayer. We have not completed this Prayer until we continue all the way to the end of the 7th step Prayer.

I had strong mixed feelings when I first began this journey with step 3. Some were of doubt that things wouldn’t change and some of hope that if I follow through with this decision and this new way of life I could finally be sober and happy at the same time. I’m happy to report based on this decision and Prayer with a continued practice of the 12-Step life that God continuously works in and through me doing what I could never accomplish on my own. HAPPY, JOYOUS AND FREE.

If your ready to take the next step in your recovery, call us at 561-841-1296.

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