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Monthly Archives: October 2006

One of my all-time favourite prayers is the Serenity Prayer written by  Reinhold Niebuhr on July 1 1943 for the Union Church of Heath, Massachusetts. However, the prayer is reported to have been used before that date within Alcoholics Anonymous  early in 1942. It is used in Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and other twelve-step programs.

The shorter, more common version is:

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 differenceThere is another version said to have been the author’s favourite, written to his wife:

God give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed,
courage to change the things which should/must be changed,
and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.The full version of the prayer is:

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.
Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardship 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.There is a Latin version of it by Neil Young: Deus, dona mihi serenitatem accipere res quae non possum mutare, fortitudinem mutare res quae possum, atque sapientiam differentiam cognoscere. (Ahem, ahem)

There also exists a longer version from Ireland(trust the Irish):

God take and receive my liberty,
my memory, my understanding and will,
All that I am and have He has given me

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 in the next. AMEN

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