Jun 18

Ready and Humble

Steps Six and Seven are often lumped together in recovery literature for good reason but it’s important to remember that they are still two very distinctly separate steps.  We must find the readiness of the Sixth Step to truly humble ourselves in the Seventh.

“Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.”  ~ Step Six

These two steps are meant to immediately follow the Fifth.  The instructions are stated very simply in first two paragraphs on page 76 of the Big Book.  Step Six is again a matter of willingness.  Once we have gone over our inventory thoroughly and admitted our defects of character we ask ourselves these questions:

  • Am I willing to let God remove them?
  • Do I believe that the God of my understanding can take them all? Every single one?
  • Am I entirely ready?

If the answer to any of those questions is no we pray for our Higher Power’s help in making us ready and willing. Readiness does not imply a need for perfect understanding.  This step is really an extension of the Third Step.  We are releasing our controlling nature and allowing God to do the work in and through us now.  We don’t need to concern ourselves with how and when our defects will be lifted.  Our part is simple and to the point.  Do I want God to remove them?  Do I trust that God can remove them?  Am I ready?  The willingness will surely come if we ask for it and we move forward to Step Seven with everything we are ready to let go of at this time.

“Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.”  ~ Step Seven

The Seventh Step is even more straightforward.  It is a prayer.  This step does not have to be a onetime event.  If there are still some shortcomings you find hard to release continue to pray about them.  When defects and shortcomings come to your attention in the future say the prayer again.  Some form of the Seventh Step Prayer is often used on a daily basis as a reminder to humble ourselves and let God be God.  Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to prepare:

  • What does it mean to humbly ask?
  • How does humility affect my recovery?
  • How does this step affirm the working of the first three steps?
  • What are the benefits of letting my Higher Power take care of my defects and shortcomings?

When we are ready we pray the 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.’” ~ Seventh Step Prayer

Now we allow God to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.  We have asked for guidance in all things and we know that it will come.


“That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.”  ~ Promise Six

“We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.”  ~ Promise Seven

Recommended Reading:

The AA Big Book and Guide for Working the Twelve Steps are recommended reading for anyone in recovery of any kind, not only because they were the first but also for their inspirational and direct content. Two great resources for those working the Steps for codependency are also included here. More books on 12 Step Work from other fellowships and programs can be found in the “Steps” drop down list under “Programs and Literature.”

Featured image for this page taken from Hazelden 12 Step Pamphlet Collection – The Complete 12 Step Collection used by patients in recovery centers throughout the nation, these easy-to-read editions are a sure way to gain a basic, and yet thorough, understanding of the significance of each Step. Pamphlets are available individually or in a money-saving full collection.

Recommended Links:

The questions above are fairly generalized in order to apply to a variety of conditions. The basics are the same but if you are working the Steps specifically for drug/alcohol abuse or codependency the following links may help you to explore further. There are many other formats and workbooks available through a simple web search.

12 Step Worksheets

CoDA 12 Step Worksheets

Barefoot’s Intro to Working the Steps



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