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Grapevine : April 2011
stay where we are if our conscious contact with God is growing. We don't always know what's best for us and we face days of disappointment and doubt. It is true, however, that a higher plan can be seen to be work- ing out if we continue with the AA program and follow its principles. "Give us this day our daily bread" also has meaning for me. Bread, a slang term for money, can also mean anything we really need for right living. It helps me to think of God as the source for everything we need, rather than to focus on the ways we make our living. Time and again, I've heard wonderful accounts of AA members who encountered financial setbacks or job loss and then found new opportunities com- ing, seemingly "out of the blue." In my first year of sobriety, I was in- spired by the story of the late Mike E., Detroit's second member. Fired as a plant superintendent under hu- miliating circumstances, he found sobriety in AA in 1938 and became a wealthy manufacturer (though also a man very humble and grateful about his success). Mike's comeback in business was indeed spectacular, but thousands of other AAs have had similar guidance in their own lives. God will show us the way if we trust Him. "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us" is one of the high points of the prayer. I try to focus on this state- ment when the Prayer is said, be- cause I've learned that forgiveness is one of the hardest things to find in the program. What the Great Prayer really says is that finding forgiveness for ourselves depends on our willing- ness to forgive ourselves and others. So I have good reasons for want- ing to retain the Lord's Prayer at our meetings and I will present them if its future use ever becomes an is- sue at my home group. I won't leave the group if we should stop using it, because I always have the option of using it privately or with a few oth- ers. I'm sure the groups that have dropped it are still doing fine with the Serenity Prayer and other forms. But why abandon a practice that has served AA so well for more than 70 years? At my home group, we have the benefit of both prayers---the Se- renity Prayer for starting and the Lord's Prayer for closing, and it has served us well. Mel B. Toledo, Ohio 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. aagrapevine.org 49