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Celebrate Recovery Lesson 2: Powerless (Free Study Guide)

A crucial part of recovery happens in Celebrate Recovery Lesson 2 Powerless because you learn that you are not alone on this journey toward recovery. Once you learn that you are not in control of everything, you can move forward on your road to recovery.

If you feel distant from God or lack the motivation to trust Him with your life, try reading the Bible more (listening to what God wants to tell you) and praying consistently (talking to God). This kind of communication is essential in making positive steps toward recovery.

Celebrate Recovery lesson two is a necessary lesson because it allows you to put your faith in the Lord – the key to ending worry, anxiety, and many of your fears!

As it corresponds with Step 1 from Alcoholics Anonymous and Celebrate Recovery, it also goes with Celebrate Recovery’s principle 1.

Read Celebrate Recovery Lesson 1 – Denial before reading this article so that you can do everything in order. Describe how you have stepped out of denial when you start this lesson.

To join in this lesson, you don’t have to be a part of any group ahead of time. This is meant for anyone with hurts, habits, and hangups.

You don’t need specific knowledge or experience to get started today! This is the second lesson, and you really don’t even need the book. It’s a smart idea to have a pen and notepad to write down your answers to the questions in this article and those found in the free study guide that goes with this lesson.

Get started on your road to recovery today to reap the many benefits of Celebrate Recovery!

What is Celebrate Recovery Lesson 2: Powerless?

Celebrate Recovery principle 1 is to Realize I’m not God. I admit that I am powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong thing and that my life is unmanageable. Step 1, which corresponds to this principle, says: We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and compulsive behaviors, that our lives had become unmanageable.

Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor. – Matthew 5:3

I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. – Romans 7:18

LessonPrincipleStepBible Verses
211Matthew 5:3; Romans 7:18

Celebrate Recovery uses many acronyms, so with lesson 2, we use the acronym for POWERLESS, which spells out the things that may be preventing you from gaining true serenity. This comes straight from Celebrate Recovery lesson two.

  • Pride
  • Only Ifs
  • Worry
  • Escape
  • Resentments
  • Loneliness
  • Emptiness
  • Selfishness
  • Separation

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Celebrate Recovery Lesson 2: Powerless (Free Study Guide)

What Does “Celebrate Recovery Lesson 2” Mean?

As mentioned in the previous lesson, the recovery program, Celebrate Recovery has step studies, which are like Bible studies. In a step study, you meet with a group of similar individuals for an extended period of time.

Celebrate Recovery is a 12-step, Christ-centered recovery program for anyone who has hurts, habits, or hang-ups. And the truth is, we all have those! Whether you’ve had problems with drugs or alcohol or just need some support and encouragement in your life, CR is the place for you.

The lessons that will be discussed in these articles about Celebrate Recovery are from John Baker’s Celebrate Recovery Participant’s Guide. The first 6 lessons come from Stepping Out of Denial into God’s Grace: Participant’s Guide 1. When you first join a step study, you can buy the guide from your group leader.

The Celebrate Recovery leader guide might be slightly different from the participant’s guide, but both were made by Rick Warren and John Baker as part of the CR curriculum. The curriculum is based on the Beatitudes, so when you learn about the Celebrate Recovery 8 principles, you will reference those scriptures in the New Testament.

What Does Powerless Mean?

Powerless means we lack the power to prevent something from happening. When we are powerless, we tend to obsess over the thing we are trying to control but can’t. For example, an alcoholic who is powerless over his or her desire for a drink may obsess over having one more drink.

When we obsess over something, we have a persistent idea, emotions, desire, or feeling that we can’t seem to get rid of. Because of our obsession, doing the right thing or making the right choice is nearly impossible.

What Can We Do About Powerlessness?

Once you understand powerlessness, you realize that there is nothing you can do because you have no control over your obsessiveness. However, there IS something you can do. You have the ability to turn to God and let Him do what you are unable to!

So, how can you do this?

  1. Accept that you are powerless.
  2. Be willing to ask for God’s intervention.
  3. Make your relationship with God your number one priority.
  4. Serve and love others.

Now that you understand your problem and what you have power over and what you don’t, you can accept your situation and turn to God for help!

Celebrate Recovery Lesson Two Highlights

Lesson 2 Notes

So, you have now taken the first step by coming out of denial and into reality, where you can clearly see what you do have control over and what you do not have control over. You’ve probably heard the Celebrate Recovery Serenity Prayer, which asks God to help us recognize what we can and cannot control and to give us the power to see the difference.

Now is the time to admit you are powerless over the things that rob you of the serenity you are so desperately seeking. Let’s look at what can stand in our way of admitting we are powerless to control our tendency to do the wrong thing.

I encourage you to discuss these things and how they affect you in your small group, step study, or in a notebook if you choose to keep one. Just get it all out on paper!

