He [an alcoholic] must have devotions every morning–a "quiet time" of prayer and some reading from the Bible and other religious literature. Unless this is faithfully followed, there is grave danger of backsliding (From the report of Rockefeller’s investigator Frank Amos, published in DR. BOB and the Good Oldtimers, p. 131).
The A.A. members of that time did not consider meetings necessary to maintain sobriety. They were simply "desirable." Morning devotion and "quiet time," however, were musts (DR.BOB, supra, p. 136).
Daily Quiet Time. This cannot be emphasized too much. Not a day should be missed. The early morning hours are best. It may be that more than one quiet time will be needed during the day. Whenever need arises one should stop and pray and listen. The method of holding quiet time varies some with each individual. All include prayer and Bible reading and study and patient listening to God (Quoted from Anne Smith’s Journal: Dick B., Anne Smith’s Journal, 1933-1939, 3rd ed., p. 61; see also Dick B., Good Morning! Quiet Time, Morning Watch,Meditation, and Early A.A., 2d ed, pp. 6-9).
At that time [when "Dad and Mom and Bill were working out the program"] I [Dr. Bob’s daughter Sue] was getting involved with the quiet times they had in the morning. The guys would come, and Mom would have quiet time with them. There was a cookie salesman and he’d bring the stale cookies over, and we’d take up a collection for three pounds of coffee for 29 cents. They’d have their quiet time, which is a holdover from the Oxford Group, where they read the Bible, prayed and listened, and got guidance. Then they’d have coffee and cookies. This was early in the morning, when the sky was starting to get light. Sometimes they’d get us out of bed to do this (Bob Smith and Sue Smith Windows, Children of the Healer, pp. 43-44; Dick B., Anne Smith’s Journal, supra, p. 54).
Sue also remembered the quiet time in the mornings–how they sat around reading the Bible. Later, they also used The Upper Room, a Methodist publication that provided a daily inspirational message, interdenominational in its approach. "Then somebody said a prayer," she recalled. "After that, we were supposed to say one to ourselves. Then we’d be quiet. Finally, everybody would share what they got or didn’t get. This lasted for at least a half hour and sometimes went as long as an hour" (DR. BOB, supra, pp. 71-72; Dick B., The Akron Genesis of Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 204-08).
[John R., Akron pioneer, remembered] Before one of these meetings [at DR. Bob’s home in the morning], Anne used to pull out a little book [her journal] and quote from it. We would discuss it. Then we would see what Anne would suggest from it for our discussion (Dick B., The Akron Genesis of A.A., supra, p. 110; Anne Smith’s Journal, supra, p. 56)