The twelve steps of alcoholics anonymous with corresponding scriptures

These Steps work for any addiction or compulsion! Simply replace the work “alcohol” with your own presenting problem. Study of these Steps is essential to progress in this program. The principles they embody are universal, applicable to everyone whatever his/her personal creed. We strive for an ever deeper understanding of these Steps and pray for God’s wisdom to apply them to our lives.

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol-that our lives had become unmanageable. “We felt we were doomed to die and say how POWERLESS we were to help ourselves; but that was good, for then we put everything into the hands of God, who alone could save us.” II Corinthians 1:9
  2. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. “A man is a fool to trust himself! But those who use God’s wisdom are safe.” Proverbs 28:26
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him. “Trust in the Lord completely; don’t’ ever trust yourself. In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.” Proverbs 3:5-6
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. “Let us examine ourselves and repent and turn again to the Lord. Let us lift our hearts and our hands to Him in heaven.” Lamentations 3:40-41
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. “Admit your faults to one another and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” James 5:16
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. “So give yourselves humbly to God… then, when you realize your worthlessness before the Lord, He will lift you up, encourage and help you.” James 4:7-10
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings. “But if we confess our sins to Him, He can be depended on to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.” I John 1:9
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all. “If you are standing before the altar…and suddenly remember that a friend has something against you, leave your sacrifice there and go and be reconciled…and then come an offer your sacrifice to God.” Matthew 5:23-24
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. “You can pray for anything, and if you believe, you have it; it’s yours? But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive you your sins too.” Mark 11:24-25
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it. “But how can I ever know what sins are lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. And keep me from deliberate wrongs; help me to stop doing them. Only then can I be set free of guilt.” Psalm 19:12
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out. “If you want better insight and discernment, and are searching for them as you would for lost money or hidden treasure, then wisdom will be given you, and knowledge of God Himself, you will soon learn the importance of reverence for the Lord and of trusting Him.” Proverbs 2:3-5
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs. “Quietly trust yourself to Christ your Lord and if anybody asks why you believe as you do, be ready to tell him, and do it in a gentle and respectful way.” I Peter 3:15

The Twelve Steps are reprinted and adapted with Permission of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. Permission to reprint and adapt the Twelve steps does not mean that AA is affiliated with Overcomers Outreach. AA is a program of recovery from alcoholism—use of the Twelve Steps in connection with programs and activities which are patterned after AA, but which address other problems, does not imply otherwise.