The AA Serenity Prayer

This often used AA prayer is an excerpt from a longer prayer commonly attributed to Reinhold Niebuhr. These familiar words ring through the hearts and minds of Alcoholics Anonymous members across the world:

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.

Although its origins are a bit unclear, its impacts are not. The Serenity Prayer serves as a focal point for the very spirit of AA, anchoring its members to its quintessential teachings about surrender and acceptance. Below, we provide the full Serenity Prayer along with an examination of its history, meaning and importance so that we all might carry its lessons closely and transform common hardships into a calming surrender.

The Full Serenity Prayer

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.

Living one day at a time;

Enjoying one moment at a time;

Accepting hardships 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 things right

If I surrender to His Will;

So that I may be reasonably happy in this life

And supremely happy with Him

Forever and ever in the next.


Reinhold Niebuhr - 

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