Celebrate Recovery Lesson 2: Powerless (Free Study Guide)

1. Pride prevents us from admitting our problems.

When we mix pride with our lack of understanding in the situation and the power we have to control our mind and body, we create a deadly mixture. We control how we respond to certain situations and how we react, and when we don’t understand something, we often lash out and behave poorly.

Doesn’t it feel better to just trust God with the things we cannot control and the things we do not understand instead of filling ourselves with worry and anxiety?

2. Unrealistic expectations or fantasyland keep us trapped.

If you focus on the past and decisions or actions you could have taken, you won’t be able to see what is right in front of you. The key to doing this is practicing mindfulness. With mindfulness, you stay in the present moment. You don’t think about “what could have been” or “if only.”

Take the present moment to focus on your relationship with God. Go to Bible studies, read your Bible, trust Him, and believe that His plan for your life is better than yours. There is a meaning for His timing of things.

3. Worrying too much prevents us from trusting God.

Let go of the worries that are weighing heavy on your heart and mind. Instead, turn your cares and concerns over to the Lord. He is always there, ready to listen to what you have to say. Trust His plan for your life.

If you feel uneasy or uncertain of His plan for your life, you should pray more, tell Him of your concerns, and trust Him to take the reins in your life. Prayer is how we talk to God, how we communicate with Him, and how we can let go of worry and anxiety. Make sure prayer is a big part of your life!

If you aren’t sure what God is saying back to you, it’s time to break out the Bible. Bible reading and study can show your heart what God is communicating back to you. His word is how we hear what He wants us to know.

4. Resentments make us stuck.

It’s easy to stay mad at people. It’s simple to keep resenting things, people, circumstances, and the way we feel inside. What isn’t easy is letting go of those resentments and learning to be happy.

Forgive easily, just as you are forgiven by God. Allow resentments to fest and grow, and they will multiply like cancer cells!

5. Loneliness can prevent us from moving forward.

Instead of having a cold shoulder toward others, learn to love others and build relationships up through forgiveness, understanding, and compassion.

You need connections with other people to get past your troubles. God encourages us to lean on one another for support and encouragement.

With Jesus by your side, you never have to be alone again. Welcome Him into your heart so that you can be forever blessed with Him by your side. If you permit empty feelings and loneliness to grow inside of you, you will begin to feel hopeless.

If you feel hopeless, you need to reach out to your Celebrate Recovery group! Those friends are there to support and lift you up!

6. Selfishness and separation stop us from growing with God.

It’s easy to be selfish. When we pray, we often just ask for help or ask for things of this world. We forget to thank the Lord for all the blessings He has given us. Make sure your prayer life is balanced with gratitude and requests.

Also, don’t forget that He is always there for you. You are not alone in this world. The Holy Spirit is always with you. You just need to have faith and know that God has your back.

Lesson 2 Questions

  • In what ways has your pride stopped you from asking for help and stopped you from getting the help you need to overcome your hurts, hang-ups, and habits?
  • What, in your past, has caused you to have the “if only” statements?
  • What are you worried about that you should let God control?
  • In what ways have you tried to escape your past pain?
  • How has holding onto your anger and resentment affected you?
  • Do you think that loneliness is a choice?
  • How has your denial isolated you from important relationships?
  • What is the emptiness you have felt, and what does it feel like?
  • What are some new ways you are finding to fill that emptiness?
  • In what areas of your life have you been selfish?
  • What can you do to get closer to God?

More Helpful Celebrate Recovery Resources

Celebrate Recovery Lesson 2 Scriptures

You can’t heal a wound by saying it’s not there! – Jeremiah 6:14

If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done. – Ecclesiastes 11:4

My heart is troubled and restless. Waves of affliction have come upon me. – Job 30:27

Before every man, there lies a wide and pleasant road that seems right but ends in death. – Proverbs 14:12

My good days are in the past. My hopes have disappeared. My heart’s desires are broken. – Job 17:11

I am worn out with pain; every night, my pillow is wet with tears. My eyes are growing old and dim with grief because of all my enemies. – Psalm 6:6-7

We felt we were doomed to die and saw how powerless we were to help ourselves. – 2 Corinthians 1:9

I don’t understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I can’t. I do what I don’t want to—what I hate. I know perfectly well that what I am doing is wrong, and my bad conscience proves that I agree with these laws I am breaking. But I can’t help myself because I’m no longer doing it. It is sin inside me that is stronger than I am that makes me do these evil things. – Romans 7:15-17

These verses came from The Living Bible and the Celebrate Recovery Study Guide.

A CR Video – Celebrate Recovery Lesson 2: Powerless

In this video, brought to us by Sandton Bible Church in South Africa, they discuss lesson two on powerlessness.

He brings up four great points: Stop denying the pain you are in; stop playing God; start admitting your powerlessness; start admitting your life has become unmanageable. Once you can do those things, you have successfully completed lesson two.

