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Monday, February 8, 2010

The Serenity Prayer--in it's entirety

Those who are in 12-Step recovery programs are undoubtedly familiar with the Serenity Prayer; one of the most well-known and oft-quoted prayers of our time.  It is the common name for a prayer originally written by theologian Reinhold Niebuhr in the late1930s to early 1940s. Research suggests that Niebuhr wrote the prayer for as part of a sermon he was giving. The program of Alcoholics Anonymous adopted the first few lines of this prayer in the 1950s which it recites at most of its regular meetings of AA throughout the world.  I would like to post the full text of that beautiful prayer for you here:

The Full Original Copy of the Serenity Prayer
by Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)

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.


  1. You could almost read it as kind of an altered version of the Our Father in its contents.

  2. Thanks, I needed to read that about now...
    RedCat's Mom

  3. I learned about Niebuhr in seminary. I went to a United Church of Christ seminary, which was is part of the German Reformed churches (among others). He came from a family of theologians, however, I think he was the reals brains of the group! Reinhold N. did write that prayer as a part of a sermon he was delivering, but for many years the prayer became attributed to just about everyone but him! I imagine he was just pleased that it was inspired and got lots of good public response. It does speak to the heart of every person! I returned to the Catholic Church several years ago, and many people thought Niebuhr's prayer was rom one of the Saints of the Catholic church! How wonderfully ecumenical that prayer turned out to be!

    I have been silent over at the Returning Catholic blog. I needed to discover my own peace and when I read this prayer again, I felt the need to share peace in a new way---so thank you for the idea! I have a new apostolate... I just started a new blog for a hectic world. I am calling it Franciscan Peace. Say a prayer for me, please. I am at I may still continue the Returning Catholics, but I am not sure where to take that at this point.

    Nevertheless, thank you for your blog! It always speaks to me!