The Serenity Prayer

The Serenity Prayer

The 18th century theologian Reinhold Neibuhr is thought to be the actual author of what we often call The Serenity Prayer. Niebuhr was a major influence on the German Pastor and Nazi resister, Dietrich Bonhoeffer. The version of the prayer we usually see is this:

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.

But the original and full version is better. Perhaps you would pray it with me?

God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed,
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,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,

And supremely happy with You forever in the next. Amen.        


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