Free Recovery Lesson 2 Study Guide

There is a free Recovery Lesson Two Study Guide in my shop. This is NOT a Celebrate Recovery official study guide; it’s one I created to go along with the topics mentioned in this lesson – powerlessness. Be sure to pick your copy up at no charge so that you can further study today’s lesson!

celebrate recovery lesson 2 - powerless study guide image preview

Find more free Celebrate Recovery printables in my shop!

My Story – In Relation to Celebrate Recovery Lesson Two

Let’s get personal.

Let me first introduce myself.

My name is Michele. I’m a grateful believer in Jesus Christ, and I struggle with workaholism, perfectionism, codependency, and anxiety. I celebrate recovery from an addiction to men and alcoholism.

Pride has affected my recovery because it has prevented me from allowing God to do His work in my life, and many times, I have failed to trust Him with decisions. I often don’t want to ask God for help because I’m afraid if I admit my shortcomings, I will be held accountable for not changing the way I am. Change is hard!

I used to worry all the time about everything instead of laying all my fears and anxiety at the feet of God. I had trouble trusting God’s plan for my life. I’ve always struggled with impatience, so His timing was not good enough for me. Now, I am able to see the magical things He was doing in my life.

I now trust God and His plan for my life, regardless of the struggles that come my way. Those are just more things I can ask Him for help with. One thing I need to work on is trusting His timing, not mine. Patience is a skill I need to work on.

My Thoughts & Suggestions on Celebrate Recovery Lesson 2

  • Stop being angry over past resentments.
  • Identify the things that cause you pain.
  • Deal with any empty feeling inside.
  • Look at making new Christian friends at your local Celebrate Recovery.
  • Watch how you fill the void in your life.
  • Reduce the amount of stress and anxiety you are feeling.
  • Think about which areas you are selfish in and work to improve that.
  • Find a church home for you and your family.
  • Focus on the good you can do for your community and Celebrate Recovery.
  • Read your Bible and pray daily.
Celebrate Recovery Lesson 2: Powerless (Free Study Guide)

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the 12 steps in Celebrate Recovery?

The Celebrate Recovery 12 steps are based on the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.

  1. We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and compulsive behaviors, that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. We made a decision to turn our lives and our wills over to the care of God.
  4. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. We humbly asked Him to remove all our shortcomings.
  8. We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. We made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. We continued to take personal inventory and, when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
  11. We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and power to carry that out.
  12. Having a spiritual experience as the result of these steps, we try to carry this message to others and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

What is the Serenity Prayer?

The Celebrate Recovery Serenity Prayer says: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. This prayer is also used in Alcoholics Anonymous. Grab a free printable of this prayer!

What are the 8 principles of Celebrate Recovery?

The Celebrate Recovery 8 principles are based on the Beatitudes listed in Matthew 5.

  1. Realize I’m not God. I admit that I am powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong thing and that my life is unmanageable.
  2. Earnestly believe that God exists, that I matter to Him, and that He has the power to help me recover.
  3. Consciously choose to commit all my life and will to Christ’s care and control.
  4. Openly examine and confess my faults to myself, to God, and to someone I trust.
  5. Voluntarily submit to every change God wants to make in my life and humbly ask Him to remove my character defects.
  6. Evaluate all my relationships. Offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me and make amends for harm I’ve done to others, except when to do so would harm them or others.
  7. Reserve a daily time with God for self-examination, Bible reading, and prayer in order to know God and His will for my life and to gain the power to follow His will.
  8. Yield myself to God to be used to bring this Good News to others, both by my example and by my words.

How do you begin to address your powerlessness?

To properly address your powerlessness, you should be honest and step out of denial; admit that your life is unmanageable and that you cannot control everything. The truth is we cannot control it all and plan everything in a certain way. We must turn our worries over to the Lord.

What is the importance of admitting you are powerless?

Don’t insist you can manage everything in your life, especially your shortcomings – your hurts, habits, and hangups. Your stress and anxiety will be reduced if you believe you cannot do it all and turn your fears over to God. Put it all in His hands.

Celebrate Recovery Lesson 2: Powerless (Free Study Guide)


We have covered quite a bit of valuable information in this article! You should now understand:

  • What is Celebrate Recovery Lesson 2: Powerless?
  • A Brief Overview of Celebrate Recovery
  • Questions from the Study Guide
  • Valuable CR Resources – Bible Verses and a Video on Lesson 2
  • Highlights from the CR Lesson 2 Study Guide
  • My Story in Relation to Celebrate Recovery Lesson Two
  • Frequently Asked Questions – the 12 Steps, 8 Principles, and Serenity Prayer

It would mean the world to me if you would share this article on social media. I put a lot of work into writing this article, so please help me get the wonderful word out about how useful Celebrate Recovery is and share this with other people to help them on their road to recovery!

If you’d like to share your story or answers to the questions in this post, just leave a comment below or contact me.

I look forward to hearing about your experience with Celebrate Recovery!

In Celebrate Recovery Lesson 3: Hope, we will move on to Principle 2 and Step 2!

Grab a free art printable of the Celebrate Recovery Serenity Prayer.

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