The Serenity Prayer

The complete Serenity Prayer was known together as a unit in the early 20th century. While there is a good bit of urban myth as to ts origins the Prayer is generally attributed to Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr, theologian and pastor from Detroit. But it isn’t clear whether he wrote it, revised it or just made it famous.
Later, though, it was Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) that gave the Prayer international attention, although they only referenced the first section. It is unclear exactly why they only used that part, but it has often been suggested that the reference to Jesus in the second section was the reason.  Following the 12 Traditions of AA, it would preclude the inevitable discussions and arguments about the person and nature of Jesus.
At Helping Up Mission we use the entire Serenity Prayer, although our version is a slight adaptation of the original. Here it is and I hope the truths of this simple prayer can be as powerfully influential in your life as they have in my wife’s and mine.

One Day at a Time,
Pastor Gary Byers



God, grant me   
    the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
    the courage to change the things I can,
    and the wisdom to know the difference;
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
                 (Adapted from Reinhold Niebuhr)