Most people have heard of the Serenity Prayer. It was written by Reinhold Niebuhr and is extensively used by 12-step programs. It is powerful for those that let it help and guide them. It paints life with a very broad brush, which is why so many people have used it and love it. Not only am I going to share it with you, but I will also share some additional niche versions that many have found even more helpful. You will also learn how you can share a version with someone you love by putting their name into it, and then give it to them by email or text. I am very excited to share this with you!
History of the Serenity Prayer
The earliest version known (1937) reads as follows: “Father, give us courage to change what must be altered, serenity to accept what cannot be helped, and the insight to know the one from the other.”
The best-known version, which is used extensively by 12-step groups and many others reads: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference.”
Both of these should be considered “Short versions” as there is more to it. The rest reads:
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.
Okay, enough history, now to the fun part. Because of the challenges and difficulties of life are so varied, here are some “narrow brush” versions of the better-known part which I have come across:
- “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, (other people), Courage to change the things I can, (me, myself and I), and the Wisdom to know the difference, (boundaries).”
- “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, (the past), Courage to change the things I can, (the future), and the Wisdom to know the difference (this specific moment).”
- “God grant me the serenity to stop beating myself up for not doing things perfectly, Courage to forgive myself because I’m working on getting better, and the Wisdom to know that You already love me just the way I am.”
Aren’t those amazing? It may be that someone reading this is almost crying. At the risk of sounding like an “infomercial” … but wait, there’s more!
Now, thanks to modern technology and some studying and hard work, you can read each of those with either your name or the name of a loved one to personalize it even more! Here are four links to my website where you can go to the four complete versions and enter someone’s name. Then you can email it or text a link to it to that person.
May my prayers for you to be blessed by this be fulfilled, and may you, in turn, be used to bless others!
Please comment and/or respond to what you heard inside of you as you read this! Let’s share!