Saturday, June 6, 2009

Serenity Prayer (Original)

Of all the prayers that have made their way into broad public consciousness, one is certainly the “Serenity Prayer” attributed to Reinhold Niebuhr, though many other possible authors have also been uncovered by scholars. This prayer, often used in 12-step groups as well as church gatherings, is deeply loved for its simplicity and grace. What is less known is that the prayer that Niebuhr first prayed was a more expansive version of the one that came to be widely available. Here is the original prayer attributed to Niebuhr, probably written/prayed/adapted while he was serving as a minister in Detroit in the 1920’s. However it was written and whatever version comes to us, it’s well worth some of our prayer time.

Mark Ramsey

God, give us 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.

- Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)

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