Inspirational Quote of the Day: The Serenity Prayer


The Serenity Prayer is the common name for a prayer written by the American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr[1][2] (1892–1971). The best-known form is:

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, who first wrote the prayer for a sermon at Heath Evangelical Union Church in Heath, Massachusetts,[3] used it widely in sermons as early as 1934[1] and first published it in 1951 in a magazine column.[1][4] The prayer spread both through Niebuhr’s sermons and church groups in the 1930s and 1940s and was later adopted and popularized by Alcoholics Anonymous and other twelve-step programs.

The earliest recorded reference to the prayer is a diary entry from 1932 by Winnifred Crane Wygal, a pupil and collaborator of Reinhold Niebuhr, quoting the prayer and attributing it to Niebuhr.[1] Several versions of the prayer then appeared in newspaper articles in the early 1930s written by, or reporting on talks given by, Wygal.[1] In 1940, Wygal included the following form of the prayer in a book on worship, attributing it to Niebuhr:[6]

O God, give us the serenity to accept what cannot be changed, the courage to change what can be changed, and the wisdom to know the one from the other.

Wygal was a longtime YWCA official and all early recorded usages were from women involved in volunteer or educational activities connected to the YWCA.[1][7]

3 thoughts on “Inspirational Quote of the Day: The Serenity Prayer

  1. Pingback: Inspirational Quote of the Day: The Serenity Prayer | boldcorsicanflame's Blog

  2. I like the original version, direct & to the point. Glad to know who authored it, thanks.

    It’s that “WISDOM” part that is the quandary, not knowing what/when/if we are to battle the giants or “turn the other cheek” to the miserable aspects of life.

    The answer was brought into focus, however, the other day when I saw this excellent quote:

    There’s a similar biblical account in the book of 2nd Kings 7:3-20 of the four lepers who were languishing outside the city gate where a famine was raging therein. One of them finally decided, “Why sit here & die? If we go to the enemy’s camp, either they will feed us or kill us.” So they took the chance (in faith) & walked to the enemy camp to find it was totally void of all humans, but their horses, and food, and supplies were intact in their tents, & the four lepers had a grand feast. πŸ™‚ The reason the enemy had abandoned their own camp was because God made the footsteps of the four lepers sound like the thunder of galloping horses & racing chariots, so the enemy took off running, leaving everything behind, even their horses. πŸ˜€

    • …which reminds me of this verse:

      “The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.”

      –Psalms 28:1

Leave a Reply. Comments Policy Forbids Insulting Other Commenters.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s