ES&F 2 Way Prayer Format

ES&F 2 Way Prayer Format 2-23-2021

ES&F 2 Way Prayer Format 4-18-2021

ES&F 2WP 4-19-21 smaller text no pictures

ES&F 2WP smaller text no pictures announcements at end

Links for tech help

Above are the links for the formats in mostly PDFs. This is a work in progress as I am continuing to edit and adjust. Thank you for your patience!

Welcome & Opening Prayer

Welcome to our Zoom Tenth and Eleventh Step Guidance Meeting. My name is ___________ and I will be the moderator for our group today.

Let’s open with a moment of silence, to invite God into our hearts, followed by the Serenity Prayer. You are welcome to unmute as you wish.

SILENCE FOR A COUNT OF 5-10 BREATHS

SERENITY PRAYER: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Leader: Thy will not mine be done!

Meeting Intro & Format

GROUP PREAMBLE:

This Tenth and Eleventh Step Guidance Group is an open meeting. We are a non-denominational, inclusive and diverse group of spiritual seekers committed to finding a deeper relationship with the God of our own understanding. We do this by following the original program of AA, based on the Oxford Group, which included the principles of the 4 Absolutes and the practice of written guidance or 2 Way Prayer.

If you are new to our group, welcome! Is there anyone here today who is new to 2 way prayer or this group? If so, please wave “hello” using the chat feature or unmute and introduce yourself.

PAUSE

Welcome again to everyone! We are so grateful that you have joined us today.

[NOTE TO TECH: Post all of the links in the chat box.]

The 4 Absolutes

The spiritual disciples of the 4 Absolutes and the last 3 steps are an important foundation for our group.

The 4 Absolutes used by the Oxford Group were the guiding spiritual principles used to determine if one’s decisions, thoughts or actions are in alignment with God’s-will or motived by self-will. These ideals called for: Absolute Honesty, Absolute Unselfishness, Absolute Purity, and Absolute Love. Although recognized as impossible to attain, when the 4 Standards are maintained faithfully as goals, they become powerful transformers of conduct, character, and consciousness.

[NOTE TO TECH: Post the link for the Four Absolutes and the Oxford Group in the chat box. Then share the screen for the reading of the Four Absolutes and 10-11-12 steps.]

Assign Reader for the 4 Absolutes

I’ve asked a friend to read the 4 Absolutes:

[READER BEGINS]

My name is ______ and these are the 4 Absolutes:

ABSOLUTE HONESTY: Not deceiving others or ourselves in word, deed and thoughts.

ABSOLUTE PURITY (FORGIVENESS): Freedom from being controlled by our desires or our fears and insecurities.

ABSOLUTE UNSELFISHNESS: Seeking what is right and true ahead of what I want in every situation. A commitment to fairness and justice and a willingness to share.

ABSOLUTE LOVE (FAITH): The feeling of affection, benevolence or devotion created through acts of selfless unconditional giving to another person according to one’s highest spiritual values.

[READER STOPS]

Leader: Thank you.

Assign Reader for Steps 10, 11 & 12

I’ve asked a friend to read Steps 10, 11 & 12:

[READER BEGINS]

My name is ______ and these are the last three Steps of the 12-Step Program from the Original Manuscript:

Step 10: Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

Step 11: Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, praying only for the knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

Step 12: Having had a spiritual experience as the result of this course of action, we tried to carry this message to others, especially alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

[READER STOPS]

Leader: Thank you.

[SCREEN SHARE STOPS]

While we remain focused here today on these last three Steps, we continue to work and to make daily use of the other spiritual tools gained through all the Steps outside of this group.

SEVENTH TRADITION

In accordance with the Seventh Tradition, our group is self-supporting through our own contributions, neither soliciting nor accepting outside donations. Your donation will help us meet our expenses and keep a prudent reserve. All additional donations will be distributed to 12 step programs per a group conscience to help carry the message

If you would like to make a Seventh Tradition contribution, the info is in the chat box.

[NOTE TO TECH: Paste this into the chat box:

Seventh Tradition, self-supporting contributions: PayPal ​Michael.kaul@gmail.com​ or Venmo @EastLakeSteps. THANK YOU]

Group Process

Our meeting lasts for approximately one hour. As a group, we will individually practice writing 2 Way prayer. After writing, we will share our guidance with each other in smaller breakout rooms. We will then return to the larger group at the conclusion of our meeting for any announcements, and/or feedback.

