The AA Serenity Prayer- For Enriching Lives

People are often drawn towards alcohol when they are unable to deal with the difficulties of life. It seems an instant solution to the troubles as it gives them a break from reality. 

However, gradually alcohol affects their life adversely and the individuals end up being more tormented. In order to lead a happy life and to find inner peace, developing Serenity becomes important; and Serenity Prayer offers just that.

It is very well known in recovery circles across the globe. People from different walks of life have been adopting this practice to remain happy in life. Niebuhr used various versions of the prayer in his sermons as early as 1934. 

For the first time, it appeared in 1944; A book of prayers for the Armed Forces and has gradually spread through church groups in the 1930s and 1940s. The prayer was adopted and popularized by Alcoholics Anonymous and other twelve-step programs subsequently. 

The AA 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.


People who are looking for peace and are dealing with difficulties in their lives often seek solace in the verses of the Serenity Prayer. It has now become closely associated with 12 step programs, offering strength and calm for the pursuit of a stable life. 

By reciting this prayer, we acknowledge the presence of the god and ask him to bless us with strength. Bible reinstates that the peace of God is beyond all understanding. “His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus”. Those who do not allow the ‘peace of God’ to enter into our mind, heart and soul are never able to attain the ultimate peace in their lives. 

The prayer also talks about aspects like courage, acceptance and wisdom. The prayer also talks about accepting hardships as the pathway to peace as surrendering ourselves to the almighty. The second stanza of the serenity prayer talks about placing our faiths in God as most of the time, things are beyond our control. We as people should just trust him and live one day at a time, enjoying each moment.

Accepting the changes:

We often tend to devote our time to things that we cannot change. Because of this, we do not spend our physical, mental and emotional energy where we should. Hence, accepting things that we can not change make us content. The Serenity Prayer reminds us of the significance of acceptance. 

Although we hold the power to exert influence over many things, some things will always remain beyond our control. Not realizing this and the desire to change the unchangeable often leaves us exhausted. Hence, believing in the plan of god and destiny could make our lives happy.

Courage to change what you can:

Everybody needs to imagine how lives could be different than they are now. Our habits often become our worst enemies and once you identify them, you could consider your half battle done. Introspecting ourselves and asking, “Is this how I really want to live?” could give us courage to change some of our habits and be headed in the right direction. 

Deciding not to settle for less and the courage to take risks could instil self-belief in us. It could also bring people back from misery and help them lead a better life.

Hardships shape you

We should never see hardships as hurdles, instead, we should look at it as a stepping stone. We must take every opportunity to climb up the ladder of success. The Serenity Prayer contains a lot of positivity. 

It points out that there are higher forces at work and reminds us of the power of positive thinking. We become what we think. Hence, it is very important not to succumb to our hardships and not let our negative thinking get the better of us.

Surrendering to God requires strength

Surrendering to God never means failure. It should not be viewed as a sign of weakness. Sometimes, the best that we can do is place our faith in God and try to surrender ourselves and rely on the outcomes of our fate. 

There are two irrefutable truths about the world- 

  1. i) It is full of evils and sins,
  2. ii) you can do very little to change it. 

Serenity Prayer, thus reminds us of the fact that surrendering to god might open up new paths for an individual. It also tells us that no matter how bad the world gets, one must not lose his sanity in order to remain happy.

Happiness is a state of mind

Rather than focusing on the sadness that surrounds us, we must divert all our attention towards staying happy. Although our generation believes in attaining happiness through money and power, it is extremely important not to cling our happiness to it. The Serenity prayer reminds us of the beauty of our present and asks us to ‘enjoying one moment at a time’.

The Serenity Prayer concludes by stating that we should learn to distinguish what can be changed and what cannot. Once we understand the difference, we must never be afraid to fight our battles. Reciting this shall restore our faith and help us seek what’s best for us. 

The depth of this prayer can’t be understood overnight, we must give ourselves some time to think and act on its words. But this prayer could contribute greatly to keep you happy and content.

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