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The Serenity Prayer

God Grant Me the Serenity

The Serenity Prayer is most commonly attributed to Reinhold Niebuhr, although there is some evidence that it existed before he popularized it in the 1930's. This prayer became well known with its adoption by Alcoholics Anonymous for their 12-step program in 1941.

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.

An anonymous author added additional text to create the following version of the Serenity Prayer sometimes referred to as the "Full Serenity Prayer" or the "Complete 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 all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him Forever in the next. Amen.

In her book The Serenity Prayer: Faith and Politics in Times of Peace and War, Elisabeth Sifton attributes the Serenity Prayer to her father, theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, and quotes the following as the original version ...

God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed,
courage to change the things that should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.

Whatever the truth of the origins of the Serenity Prayer, its message is universal, and its simple yet profound wisdom has impacted millions.

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Additional Prayers and Quotes

"Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi"

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
- although attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, this prayer first appeared (written in French) in 1912

-----------------------

"Mother Teresa Prayer"

People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered;
... Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
... Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
... Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
... Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
... Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
... Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
... Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
... Give the world the best you've got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.

We can do no great things - only small things with great love.

- although commonly attributed to Mother Teresa,
who kept a copy of this prayer on the wall of her Calcutta orphanage,
this prayer was actually written by Kent Keith.

Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man.
- Rabindranath Tagore

How can we live in harmony?
First we need to know we are all madly in love with the same God.
- Saint Thomas Aquinas

God pardons like a mother, who kisses the offense into everlasting forgiveness.
- Henry Ward Beecher

The manifest universe is the body of God ...
all people are incarnations of the One Spirit.
- Ernest Holmes

Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God.
- A Course In Miracles

You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure about you.
We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us.
- Marianne Williamson

We cannot choose our external circumstances,
but we can always choose how to respond to them.
- Epictetus

The wise man does not lay up his own treasures.
The more he gives to others, the more he has for his own.
- Lao Tzu

May flowers always line your path and sunshine light your day.
May songbirds serenade you every step along the way.
May a rainbow run beside you in a sky that's always blue.
And may happiness fill your heart each day your whole life through.
- Irish Blessing

May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you.
May He look upon you with kindness, and give you His peace.
May almighty God bless you - in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
- Catholic Blessing

Feel Unity with Spirit and All Creation
All things share the same breath the
beast, the tree, the man... the air
shares its spirit with all the life it supports.
- Chief Seattle
[actually written by screenwriter Ted Perry in 1972]

What we think, we become.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts, we make the world.
- The Buddha


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