All sharing is completely voluntary and confidential. We ask for this to be respected by one and all.

If you come as a skeptic, please know that many of us also shared your honest doubts. But we have found that a willingness to live life by the Four Absolutes along with a sincere effort to practice Quiet Time, has led us into a new, and often transforming, relationship with our Creator.

The God of our understanding has become the God of our experience. The Creator who once seemed distant and detached has become our closest Friend and Guide.

We hope it may be so for you as well.

Please have a blank sheet of paper and a pencil or pen to write with. Many of us come with a question or topic of concern to take to God for guidance today. Or, simply ask: “God, please show me what I need to know so that I can be free from wrong motives and do Your will throughout the day.”  As thoughts come into your mind, write them down. Guidance can take the form of images, thoughts, feelings or inspiration.

Assign Reader for How to Listen to God.

[NOTE TO LEADER: At this point, invite a volunteer to read How to Listen to God.]

Now is our time to listen to the pamphlet “How to Listen to God” which describes how to practice 2 Way Prayer. It contains the information needed to help us experience listening to our inner voice — “the still, small Voice” of calm that is within each of us. Everyone is invited to follow along on the screen or to click the link in the chat to access the document directly.

TECH: drop in chat and start to share screen with sound How to Listen to God

Thank you ___________ for volunteering to read today. Please read the first 5 instructions prior to Writing Time. The rest of the pamphlet will be read prior to sharing written guidance.

[NOTE TO LEADER: At this point, here is where we will read from the pamphlet How to Listen to God. Ask the assigned person to read the first 5 instructions prior to Writing Time. The rest of the pamphlet is read prior to sharing written guidance.]

[NOTE TO TECH: open in a new tab and screen share it for the reader. Afterward, paste the link for HOW TO LISTEN TO GOD  into the chat for reference.]

READ FIRST HALF OF HOW TO LISTEN TO GOD

READER: We will now follow these directions and write together for 10 minutes. During 2 Way Prayer, meditative music will be played in the background, in addition to a timer set for 10 minutes. The timer will be on the screen and anyone who wants to meditate in silence, is welcome to turn down their volume for the 10 minutes and return when the timer is up.

At the end of the 10 minutes the music will stop. If you are still inspired to write when we return please do so.

Start writing now.

[NOTE TO TECH: Screen share with sound, and put a timer on screen. You can open a tab and google “timer 10 minutes” or use either of the links above, and play the music. If the music is longer than 10 minutes, fade the volume up from silence at the beginning, and back down at the end.]

LEADER: Pause for the 10 minutes of writing.

READER: After the music ends the leader will ask you to finish the reading: 

READ SECOND HALF OF HOW TO LISTEN TO GOD

[NOTE TO TECH: If the music is longer than 10 minutes, fade the volume down to silence when the timer stops. Then stop the music and stop the screen share. Go back to screen sharing the reading so the reader can go through the second half.]

[NOTE TO LEADER: Ask whoever was reading the instructions for two way prayer to complete them now]

Leader: Next is our time for sharing the guidance we received. I will read the instructions for sharing guidance, and then, we will divide into breakout rooms.

[NOTE TO LEADER AND TECH: If there are less than 8 people on the call, breakout rooms are not needed.]

[NOTE TO TECH: If there are 8 or more people on the call, set up breakout rooms while the leader continues to read the script.

  • Create enough rooms that there are 3-4 people per room.
  • Try to ensure every room has at least one person with enough experience to help newcomers and keep the sharing on track. You can set up the rooms automatically, but then may wish to move a couple of people around.
  • Then delete one room. Those people will remain in the main room with you.
  • Set a XX minute timer for the breakout rooms. Open them when the leader announces them below.]

Instruction for Breakout Rooms

During our small group sharing, those who have written Two-Way Prayer today and who wish to read from them are invited to do so. Please be mindful of your time in breakout sessions, so everyone has an opportunity to share.

Please share only what you have written during the “quiet time” without embellishment or explanation. This is called “two-way prayer.”

Before sharing, please test each thought using the Four Standards of HONESTY, PURITY, UNSELFISHNESS and LOVE to separate God thoughts from self-thoughts. Share only those thoughts that pass this test and that you feel comfortable sharing with other members of the group. If you haven’t written anything down, please pass.

While one member is sharing, we invite you to write down anything that is especially meaningful to you. When we receive guidance through another person or persons, we call this “three-way prayer” — the “Spirit of the Universe” speaking to us through others.

