The Full Serenity Prayer

Do you know the whole Serenity Prayer? Many have heard it – its first three lines have been said at every recovery meeting I’ve ever been to – but I didn’t know there was more to it until I was well down my road of transformation.

It’s not from the Bible, or any Scripture. The prayer was written in the 1930s by Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971), an American theologian and author (and political commentator!).

The full prayer is a wonderful, complete guide to a life of spiritual discipline and formation. Here’s the prayer as we say it at Celebrate Recovery Twelve-Step meetings:

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
And 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

There have been many books written about the Serenity Prayer. One of the most influential and life-changing that I read early in my recovery is Twenty-Five Words: How The Serenity Prayer Can Save Your Life by Barb Rogers.

As a journaler whose life has been miraculously saved, I constantly refer to sections of the prayer in my writing. I thought it would be a good thing to have the full version available.

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