The older versions of the format are at the end of the post.
Here is a link to the current version as a PDF as of 11-5-2021.
Here is a link to program prayers page on the blog.
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
This is a Tenth and Eleventh Step Guidance Group focused on the practice of Two Way Prayer. We welcome any member of a 12 Step fellowship, regardless of race, creed, nationality, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or any other reason.
Welcome everyone! We are so grateful that you have joined us today.
Together, we are seeking to deepen our conscious contact with the God of our own understanding through an enhanced practice of the last 3 steps of the 12 step programs. 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 Two Way Prayer. Ultimately, this direct and personal experience of listening to our inner voice — “the still, small Voice” of calm that is within each of us, will enable us to be of maximum service to God, other people and ourselves.
[NOTE TO TECH: Post all of the links in the chat box. Please note newcomers for breakout rooms.]
The 4 Absolutes
The spiritual disciplines 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 motivated 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.
Assign Reader for the 4 Absolutes
LEADER: Who would like to read the 4 Absolutes?
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.
Leader: Thank you.
Optional: Assign Reader for Steps 10, 11 & 12
Who would like to read the Steps 10, 11 and 12 from the Original Manuscript?
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.
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.
In accordance with the Seventh Tradition, our group is self-supporting through our own contributions, neither soliciting nor accepting outside donations. The information will be placed in the chat box.
Tech: Please post this in the chat the 7th Tradition link via PayPal
Our meeting lasts for approximately one hour. As a group, we will individually practice writing Two 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.
Please have some paper and something to write with. Many of us come with a question or topic of concern to take to God for guidance today. Or, you may simply ask: “God, what is Your will for me today?” 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.
Who would like to read the pamphlet How to Listen to God?
Thank you ___________ for volunteering to read today. Please read the first 6 instructions before we stop to write our guidance. The rest of the pamphlet will be read after writing time is completed.
[NOTE TO TECH: open in a new tab and screen share it for the reader.]
READ FIRST HALF OF HOW TO LISTEN TO GOD up to the 6th point.
LEADER: We will now follow these directions and write together for 10 minutes. During Two Way Prayer, meditative music will be played in the background. 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. Feel free to continue writing longer if you still feel inspired to do so.
Start writing now.
[NOTE TO TECH: Show picture of 4 Absolutes and play music by clicking on screen share with sound. Alternatively, here is a link to a PowerPoint with a picture of the 4 Absolutes with the music embedded. Please note: it will automatically download to your computer, rather than open to a new tab.]
[NOTE TO TECH: At the end of writing time, stop the music and the screen share. Go back to screen sharing How to Listen to God so the reader can go through the second half.]
READER: After the music ends the leader will ask you to finish the reading:
Leader: Will _______ please continue to read the second half of How to Listen to God?
READ SECOND HALF OF HOW TO LISTEN TO GOD
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.
Before I begin, is there anyone here today who is new to Two Way prayer or new to this group? We want to welcome you! Please unmute and introduce yourself.
[NOTE TO LEADER AND TECH: If there are less than 8 people on the call, breakout rooms are not needed.]
[NOTE TO TECH: make note of newcomers so you can put them in a breakout room with people who have been here before. 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.
- No timer for the breakout rooms. People are reminded to return 5 minutes before the meeting ends. Open them when the leader announces them below.]
Instruction for Breakout Rooms
In the breakout rooms, those who want to share their Written Guidance today are invited to do so. Please be mindful of your time in the breakout sessions, so everyone has an opportunity to share.
Please share only what you have written during “Quiet Time” without embellishment or explanation.
Test your thoughts before sharing. Are they aligned with the criteria of the 4 Absolutes? Are they Honest, Pure, Unselfish and Loving? 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.
3 WAY PRAYER: While one member is sharing, we invite you to write down anything that is especially meaningful to you. Were there any particular words or phrases which resonated with you? What did you hear that you feel was directed towards you personally?
When we receive guidance through another person, we call this “three-way prayer” — the “Spirit of the Universe” speaking to us through others.
We invite you to comment briefly, if the person sharing requests feedback.
Listeners are reminded that WE DO NOT INTERPRET ONE ANOTHER’S GUIDANCE. The purpose of feedback is not to give advice. The purpose IS to share briefly what you heard that resonated with you.
We will now divide out into breakout rooms. We do not set a time limit for the breakout rooms. Instead, we ask group members to return to the main group 25 minutes after the hour for feedback, announcements and a closing prayer.
Rooms are set to have a 3-4 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. Once breakout rooms are assigned, select “Automatically move all assigned participants into breakout rooms.”]
