I was speaking to a newcomer at a meeting last week. After over 30 days of sobriety, he relapsed and drank again. This has been a recurring theme for him and to his consternation, God did not stop him form picking up the first drink. The man seemed very confused, and kept asking, “Why didn’t God stop me from using?” His complaint raises an important question: What does it mean to turn something over to God? When I say the Third Step prayer, does it absolve me of all obligation to resist temptation? What is the point of prayer if God is not entirely responsible? Turning my will and life over to the care of a higher power does not mean that I get to kick back. I must take responsibility for my actions. My Higher Power does not practice the steps for me. On the contrary, the purpose of the steps and taking right action is to come closer to this power that saved me from the depths of hell. God does not do for me what I can do for myself. Instead of praying for God to keep us clean, maybe we’d be better off if we prayed for the courage to do the work this program requires of us. If we keep trying to give a to Higher Power what is ours to do, it’s no wonder we keep going in and out of addiction’s revolving door. Let’s commit to doing our own Step work, instead of expecting God to do it for us.