The set aside prayer aa

The Set-Aside Prayer in Alcoholics Anonymous: Embracing Open-Minded Recovery

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) stands as a beacon of hope and support for individuals seeking freedom from the clutches of alcohol addiction. Rooted in the Twelve Steps, a profound series of principles guiding personal transformation, AA fosters a community that champions recovery, growth, and renewal. At the heart of this transformative journey lies the Set-Aside Prayer—a simple yet powerful invocation that encapsulates the essence of open-mindedness and willingness crucial to successful recovery.

The Significance of the Set-Aside Prayer

The Set-Aside Prayer has become a fundamental tool in the arsenal of many AA members. As they traverse the Twelve Steps, the prayer serves as a beacon of guidance and inspiration, assisting individuals in setting aside their preconceived notions, prejudices, and judgments. This process creates the psychological and emotional space required for personal growth, healing, and transformation.

The Set-Aside Prayer is as follows:

“Dear God, please help me to set aside everything I think I know about [this situation, person, place, or thing], so I may have an open mind and a new experience. Please help me to see the truth about [this situation, person, place, or thing]. Amen.”

This heartfelt plea for divine intervention underscores the significance of adopting an open-minded approach to the challenges that punctuate the journey of recovery. It emphasizes the importance of humility, the willingness to learn, and the readiness to relinquish old behaviors and beliefs that may hinder progress.

Incorporating Open-Mindedness into Recovery

Central to the Set-Aside Prayer is the principle of open-mindedness—an essential tenet of AA’s philosophy. Open-mindedness invites individuals to approach each step of the recovery process with fresh eyes, free from judgment or preconceived notions. This attitude enables them to liberate themselves from the shackles of the past and approach situations, individuals, locations, and objects with renewed curiosity and a willingness to understand.

The prayer’s plea to “see the truth” is a reminder of the importance of seeking authentic insight and comprehension. By shedding biases and assumptions, those in recovery can attain clarity and make decisions grounded in reality rather than skewed perceptions.

Application of the Set-Aside Prayer in Practice

AA members often employ the Set-Aside Prayer as a preliminary step before embarking on any task tied to their recovery. This might encompass attending a meeting, engaging with a sponsor, or delving into a specific step within the Twelve Steps. As they pause to recite the prayer, they reiterate the significance of humility and open-mindedness within the transformative journey.

In reciting the prayer, individuals acknowledge their vulnerability and the limitations of their own understanding. This act of surrender empowers them to embrace new perspectives and insights, facilitating their personal growth and recovery.

The Synergy of the Set-Aside Prayer and the Twelve Steps

The Set-Aside Prayer seamlessly integrates with the Twelve Steps, enhancing their effectiveness and guiding individuals toward comprehensive recovery. Each step represents a distinct milestone, marked by self-examination, amends, and self-improvement. The prayer’s prelude to “set aside everything I think I know” aligns with the introspective nature of these steps, allowing individuals to confront their past, make amends, and embrace transformation. You can check out our 3rd step prayer aa  and alcoholics anonymous step 8 worksheets blog post.


In the realm of Alcoholics Anonymous, the Set-Aside Prayer stands as a testament to the principles of open-mindedness, humility, and willingness. It encapsulates the essence of recovery—a journey that transcends the mere cessation of alcohol use and delves into profound self-discovery and personal evolution. Through the act of setting aside preconceived notions and welcoming novel experiences, individuals in recovery forge a path to a life liberated from addiction’s grip.

The Set-Aside Prayer interlaces with the fabric of recovery, a thread that weaves together the spiritual, emotional, and psychological elements imperative for lasting change. It is a touchstone of humility and an affirmation of humanity’s capacity to surpass prior limitations. As AA members recite this prayer, they reaffirm their commitment to an existence defined by continuous growth and healing, guided by open-mindedness and the quest for truth.

Leave a Comment