Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
The big book of Alcoholics Anonymous describes step seven as follows:
When ready, we say something like this: "My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding. Amen." We have then completed Step Seven. Pg 76
Step seven is a prayer like the third step. The difference is that this is not a beginning, it is a continuation! I have begun to see the things in my past that have blocked me from God and are not pleasing to Him. I am now asking Him to take the good and bad in me and use them as an asset in doing His bidding. I am also asking God to remove the things blocking me from Him so I might live my life in accordance with His will, and give me the strength to do what He would have me do.
Let's take a closer look at what is called the seventh step prayer:
"My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. Pg76 We all Have some good qualities in us, gifts that God has given to us. These may have been evident in some small ways in the past, but we have not even begun to tap into these powers yet. We also have the bad qualities or human qualities created by my dependence on my own judgements. The way that we have lived our lives up to now. This past will, at times, become my biggest asset.I am telling God that I am ready for Him to have all of me good and bad.
I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Pg 76 I now am asking God to remove these defects from me so that I can be of help to others. That God might use me to show others how to obtain His mercy and grace. I can't be patient, loving and kind toward others if I am hurting them through my character defects, selfish behavior that I have just become aware of through steps four and five.
Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding. Amen." Pg 76 I am now living my life as few people are trying to do. As I go out to try and be of help to others and live my life according to God's will, it is not always going to be easy. Most of the world is caught up in the way I was living. I am going to have to have God's care and protection as I go out to do His bidding. I am asking God to give me strength and courage as I do His will to the best of my ability.
So in step seven what God is really doing is giving me the ability to see what each situation that I face in life is all about.What He is taking away from me is the inability to react sanely and normally: And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone - even alcohol. For by this time sanity will have returned. Pg 84
He has already begun to mold me by opening my eyes through my past experiences, how similar situations could have been handled differently. How I could have used His power to add stability to, or help calm senarios in my past and be of real help to others: Were we kind and loving toward all? What could we have done better? Were we thinking of ourselves most of the time? Or were we thinking of what we could do for others, of what we could pack into the stream of life? Pg 86
God is not taking away my character defects, what He is doing by removing them is allowing me to see the chance to direct my will differently in any given situation: Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God's will into all of our activities. "How can I best serve Thee - Thy will (not mine) be done." These are thoughts which must go with us constantly. We can exercise our will power along this line all we wish. It is the proper use of the will. Pg85
My character defects or selfish behavior is still going to manifest and show itself in different ways. What God is doing is giving me an oppurtunity to see and put aside my selfish behavior so I might be helpful, instead of the same old outcome that was self-centered in most of my past experiences. I still have to put out the effort and exercise my will in each situation: Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon. Pg 59
In each situation that I face each day I stand at the turning point. My will or God's will. Although I will sometimes fail and fall short I strive for perfection in order to grow. Step seven is a prayer that, (like the third step prayer), has no power unless I truly see the need for God's help. That coupled with my sincere petition to God is when He gives me the Power that I am asking for. His Power for His glory.
If I have completed step seven then I am ready to take a look at step eight.