Set Aside Prayer
I have run across a meeting format that begins with a prayer called "The Set Aside Prayer."
Is it an AA prayer? Is it in the Big Book, the 12x12 or any other "official" AA literature?
The Set Aside Prayer, sometimes referred to as "The Lay-Aside Prayer" is often found in roughly this format:
Please set aside anything I think I know
about my disease,
about the Big Book,
the 12 Steps,
the people in the fellowship,
and all spiritual terms - especially you God;
So that I may have an open mind and a new experience with all these things.
Please help me see the Truth.
Another common version is:
Please help me set aside
Everything I think I know
About myself, my disease,
These steps, and especially You;
For an open mind
And a new experience
With myself, my disease,
These steps and especially You.
Readers have pointed out that this prayer was popularized at least in part by the Big Book Experience book study guides and tapes. The origin of the prayer seems to open to discussion - the AAHistoryLovers forum
has some historical background.
The prayer is based on several concepts referenced in the Big Book.
Pg 42, paragraph 2:
"It meant I would have to throw several lifelong conceptions out of the window"
Page 46, paragraph 1:
"We found that as soon as we were able to lay aside prejudice and express even a willingness to believe in a power greater than ourselves. We commenced to get results even though it was impossible for any of us fully define or comprehend that power which is God."
Pg 47, paragraph 4:
"Do not let any prejudice you may have against any spiritual terms deter you from honestly asking yourself what they mean to you."
Pg 47, paragraph 4:
"Besides a seeming inability to accept much on faith, we often found ourselves handicapped by obstinacy, sensitiveness, and unreasoning prejudice.
"It finally beat us into a state of reasonableness. Sometimes this was a tedious process; we hope no one else will be prejudiced for as long as some of us were."
Page 49, paragraph 2:
"We who have traveled this dubious path, beg you to lay aside prejudice, even against organized religion."
Page 58, paragraph 3:
"Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutley."
The prayer does not appear in any literature approved by the AA General Service Conference. Individuals and groups are not required to only use literature approved
by the conference.