Steps 6 & 7

adapted from CoDA’s “12 Steps Handbook”

The message is clear – get ready to change…

Step 6: “Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.”
What does it mean to be entirely ready? In CoDA, we learn that it means completely prepared. The first five steps are a large part of that preparation. What we need now is willingness.

What are our defects? Some of us turn to the Recovery Patterns of Codependence to answer this. We see behaviors and old beliefs that we developed to avoid pain. Through this process, we come to recognize that all of our character defects are products of our self-will. Many of them may be things that helped us survive in our dysfunctional relationships. Self-righteousness replaced low self-esteem. Resentment protected us from invasion. Fear kept us on alert for things that might hurt us. But like an old cocoon that clings to a butterfly’s wing, we come to see how these old patterns are holding us back from living. We become willing to let them go.


In this moment, I am entirely ready to be freed of all my shortcomings. In this moment, I am ready to surrender these defects of character to God, knowing that the power of willingness to heal is great. Each new Step I take in my recovery, no matter how small it may appear, is an affirmation of my wholeness.

Step Six Prayer

Step 7: “Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.”
True humility allows us to see things as they truly are. After doing the work of the previous steps, we now get to ask something of God. We don’t beg or demand but rather humbly ask that our Higher Power remove the things that block us from our peace and happiness. We trust God’s timing. We can take this step with a sponsor or recovery friend. A prayer like the Serenity Prayer may be helpful. We can make contact with the God of our understanding and without pride or expectation, ask for our shortcomings to be removed.

If we find we are still clinging to a behavior or belief, we can go back to Step 6 and try again to ask for the willingness to let it go. Notice the line in the prayer below… “relieving me of the burden of my past”. We come to understand that hanging on to these old ways of behaving, while they may have served us in the past, is no longer helping us. Like a child’s life preserver that no longer fits, we can put them aside. With the help of God, we are learning to swim!

In this moment, I ask my Higher Power to, remove all of my shortcomings,
relieving me of the burden of my past. In this moment, I place my hand
in God’s, trusting that the void I experience is being filled with my
Higher Power’s unconditional love for me and those in my life.

Step Seven Prayer

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