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#1 2021-12-02 19:45:42

Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 35,501

Serenity Prayer

The Serenity Prayer is a prayer written by the American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr (1892–1971). It is commonly quoted as:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.

Niebuhr's prayer originally asked for courage first, and specifically for changing things that must be changed, not things that simply can be changed:

Father, give us courage to change what must be altered, serenity to accept what cannot be helped, and the insight to know the one from the other.

Niebuhr composed the prayer in 1932–33. The prayer spread rapidly, often without attribution to Niebuhr, through church groups in the 1930s and 1940s and was adopted and popularized by Alcoholics Anonymous and other twelve-step programs. Niebuhr used it in a 1943 sermon at Heath Evangelical Union Church in Heath, Massachusetts. It also appeared in a sermon of Niebuhr's in the 1944 Book of Prayers and Services for the Armed Forces, while Niebuhr first published it in 1951 in a magazine column.

Early versions of the prayer are given no title, but by 1955, it was being called the Serenity Prayer in publications of Alcoholics Anonymous.


It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.


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