In the early A.A. days, the days of the Alcoholics Anonymous Christian Fellowship that Bill W. and Dr. Bob founded in June of 1935, morning quiet time, the use of daily devotionals, and looking to God for guidance were required. These were the Christian A.A. days. Basic solutions to the problems of A.A. members were drawn from the Bible. And morning quiet time—Bible study, prayer, seeking God’s guidance, discussion, and the use of devotionals—was the tool used to get in touch with God, thank Him, ask Him, and believe Him.
The Runner’s Bible: Spiritual Guidance for People On the Run by Nora Smith Holm was tops on the list.1 It is mentioned frequently by early AAs. It was circulated by Dr. Bob. And Dr. Bob’s son Smitty told me that his father frequently used this in his thrice-daily prayer time.
I have read this devotional many times, and found it to be a very appealing way to relate to “old school” A.A. and the days when the Alcoholics Anonymous pioneers spent substantial time each day, not only studying the Bible, but also using Bible devotionals in their quiet times.
The value of this book is not particularly the brief, sprinkled comments here and there but rather the suggestions from the chapter titles of the verses which make plain what God can do for those who seek Him. The little prayer book is a concordance of sorts which enabled AAs to define their problem, find the topical solution, and then study the verses about how to be delivered.
Here is a list of the chapter headings—accompanied by more than 1000 Bible verses and brief commentaries on life issues:
“In the Morning Will I Order My Prayer To Thee”
The Godhead; God the Father; The Christ of God
Him That Filleth All In All: The Holy Spirit, man’s very life.
His Image and Likeness
Walk in Love
In Everything Give Thanks
Fear Not, Only Believe
Get Wisdom, Get Understanding
Ask And Ye Shall Receive
He That Is The Greatest Among You Shall Be Your Servant
Forgive and Ye Shall Be Forgiven
Be of Good Cheer, Thy Sins Be Forgiven Thee
I Will Help Thee
Behold, I Will Heal Thee
For Thine Is The Power
The Lord Shall Guide Thee Continually
Thou Shalt Walk In Thy Way Safely
All Things Are Yours
Peace Be Unto You
Happy Shalt Thou Be
The Lord Will Lighten My Darkness
1. The Runner’s Bible: Spiritual Guidance for People On the Run, Compiled and annotated by Nora Holm (Lakewood, CO: I-Level Acropolis Books, Publisher, 1998). This book was first published decades ago as a classic “prayer” Bible for those seeking guidance from Scripture. It was compiled and annotated by Nora Smith Holm for her “on the run” daughter in 1910. There have been over printings of the book, and it is again available in bookstores.