God, give us the grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed…
Serenity Prayer (Full Version)
“God, give us the grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
the courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.
Living one day at a time,
enjoying one moment at a time,
accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
taking, as Jesus did,
this sinful world as it is,
not as I would have it…
And trusting that You will make all things right,
when I surrender to Your will,
so that I may be happy in this life,
and supremely happy with You forever and ever in the next.
Serenity Prayer (alternative version)
“God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
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.
Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)
Niebuhr used various versions of the prayer widely in sermons as early as 1934. The prayer spread rapidly, often without attribution to Niebuhr, through church groups in the 1930s and 1940s and was adopted and popularized by Alcoholics Anonymous and other twelve-step programs. The Serenity Prayer appeared in a sermon of Niebuhr’s as part of the 1944 A Book of Prayers and Services for the Armed Forces, while Niebuhr himself first published it in 1951 in a magazine column.
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