Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Morning Quiet Time Practices of our A.A. Pioneers

The Morning Quiet Time Practices of our A.A. Pioneers by Dick B., February, 2008

© 2008 by Anonymous. All rights reserved.

When one hears about prayer and meditation in A.A., I immediately turn today to what the study of A.A. history has disclosed:

First, Dr. Bob boldly made the statement in Youngstown, Ohio that early AAs started their day with a study of the Book of James, 1 Corinthians 13, and the Sermon on the Mount. In his last major address, he said the oldtimers believed these three segments of the Good Book were absolutely essential. And I invite our fellowship people to open their Bibles--morning or not--and take the time to read these three segments. Not some commentary on them. Not some devotional that quotes them. The verses themselves. And I predict it will open your eyes to the simplicity, beauty, and power in early AA lives. See The James Club and the Original A.A. Program's Absolute Essentials by Dick B.

Second, Anne Smith gathered AAs and their families each morning at the Smith home at 855 Ardmore Avenue in Akron. There, she would open with prayer, read the Bible with the group, involve them in group prayer and seeking guidance, often share from her journal, conduct a discussion, and close with prayer. See The Akron Genesis of Alcoholics Anonymous and Anne Smith's Journal, 1933-1939 by Dick B.

Third, there was a practice long before A.A. In Christian Endeavor (to which Dr. Bob belonged) it was called the Quiet Hour. In the 1880's and in the Oxford Group thereafter it was called Quiet Time. In the YMCA and Shoemaker's early days, it was called the Morning Watch. Generally, it called for prayer, Bible study, reading of a devotional like the Upper Room or The Runner's Bible, and then asking God for guidance. That practice--whatever called--was a required part of the early A.A. program in Akron--a must. See Good Morning: Quiet Time, the Morning Watch, Meditation, and Early A.A. by Dick B.

Finally, as an example for all of us, Dr. Bob observed a period of prayer three times a day. He would pray, study a familiar Bible segment, ask God's guidance, and then--as he put it--go about his Father's business. See DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers and Pass It On.

All these observances led most of the early AAs to suggest that The James Club be the name for their fellowship. That, said Wilson, was because the Book of James was their favorite Bible book.

Perhaps knowledge of these practices will be of those looking for a way to turn to God each day the same way that the members of the early A.A. Christian Fellowship in Akron did.

God Bless, Dick B.

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