Unlike some 12 step groups, we do allow crosstalk during our meetings. If the person sharing their writing is open to feedback, the other listeners may want to share or comment briefly.

The intension of any discussion is not to analyze what the other person has written but to encourage, help to understand it, or, better still, to share briefly what the writing might mean for them.

Listeners are reminded that WE DO NOT INTERPRET ONE ANOTHER’S GUIDANCE. Please listen attentively and maintain the focus of any feedback on the person who is sharing their guidance.

Breakout Rooms

We will now divide out into breakout rooms. Most people will see an invitation to join a breakout room, while a few will remain here in the main room with [tech’s name]. Once you see the invitation, click “join” in order to enter the “room.”

Rooms are set for XX minutes, with a 1 minute leeway to wrap up and return to the main group.  Rooms are set to have a 3 person minimum for safety. The main room will remain open, and you are welcome to return at any time for any reason by clicking the blue “leave room” button.

[NOTE TO TECH: Open the breakout rooms now.]

[NOTE TO LEADER: Sharing happens in the breakout rooms. You can use this script in your breakout room. Leader script for the group as a whole resumes when everyone is back.]

Who would like to start?

SHARE “TWO-WAY PRAYER” First person shares guidance / members then share how they may relate to that / anyone is free to pass or to say that they do not wish to receive any feedback.

3-WAY PRAYER:

Did anyone hear something during the sharing session that he or she feels was directed toward them in addition to the person who shared it? If so, please tell the group what you heard. This is called “three-way prayer”—the “Spirit of the Universe” speaking to us through others. If this has happened to you, please raise your hand.

SHARE “THREE-WAY PRAYER: Have those who said “yes” share their examples of three-way prayer.

[NOTE TO TECH: If you and your group in the main room finish early and are ready for others to come back in advance of the XX minutes timer, you can broadcast a note saying everyone is welcome to return to the main room whenever they are ready. If everyone is back before the XX minutes are up, you can close the breakout rooms early.]

[NOTE TO LEADER: Read the closing section when everyone is back from the breakout rooms]

Return to the main group

Wrap Up

Welcome back everyone! Now is our time for sharing feedback: how was your experience in your room today? If you’re a familiar face, please give a few minutes for newcomers to share first.

PAUSE

Announcements

Our time is almost up. Are there any announcements?

We have a WhatsApp group. If you would like to join, please click the link in the chat box.

[NOTE TO TECH: Paste this into the chat box: 530am EST WhatsApp group: Link to this chat: https://chat.whatsapp.com/IJ1tu5qRdiE7KXW2GDrYrq

This meeting is one of several meetings that happen on this Zoom link. If you would like to stay in touch with our broader two-way prayer family, the Telegram group will be also included in the chat box.

[NOTE TO TECH: Paste this into the chat box: Broader Two Way Prayer Telegram group: https://t.me/joinchat/IBcIrDCsxl31sdTE]

If you would like a schedule of the other meetings that happen on this Zoom link at different times throughout the day, please click on the link in the chat box.

[NOTE TO TECH: Paste this into the chat box https://recoveredfrom.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/TWP-schedule-2021.04.09.pdf

Is there anyone here who did not get a chance to share or who has questions?

Thank you all for sharing and for the opportunity to lead the meeting. If you found it helpful, please come back tomorrow and bring a friend!

Closing Prayer

As we close this meeting, let’s all take a few deep breaths and close with the following prayer(s): ___________. I have chosen XXXXXXX and will ask (TECH) to please share it on the screen. You are welcome to unmute as you wish.

Suggestions for closing prayers:

Third Step Prayer: “God, I offer myself to Thee – to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt.  Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will.  Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always.” (AA BB: 63)

Seventh Step Prayer: “My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad.  I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows.  Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding.  Amen” (AA BB: 76)

Time for Fellowship

For the remaining time (xx minutes), the meeting for sharing your experience strength and hope on your recovery from your problems or behaviors.

[NOTE TO LEADER: The meeting ends here. Resources for further reading are below.]

OPTIONAL READINGS DEPENDING ON LEVEL OF EXPERIENCE OF THE GROUP.

Written Guidance & Western Meditation

Meditation, in the language of the Big Book – means concentrated thought, specifically about what happened over the previous 24 hours and what needs correcting and about what I am going to do over the next 24 hours.

Directions:

Choose a quiet place. Take this time to silently connect to God and feel His presence. Breathe naturally and be with what is.

