The Serenity Prayer has spoken to hearts for decades. The author is often listed as ‘Anonymous’ and frequently the second stanza is eliminated. The longing for peace transcends time and culture. Sometimes, though, the piece is attributed to certain theologians or martyrs of the Christian faith–which takes one a little closer to the truth of its history.
As it always does, well-researched history provides us a deep richness. There is even humor in the fact that the author is often listed as anonymous. I’m quite sure he wouldn’t care–for he knew where real serenity was found. Living that way produces greatness that can never be lost. Check out the fullness of his writing and then I’ll share the rest of the story:
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.
The author was Reinhold Neibuhr. an American theologian, pastor and social activist in the 1900s. One of the millions whom Neibuhr influenced was the great Dietrich Bonhoeffer, another Christian whose life & faith has strengthened millions.
Serenity is found, as Mr. Neibuhr says, when we trust God and surrender to His will. Living with trust & surrender produces eternal fruit…even if others don’t have a clue!