[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.]
Optional script while in breakout room
Please provide feedback using first person statements such as: “The guidance that I received for myself through others today is ….”
After everyone who wants to has shared in the breakout rooms, time permitting, you may want to discuss general themes that came up, or what was most meaningful overall.
ALTERNATE 3 WAY PRAYER: Listeners share the guidance they received only after everyone has the opportunity to share what they wrote during “Quiet Time” first. Share only on any particular words or phrases which resonated with you and what you feel was directed towards you personally in addition to the person who shared it. (This can be useful in a larger group that does not have the option to divide out into breakout rooms.)
Return to the main group.
[NOTE TO LEADER: Read the closing section when everyone is back from the breakout rooms]
Welcome back everyone! If you are new to this meeting, we invite you to stay after the closing prayer for fellowship and answers to any questions you may have. Now is our time for sharing feedback: how was your experience in your room today?
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.
Resources for our group:
[NOTE TO TECH: Paste into the chat box the link for the 530am EST WhatsApp group. This link is not posted on the blog for security.]
We are one of many two-way prayer groups that meet throughout the day. 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]
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!
As we close this meeting, let’s all take a few deep breaths and close with prayer.
[Note to tech: please share closing prayer of leader’s choice on screen. There is also the option to use the slideshow of the pictures]
Here is the link to view the prayer page on the blog.
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)
[Note to Tech: Other Program Prayers if you want to copy and paste into the chat box]
Step 11 Prayer
Lord, make me a channel of thy peace — that where there is hatred, I may bring love — that where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness — that where there is discord, I may bring harmony — that where there is error, I may bring truth — that where there is doubt, I may bring faith — that where there is despair, I may bring hope — that where there are shadows, I may bring light — that where there is sadness, I may bring joy.
Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort, than to be comforted — to understand, than to be understood — to love, than to be loved. For it is by self-forgetting that one finds. It is by forgiving that one is forgiven. It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life. (AA 12 &12; 99:3)
Eleventh Step Prayer
Higher Power, as I understand You,
I pray to keep my connection with You
Open and clear from the confusion of daily life.
Through my prayers and meditation I ask especially for
Freedom from self-will, rationalization, and wishful thinking.
I pray for the guidance of correct thought and positive action.
Your will Higher Power, not mine, be done.
My Twelfth Step Prayer
God, allow my words, thoughts and deeds to reflect Your will. Grant me the Compassion and Strength to help the suffering, the Resources to fill their needs, and the Courage, Insight and Wisdom to guide them until they may walk with You on their own. Let me never lose sight that I was once in need and I am by Your Grace enjoying the fruits of my sobriety. Let my life be my gift to You for the many blessings You have given me. Amen. (Bill L., 1999)
Thank You, dear God, for another day,
The chance to live in a decent way,
To feel again the joy of living
and happiness that comes from giving.
Thank You for friends who can understand
and the peace that flows from Your loving hand.
Help me to wake with the morning sun,
With the prayer today, “Thy will be done.”
For with Your help I will find the way.
Thank You again, dear God, for AA.
Optional: Time for Fellowship
[NOTE TO LEADER: The meeting ends here. Resources for further reading are below.]
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.
Not deceiving others or ourselves in word, deed and thoughts
Is it true or false?
Am I being honest?
Purity/Forgiveness or Compassion
Freedom from being controlled by our desires or our fears and insecurities.
Is it right or wrong?
Are my motives pure/compassionate? Do I have ulterior motives?
A commitment to fairness and justice and a willingness to share.
How will this action affect others?
Is this self-serving or to serve others?
The feeling of affection, benevolence or devotion created through acts of selfless unconditional giving to another person according to one’s highest spiritual values.
Is it ugly (fear-based) or beautiful (faith-based)?
Does this action create peace, harmony and balance?
How to Listen to God
You can also read How to Listen to God
How to Begin Practicing Quiet Time by Father Bill W.
Shira’s guided meditation for 2 Way Prayer:
Here are 3 versions of all the program prayers I could think of. This is a link for a more compact version that is only 5 pages. This is a PDF that is less compact and 12 pages. This is the list as a word doc, in case anyone wants to edit it and add additional prayers of their choice.
Step 10 & 11
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: email@example.com
Older formats. This format is a work in progress. Below are links to the various versions just for my personal use.
Here is a link to the 6/27/2021 version as a PDF
Here is a link to the 7/11/2021 version as a PDF
Here is a link to the 6-16-21 version of the format as a PDF
Here is a link to the current version as a PDF as of 9-3-2021.