God of my redemption,
There was a time in my life when I believed I could live without You, that I didn’t need You; now, I’m so glad to recognise my life was unmanageable without You. This was my first step to life in You.
It was at that time that I came to more fully recognise that You really did exist, that You are the essence of power for life, and that Yours was the power that I truly needed. This was my second step back to You.
Finally, having come to the precipice, having become sick and tired of being sick and tired, I gave my will and my life into Your care, to follow You, Jesus, every day and every moment of the remaining days of my life. This was my third step as I accepted Your offer of redemption.
But as soon as I took that third step, I knew there were more. I came immediately upon a crisis. Having lived so far apart from You for so long, I sensed I was so far from Your will. Convicted by Your Spirit, I was compelled to undertake a fearless moral inventory — a full search history of the sins I’d committed. This was not easy, but it was my fourth step, foundational in following You.
Having taken that fourth step, having invited Your Holy Spirit to illuminate my greed, pride, anger, sloth, envy, lust and gluttony, I did sense an enormous struggle, but also an incredible amount of relief, as I genuinely faced the truth in my life. In following You through this step, my fifth step to life, I showed You that I was indeed following You, Jesus. It was in doing this step that You showed me what You’re most interested in for me, personally. But I was not complete in doing this step until I was able to admit the exact nature of my wrongs to You and to another human being — a wise mentor — that I trusted.
It was in doing this fifth step, Lord, that You endeared to me Your presence and Your pleasure. I was on the journey of letting go of that past, to embrace a future that I hoped for. It was my sixth step on the journey of following You.
I hammered a stake into the ground, my Lord. I had come too far to go back now. I genuinely prayed at that moment for You to relieve me of these sins. And by the mystery of Your spirit, You washed me clean of these marks. It was my seventh step, and in many ways, it was a step of completion of the inner work You were doing in reforming my heart.
Then You compelled me, once again, and forged within me the desire to get practical. Again, I got out writing materials and began a list of all the people I had wronged. Something deep inside me seriously wanted to make amends to all I’d harmed. This eighth step was enormously empowering.
In making amends to all those I could still reach, without hurting a single one or anyone else, You gave me new life, Glorious God, as one conversation after another I was able clear the debt, freeing them and I of the shards of bitterness that had previously constrained us. This ninth step was the gospel of love and peace in action.
Suddenly I found myself in a place in life where recovery met maintenance. Being well fearful of backsliding, I decided to continue following Jesus, and continued to take inventory. The key to this tenth step was to remain humble enough to admit when I was wrong. Every. Single. Time. Insight and Awareness were to become Your Guides. Although this wasn’t easy, God, You showed me I could do it, one courageous moment at a time, even as I poured contempt on my pride each time.
It was when I arrived at this eleventh step that You showed me how I was to pray from now on. You showed me, my Eternal Guide, that I was to seek to improve my conscious contact with You, to learn how to be led by Your Spirit, and how I was to know Your will. You convinced me that my prayer from now on was to simply attain the knowledge of Your will, and to beseech You for the power to carry it out, knowing that You would give it as I asked.
The twelfth step became obvious at this point; You wanted me to keep abiding in these steps and to carry the message of this program of spiritual renaissance to all who are in need.
I thank You for these steps, Lord. Without them, I could not have experienced Your life.
In thankfulness to Jesus for his love, power and presence in my life, through the Holy Spirit, I pray,