Higher Power


Science and Medicine
• Elwood Worcester, Samuel McComb, and Isador Henry Coriat
• The Emmanuel Movement

... they say that this change has not taken place through their own effort or volition but through the instrumentality of a higher power. We may call this suggestion, but I can hardly believe that the mere assurance of a human being can effect moral changes so stupendous ....

Higher Powers of Mind and Spirit
• Ralph Waldo Trine

... [One man] was helped ... by an early faith which with the passing of the years has ripened with him into a demonstrable conviction that there is a Spirit of Infinite Life back of all, working in love in and through the lives of all, and that in the degree that we realise it as the one Supreme Source of our lives, and when through desire and will, which is through the channel of our thoughts, we open our lives so that this Higher Power can work definitely in and through us, and then go about and do our daily work without fears or forebodings, the passing of the years sees only the highest good entering into our lives.

The Varieties Of Religious Experience: A Study In Human Nature
• William James

Believing that a higher power will take care of us in certain ways better than we can take care of ourselves, if we only genuinely throw ourselves upon it and consent to use it, it finds the belief, not only not impugned, but corroborated by its observation.

The Higher Power Prayer
Jenny B.

    Higher Power
    Here with me now
    Humbly I seek your grace.
    All in your care
    Your will be done
    Through me as it is through others.
    Give me today hope and courage
    To forgive all past transgressions
    As I surrender my fears and resentments.
    And strengthen me against temptation
    But free me to let go control.
    Fill my spirit with calm, and compassion, and clarity
    To carry to others.

A Few Words About The Higher Power Prayer...

The Higher Power Prayer is -
to pray to the god of your understanding -
to place your will in the care of your Higher Power -
to ask for guidance on the path to recovery -
to pray as an alternative to the Lord's Prayer -
to find strength and calm in the midst of fear.

The first line of the Higher Power Prayer may be substituted with your name for your god, such as Dear God, Divine Mother, Great Spirit, Heavenly Father, Holy One, Inward Light, O Goddess, Sacred Creator, Universal Essence.

The sounds, rhythms, and a few of the words of the Higher Power Prayer are intentionally a close match to those of the Lord's Prayer, so that people may join together in prayer, each one saying the prayer of their own choosing at the same time without disturbing one another.

The Higher Power Prayer is humbly offered as a gift to the community of people in recovery from alcoholism, addiction, and dysfunction; to their families and friends; and to all those seeking a nondenominational prayer for the god of their understanding.

Permission is granted for personal, not-for-profit use, meaning you may link to this website, and view, download, use, print, or display (including display on your website) a single copy of the Higher Power Prayer, for your personal, non-commercial use as long as it is not altered or edited in any way and an appropriate credit and copyright notice are included (i.e. Copyright © 2006 by Jenny B.).

Sober For Thirty Years
• by Jim Burwell
• A.A. Grapevine, November 1999

As noted in my story, “The Vicious Cycle,” in the Big Book, I came into the Fellowship in New York in January 1938. At that time A.A. was just leaving the Oxford Group. There was one closed discussion meeting a week, at Bill's home in Brooklyn, - attendance six or eight men, with only three members who had been sober more than one year: Bill, Hank, and Fitz. This is about all that had been accomplished in the four years with the New York Oxford Group. During those early meetings at Bill's, they were flying blind, with no creed or procedure to guide them, though they did use quite a few of the Oxford sayings and the Oxford Absolutes. Since both Bill and Dr. Bob had had almost-overnight experiences, it was taken for granted that all who followed would have the same sort of experience. So the early meetings were quite religious, in both New York and Akron. There was always a Bible on hand, and the concept of God was all biblical.

Into this fairly peaceful picture came I, their first self-proclaimed atheist, completely against all religions and conventions. I was the captain of my own ship. (The only trouble was, my ship was completely disabled and rudderless.) So naturally I started fighting nearly all the things Bill and the others stood for, especially religion, the “God bit.” But I did want to stay sober, and I did love the understanding Fellowship. So I became quite a problem to that early group, with my constant haranguing against all spiritual angles.

All of a sudden, the group became really worried. Here I had stayed sober five whole months while fighting everything the others stood for. I was now number four in “seniority.” I found out later they had a prayer meeting on “what to do with Jim.” The consensus seemed to have been that they hoped I would either leave town or get drunk.

That prayer must have been right on target, for I was suddenly taken drunk on a sales trip. This became the shock and the bottom I needed. At this time I was selling auto polish to jobbers for a company that Bill and Hank were sponsoring, and I was doing pretty well, too. But despite this, I was tired and completely isolated there in Boston. My fellow alcoholics really put the pressure on as I sobered up after four days of no relief, and for the first time I admitted I couldn't stay sober alone. My closed mind opened a bit. Those folks back in New York, the folks who believed, had stayed sober. And I hadn't. Since this episode I don't think I have ever argued with anyone else's beliefs. Who am I to say?

