“The power of this step is in the asking, not in the result. Asking is a very powerful act—it expresses a deepening surrender on our part.”
Sex Addicts Anonymous, page 44
I have helped many sponsees work Step Seven. I ask them to write their own Seventh Step prayer. Nearly every time, they write a beautiful prayer that leaves out one important part—the asking. They are always shocked when I point out that they forgot to ask God to remove their shortcomings. Sometimes they write it again, and again forget to ask.
In the past, I have asked God to help me get rid of my defects of character, or I have hinted around by describing the great pain and suffering my shortcomings are causing, but I would never simply ask my Higher Power to remove them.
Now, when I remember, I simply ask God to remove my character defects and trust that it will happen, perhaps while I am asleep. Picturing it this way allows me to leave myself and my power out of it. Remembering that the removal is God’s action, not mine, also helps me be more willing for my Higher Power to do so.
Why is the asking so difficult and so powerful? Perhaps because it expresses a deepening surrender on my part. Because I tend to take things back, I usually have to ask more than once. So what is my part? What do I do after asking God to remove my shortcomings? I surrender the outcome by moving on to Step Eight.
Today I will simply ask. Nothing more, nothing less.