The Serenity Prayer? You mean that thing that addicts say at the end of a meeting? How does that apply to me? Does it apply to me?
History of the Serenity Prayer:
The authorship of the Serenity Prayer is a matter of debate. Portions have been attributed to the ancient Greeks as well as various saints. In its current form, it was used as a part of a sermon in Heath, Massachusetts, by Rev. Reinhold Niebuhr. He was a first-generation German-American. With others like him, he attempted to figure out what could be done about the evil being carried out in Germany during World War II.
Looking for a way to reconcile with the atrocities in his homeland and with his own moral constraints as a Christian, Rev. Niebuhr found a way to verbalize what he could do. In regards to Hitler and the savagery that was going on, he carried it to the One who was already aware of what was going on. He didn’t seek to change the circumstances to suit him. Instead, he changed himself and confronted the circumstances that were within his realm of influence.
The Serenity Prayer is a prayer that has resonated with millions of people. It has become a part of chemical dependence support groups such as AA as “it works if you work it”.
Breaking Down the Serenity Prayer
Sometimes, breaking down an idea can help us understand it. Understanding, not reciting without thinking, helps us internalize a concept. This helps us make it a part of our being.
The Serenity Prayer:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Let’s break it down:
God, (my Higher Power, the One who knew me before I began growing in my mother’s womb. The One who knows every hair on my head and what troubles me, even when I don’t have the words.) grant me (permit me as a favor or by grace) the serenity (utter calm, untroubled by circumstances, people, and worries) to accept (take as a truth, not questioning the hows or whys) the things I cannot change, the courage (the internal mental or moral strength to withstand challenges and adversity) to change the things I can, and the wisdom (insight and knowledge) to know the difference.
I believe with all my heart that YOU alone are able to accomplish this.
– Sheree Logan