God, grant me the Serenity
To accept the things I cannot change…
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as the pathway to peace.
Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it.
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His will.
That I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Amen.
What is the Serenity Prayer
This Serenity Prayer is considered a request to God asking for peace and calmness in anything that life has to offer.
Therefore, when we find ourselves in difficult situations that we cannot fathom or move away from, at home, places of work, in Church, in the neighbourhood or country, the Serenity Prayer is very powerful in pacifying the turbulence in the heart, soul, and mind.
The first line, “God, grant me the serenity,” acknowledges the need for inner calm and peace. It recognizes that there are circumstances and situations beyond our human control and that finding serenity from God is essential to navigate through life’s challenges.
The prayer then highlights the importance of acceptance and the acknowledgment that there are certain things we cannot change.
It encourages individuals to let go of futile attempts to control or alter these circumstances and instead find the strength to accept them.
The next part of the prayer focuses on courage – the courage to change the things that are within our power to change.
It inspires individuals to take action and make positive changes in their lives and the world around them. It reminds us that we have the capacity to influence and shape our own destinies.
Finally, the prayer seeks wisdom – the discernment to know the difference between what can and cannot be changed.
It asks for guidance in making wise decisions and choosing where to direct our efforts. Wisdom is seen as an essential quality to navigate life’s complexities and to make choices aligned with our values and aspirations.
Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr
The Serenity Prayer was popularized by an American writer and theologian called Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr. This made people feel that he may have been the author of the prayer.
He was a commentator on politics and public affairs and a professor at Union Theological Seminary. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1964. He was born in 1892 and died in 1971.
The prayer has become widely popular and has been adopted by various organizations, including Alcoholics Anonymous which since the 1940s, has been using the Serenity Prayer in their twelve-step Alcoholics Anonymous program.
AA is a fellowship of individuals recovering from alcohol addiction who come together to support each other in their sobriety journey.
In the Twelve-Step program of AA, the Serenity Prayer is recited or reflected upon during meetings and is considered a fundamental part of the program. It serves as a reminder of the principles and values that guide members in their recovery process.
It has also been translated into many languages and has been used in various contexts as a source of inspiration and comfort.
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