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Grapevine : April 2011
comment for non-believers who ob- ject to our prayers. He noted that it's true that AAs believe in some kind of God and that communication and strength is obtainable through His grace. "Since this is the general con- sensus," he added, "it seems only right that at least the Serenity Prayer and the Lord's Prayer be used in connec- tion with our meetings. It does not seem necessary to defer to the feel- ings of our agnostic and atheist new- comers to the extent of completely hiding our light under a bushel...The worst that happens to the objectors is that they have to listen to it. This is doubtless a salutary exercise in toler- ance at their stage of progress." A third objection to The Lord's Prayer is that it suggests a male deity; i.e., God as Father. This can be a touchy issue, but it should be understood that the term is only a convention that enables us to personalize God. We cannot really believe that our Higher Power, called sometimes the Universal Mind, is ac- tually defined or limited by gender. Some people believe that "spirit" is masculine while "soul" is feminine. Who really knows? What we're real- ly trying to do, if we're sincere about the AA program, is to make a con- scious contact with a power greater than ourselves, and too much quib- bling about terms may short-circuit this process. If we can get past these objec- tions, we should try to see what the Lord's Prayer is and how it can help us in sobriety and good living. Em- met Fox wrote in "Power Through Constructive Thinking" that "The Great Prayer is a compact formula for the development of the soul. It is designed with the utmost care for that specific purpose; so that those who use it regularly, with un- derstanding, will experience a real change of soul." Since I feel that al- coholism is partly a soul sickness, I'm interested in anything that can change my soul for the better. For one thing, it's been good for me, as well as humbling, to stand with others and say, "Our Father which art in heaven." This has made me feel connected, as family, to everyone in the room. There have been times when the mood becomes solemn, almost reverent as we say this together. We used to stand apart while saying the Great Prayer, but many of us have also joined hands while repeating it. This doesn't mean we've become more spiritual, but it does show a desire for spiritual bonding. When we say, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done," I get the feeling that there's something higher and better that we'll be led to as we move along in life. We are fragile human beings, but we don't have to 48 April 2011