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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
 the courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships 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.


     All of us are familiar with the "Serenity Prayer." We may not know the entire thing, but we have all heard the first few lines. The serenity prayer was written in 1943 by Reinhold Niebuhr and has become a foundation for many twelve-step programs including Alcoholics Anonymous. It has become synonymous with people looking for peace at a time of turmoil, despair, or uncertainty in their lives. When we think of serenity, we envision a calm, quiet serene landscape full of peace and tranquility. A place where fear, and pain and hurt are unknown. I can't count the number of times I have said this prayer during troubling times in my life. We know that it was written to help us to find peace, but what does it really mean? Let's look at the first three lines.

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change."

     Sometimes it is hard to accept things. To know when it is time to let things go. It could be bad habits or even people in your life who have hurt you or are leading you in the wrong direction. You need to not only learn to accept the finality of letting go, but also understand how to let go in peace. This means to walk away with a light heart. Don't walk away with a heavy heart, or a bad feeling inside you. If you do, then these feelings will slowly eat away at you. We have to realize that there are things and people which we have no control over. 

"The courage to change the things I can."

     It takes a lot of courage to change. It's often easier to just sit back and let things move along as they have been, even if the way things are is hurting you. People will sometimes tell you; "don't rock the boat." You may have gotten comfortable in your misery and are afraid. You may think that you don't have the courage. You would be surprised at how much courage we all possess. We all just have to dig down deep and find it. You should also remember that you are not alone. You can find courage with the help of God, your own higher power, friends, and family.

"And the wisdom to know the difference."

     It's often hard to even tell the difference between what we can change and what we can't, let alone have the wisdom needed to make a decision. If we don't gain the wisdom we need we will just continue to repeat the same mistakes over and over again. How do we gain the wisdom we need to find serenity? Sometimes we have to study and gain knowledge. At other times we need to seek help from others who have experienced the same thing as we have. Ultimately it often comes down to a trust in ourselves, God, and the power of prayer. I wish you all the best in finding your own serenity.


  1. Oohhh!! Never truer words were thought or written. I have found this at such an apt time!!! Thankyou so much!!! Mel.:-)

  2. Interesting journal you keep. I always felt inspired by the serenity prayer. I think it's great that you keep this journal to make the world a better place.

  3. Woke up with our son on my mind. Next thought I recall is "The Serenity Prayer." I had forgotten that Reinhold Neibuhr had written it in 1943! - God bless you on your journey. - Tim