I finally crawled back to New York and was soon back into the fold. About this time, Bill and Hank were just beginning to write the A.A. Big Book. I do feel sure my experience was not in vain, for “God” was broadened to cover all types and creeds: “God as we understood Him.”

I feel my spiritual growth over these past thirty years has been very gradual and steady. I have no desire to “graduate” from A.A.. I try to keep my memories green by staying active in A.A. - a couple of meetings weekly.

For the new agnostic or atheist just coming in, I will try to give very briefly my milestones in recovery.

1. The first power I found greater than myself was John Barleycorn.
2. The A.A. Fellowship became my Higher Power for the first two years.
3. Gradually, I came to believe that God and Good were synonymous and were found in all of us.
4. And I found that by meditating and trying to tune in on my better self for guidance and answers, I became more comfortable and steady.

J.B., San Diego, California

Alcoholics Anonymous History
• by Dick B.

Historically, the phrase [higher power] comes from New Thought writers like Ralph Waldo Trine, William James, the Emmanuel Movement people [Episcopal priests, Elwood Worcester and Samuel McComb], and Emmet Fox.

Bill W.: My First 40 Years
• by Bill “Bill W.” Wilson

• But how were alcoholics, agnostics, atheists, and those of faith long ago destroyed—how were such people to find confidence in a God they thought nonexistent?... Provided that their personal hopelessness was great enough, an appeal to any higher power at all would bring results. They only needed to cry out in the dark for whomever or whatever might be there. No faith would be required.

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
• Alcoholics Anonymous

“Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”

... Having reduced us to a state of absolute helplessness, you now declare that none but a Higher Power can remove our obsession. Some of us won't believe in God, others can't, and still others who do believe that God exists have no faith whatever He will perform this miracle....

... Meditation is something which can always be further developed. It has no boundaries, either of width or height. Aided by such instruction and example as we can find, it is essentially an individual adventure, something which each one of us works out in his own way. But its object is always the same: to improve our conscious contact with God, with His grace, wisdom, and love. And let's always remember that meditation is in reality intensely practical. One of its first fruits is emotional balance. With it we can broaden and deepen the channel between ourselves and God as we understand Him.

Divine Unity
• World New Thought of the 21st Century

We teach that God can be called Divine Being, Being, Buddha Nature, Divine Presence, Great Spirit, Goddess, Holy Spirit, Brahma, Higher Power, Christ, Love... The name we use for the Higher Power in our lives is not as important as the belief in an ever present force for good. God is Good-all Good-and we are all created in the image of God-Good.

Say the Magic Word
• David Spero
• Diabetes Self-Management Blog

Meditation and/or focused breathing have been great healing practices for thousands of years. All you have to do is sit there and focus on one thing: your breathing, a candle, any beautiful object or living thing, or anything at all. Your mind will wander to thoughts of the day, but just let it go, then gently bring it back to your breath. More relaxing than sleep. Prayer can also be a powerful healer in this way, as you focus on your higher power or an object of devotion.

Hillary Rodrigues
• Yama and Niyama
• Mahavidya

... surrender does not refer to some kind of submission to the cosmos, but rather, the active giving of permission to oneself to be present in the universe; to be aware of, and part of a greater whole. It is the acceptance that there is a higher power which is not completely independent of the yogi. Lastly, it is the devotion of all action (and thought) to that higher power. Patanjali points out that practice of this niyama [Sanskrit for fixed rule] is necessary to achieve samadhi [Sanskrit for wholeness] ....

25 August Big Buddhā
• Home Page of the Denney family

Like all Pure Land sects the Jodo believe that to achieve enlightenment (the objective of Buddhism) a person must go to a higher power for aid. Those higher powers are Bodhisattvas, which are Buddhas that live in other universes. Amidabutsu is such a Bodhisattva.

What is the higher power of Buddhism?
• WikiAnswers

There is a higher power in Buddhism, it is represented differently by different schools.

Fundamentally in Buddhism we take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. The Buddha was a man who attained enlightenment and taught others. He was a teacher and his teachings are referred to as the Dharma. The Sangha are his students-monks and nuns-who have dedicated all of the energy in their life in order to preserve the teachings (Dharma) and make them available to future generations.

The Heavenly Lord of Supreme Oneness and Salvation from Misery
• The Daoist Encyclopedia

Daoist temples generally have a Hall of Supreme Oneness ... where a sculpture or image of the Heavenly Lord of Supreme Oneness is worshipped. He always appears as a Heavenly Lord riding on a lion. Only on the Festivals of the Three Origins, or during Yellow Register Rituals of Salvation, is the Heavenly Lord of Supreme Oneness and Salvation from Misery worshipped. Since the Song and Yuan dynasties, many Daoist rituals take the Heavenly Lord of Supreme Oneness and Salvation from Misery as the major divinity, such as the Precious Repentance for Salvation from the Blood Lake Hell Told by the Heavenly Lord of Supreme Oneness and Salvation from Misery ....