home -> spirituality -> serenity prayer

Did you know that many "Christians" think that the Alcoholics Anonymous organization, and all the 12-step organizations for that matter are a 'cult' or a 'new age' piece of trash? Really, I know because I have met about 20 million of them myself! Or at least it seems so.

Yet those 12-step groups have made the first part of this little prayer the cornerstone of their organizations. But, have you heard the remainder of it? To me, it is just as powerful and serene. Here is the complete, unabridged prayer:

The Complete Serenity Prayer!

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 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.


Click here for the powerful, NAPSV version of this which includes the name of the person you want to honor with it, (it is very printable, too).

The complete prayer, was written by a wonderful man, Reinhold Niebuhr. He was a minister in the western part of Massachusetts during the early years of World War II when he penned the words above. I doubt he had any idea at all as to how many lives he would touch in a positive way by writing so few lines.

If you gave yourself over to God, even if for only long enough to write a few powerful, peaceful lines, how many people would you be allowed to touch and help?

To read the 12 steps, click here.

To see a comparison of the 12 steps to Christian Spiritual Disciplines, click here.