How to Listen to God
Using Prayer for Peace of Mind

How to Listen to God is a short pamphlet written by John Batterson.

This pamphlet suggests some simple steps and guidelines for integrating spiritual principles and ideas into practical everyday living.

It explains how you can use daily quiet time to listen to God's guidance for your life, and write it down.

It has been widely used by members of many different 12 step groups to guide them in their daily life, as part of practicing Step 11.

The How to Listen to God pamphlet presents a practical simple clear way anyone can live a spiritual life in service to God and one’s fellow man.

It is presented here as another spiritual tool to help reduce the isolation, fear and stress that so many people experience. It helps one use prayer for peace of mind on a daily basis.

You may click here for a free PDF down load of How to Listen to God. (It will open in a new window).

Historical Background on the
"How to Listen to God" Pamphlet

The following information comes from a personal telephone discussion with Wally P, an AA archivist and historian.

During the 1930s John Batterson was an enthusiastic supporter and participant in the Oxford Group in Ohio. The Oxford Group was one of the historical roots of the 12 Step programs that exist today.

Historical records indicate that the two co founders of Alcoholics Anonymous, Bill W and Dr. Bob, actually recovered from alcoholism by following the Oxford Group program. The 4 steps of the Oxford Group Surrender, Sharing, Restitution and Guidance later evolved into the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. The “How to Listen to God” pamphlet is one of many documents expressing how to do the Guidance part of the Oxford Group’s four steps.

Wally P. interviewed John Batterson’s nephew, Dr. Bob Batterson, to learn more.

Wally P learned that John Batterson was an active member of the Columbus Ohio Oxford Group. John also regularly traveled up to Akron and Cleveland Ohio to participate in the Oxford Group Meetings in those cities. So, John Batterson would have known Dr. Bob, co founder of AA who was also actively participating in the Akron meetings.

Wally P. also discovered in the Ohio Wesleyan archives in 1998 that John Batterson was one of the speakers at the Oxford Group’s Akron House Party held at the Mayflower Hotel in 1934. John shared the podium with Henrietta Seiberling at that meeting.

Wally P reports that John Batterson met James H., another member of the Oxford Group in Baltimore Maryland in 1938. James received the “How to Listen to God” pamphlet from John at that time. From there the How to Listen to God pamphlet went around the world.

Wally P. received the pamphlet from James H. in the late 1990’s and has distributed it to hundreds of thousands since then. It is this pamphlet that Wally P uses to teach people how to do Step 11 of the 12 step program on a daily basis.

Wally P also reports that according Dr. Bob Batterson, John Batterson joined the service in 1941 as a Chaplin. After the war, John disavowed his membership in the Oxford Group in 1944. (It had become political and was no longer the same organization.) He then moved to Huntsville Alabama and preached as a Methodist minister until he passed.

Most of John Batterson’s papers were thrown away or destroyed when John passed away. However this pamphlet continues to assist people all over the world in using prayer for peace of mind.


For additional suggestions on prayer for peace of mind click here.

You may find it helpful to explore additional perspectives on
How to Deal with Stress Spiritually.

For an overview of many stress relief tips and topics, return to
Gentle Stress Relief home page.

For more information about the 12 step work of Wally P. you can visit www.aabacktobasics.org