Each day I start by saying the Serenity Prayer in entirety. If you know the prayer, you probably do the version that is adopted by AA(Alcoholics Anonymous).
AA adopted the abridged version of the Serenity Prayer, which is authored by Reinhold Niebuhr in a sermon that he delivered in several churches in the 1930's.
The Serenity Prayer applies to all of us and fits in everything we are and do.
Serenity Prayer – Full Version
Prayer for Serenity
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,
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
Do we understand the Serenity Prayer?
I wonder how many of us who say the prayer, actually understand what the prayer means for our life?
Do we say it, without digesting what we are seeking from the prayer?
The first line asks God to grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change.
How much time do we spend working on the things that will not and cannot change?
I can't tell you how many times I have found myself paralyzed with fear and frustration thinking about the things I cannot change.
Those very feelings are what keep me right where I am at, holding me back from moving towards what I want most in my life.
The next line asks God to give me the courage to change the things I can.
Having the courage to change the things I can change is essential especially when you have the burdens of what you cannot change tugging at you. That's why the next line is needed.
We ask God for the wisdom to know the difference.
Not everyone believes in God, and even fewer believe in Satan. I do not doubt that both exist. It is my faith that guides me, as I know that Satan is there tugging away at me the closer I am with God.
We need God to help us see the difference in what we can control and verses what is uncontrollable. Our free will runs interference, and we have to make decisions on what we do with every moment.
You have now reached the end of Serenity Prayer for those of you who know this prayer through AA. But, there is so much more to the prayer.
The rest of the Serenity Prayer
The next line of the prayer is to Live one day at a time.
I struggle with living one day at a time. I want to live my future today, and that creates tremendous anxiety. I feel it as I am writing this post. I need God's grace to live one day at a time.
Moving on to the next line is the ability to enjoy one moment at a time.
Imagine having to enjoy one moment at a time when you are busy trying to live more than one day at a time!
People who are happy live one moment at a time. People who are at peace live one moment at a time. And, there are times where we are all able to do this. We need to do it more often.
Here's where the prayer gets good for me, but it is poignant at first. We are asking for the ability to accept hardship as a pathway to peace.
We know that all that is great comes from the fruit of our efforts and struggles to overcome. Maybe, just maybe realizing this will cause us to look for the ability to control what we can control and to move away from that which we cannot control?
Are you starting to realize the importance of the entire Serenity Prayer? There is so much more to understanding the prayer.
In the next line, we ask to take this world as Jesus did.
We are asking God to give us the ability that Jesus has and to see the sinful world through His eyes. How much peace comes with that? Are we able to accept the people who are with us? That's powerful.
We all sin, but how many of us are willing to accept other as they sin? That means that we do not get mad for the mistakes that they make, intentional or not. We have to see people for who they are, and not as I would have it.
We ask God to give us the ability to trust that he will make all things right if we surrender to his will.
Are you capable of surrendering to his will? The answer is yes, but we don't ever completely surrender to his will. We have free will that is continually challenging our ability to yield.
And, with God's answer, we will find reasonable happiness in this life that becomes supreme happiness in our next life.
What a powerful prayer for all of us.