Meditate or repeat an inspirational phase or word of your choice, which could include the serenity prayer, the 3rd step or 7th step prayers.

Take a moment to be grateful for all of the good that was done for you and for all of the blessings that you have received.

Create a positive visualization   — Imagine God’s Goodness, blessings, kindness, and compassion flowing into you like fresh water from a spring.

Set your intension by writing a question that you would like intuitive guidance on. OR, another way is to just set your intension is to ask: “God, please show me what I need to know so that I can be free from wrong motives and do Your will throughout the day.”

Listen to your thoughts and cultivate awareness. As thoughts come into your mind, write them down. Guidance can take the form of images, thoughts, feelings or inspiration.

Stop writing when the flow of thoughts slows down.

Examine what you have written down. What is the voice of addiction and what is the voice of recovery?

Test each thought using the 4 Standards to separate God thoughts from self-thoughts.

  • Are these thoughts completely honest, pure unselfish and loving?
  • Are these thoughts in line with our duties, to our family, to our country?
  • Are these thoughts in line with our understanding of the teachings found in our spiritual literature?

Discuss what you have written with another person.

Commit to acting on “God thoughts” and discard the “self-thoughts.

FOR ANYONE WHO WOULD LIKE TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE 4 ABSOLUTES, ADD A LINK TO THE CHART BELOW IN THE CHAT BOX.

For reference purposes, I find it easier to list and define the 4 Absolutes by using the chart below. Here is the link to more information posted on the blog.

4 Absolutes & the AA Big Book: God’s will vs Self- will
4 Absolutes

God’s will

AA BB

Self-will

Definition Question Application
Honesty Dishonesty Not deceiving others or ourselves in word, deed and thoughts Is it true or false? Am I being honest?
Purity OR

Forgiveness

Resentment Freedom from being controlled by our desires or our fears and insecurities. Before acting, reacting or making a decision: Is it right or wrong? Are my motives pure?
Unselfishness Selfishness A commitment to fairness and justice and a willingness to share.

Seeking what is right and true ahead of what I want in every situation.

How will this affect the other person? Am I acting unselfishly?

Is this self-serving or to serve others?

Other forms of selfishness include: self-importance, self-interest, self-pity, self-seeking, self-consciousness, self-indulgence, self-centeredness, self-sufficiency, self-will.
Love (Faith) Fear The feeling of affection, benevolence or devotion created through acts of selfless unconditional giving to another person according to one’s highest spiritual values. Love is a commitment to be forgiving, compassionate, responsible and accountable for our actions for the purpose of nurturing our own or another’s spiritual growth. Is it ugly (fear-based) or beautiful (faith-based)? Will this strengthen or weaken my spiritual life?

Am I seeking meaning, wholeness and purpose?

Other Resources:

You can also read How to Listen to God

How to Begin Practicing Quiet Time by Father Bill W.

how to practice 2WP Shira’s edits 2-12-21

HOW TO LISTEN TO GOD iofC version

This is my version of a guided meditation for 2 Way Prayer:

Written Guidance & Western Meditation

For some reason I am a big fan of this more detailed explanation of Step 10 & 11 because it includes room for the practice of 2 Way Prayer. Here it is without the How to Listen to God

Here is first format, that I wrote on 12/24/2020. I now have an updated long and shorter one. The one above is also slightly different. Here is the blog post as a pdf as of 1/3/2021.

I have also made a shorter format, without the additions for new members. It is also in a smaller font, so it is only 5 pages.

ES&F 2 Way Prayer Format 2-23-2021

As I go along, I seem to make more edits, so there may be slight changes or additions, in particular, I am adding more references and links.

If anyone has any suggestions, recommendations or objections, please let me know.

Please note: *If any of the original sources of the documents above believe that this is in violation of copyright, please contact me directly through the blog or by email at: emotionalsobriety2013@gmail.com

The goal of the blog and of this format is to be a resource for other people in 12 Step recovery and to carry the message of recovery for fun and for free. However, I do not want my altruistic spirit of generosity to violate other people’s copyrights or exceed the legal boundaries of fair use.

In love & service,

Shira

Please also check out this page on the blog for more information on 2 Way Prayer

Quotes from the AA Big Book are taken from the Original Manuscript but the page numbers refer to the 4th edition.

Here is the blog post as a pdf.

Here is the simplified format again, in smaller print, and without any pictures.