- 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.
They have come to believe that those qualities can come only from a power greater than themselves. And because they believe, they find the serenity, courage and wisdom they seek from somewhere outside themselves to face another situation, another step, and another day.
Although literally millions of people -- in and out of the recovery community -- have been helped and strengthened by those few lines, few are aware they are actually the first stanza of the entire prayer as penned in 1943 by Reinhold Niebuhr, who may not be the original author, however.
For those who may be curious, and for those who are seeking the full power that lies within, we present here the complete and unabridged prayer:
The Complete Serenity Prayer
- 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.
-- Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)