Serenity Prayer


Who really wrote the Serenity Prayer?

Over the years there have been many stories about the origins of the Serenity Prayer and controversy about who actually wrote it.

The reputed Yale Alumni Magazine reported - the Alcoholics Anonymous Grapevine from January 1950 attests that the prayer in question was penned by Dr. Reinhold Niebuhr of the Union Theological Seminary, New York City, in 1932, originally as the concluding segment of a lengthier prayer.


The Serenity Prayer

(Original, shorter, famous version, penned by Reinhold Niebuhr in 1932)


Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.


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The Serenity Prayer

(Longer 1950's version)

God, give me 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.



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