The Serenity Prayer is said in support groups across the world each day. Perhaps in this age of rising addiction it is said more than any other prayer, even the Lord’s Prayer… so what is it and why is it so powerful?
The Serenity Prayer was written by the American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr (1892–1971) and reads as follows:
God, give me grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the things which should be changed, and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.
Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, accepting hardship as a pathway to peace. Taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it. Trusting that You will make all things right, if I surrender to Your will. So that I may be reasonably happy in this life, and supremely happy with You forever in the next. Amen.
The first part of the prayer has been widely used by Alcoholics Anonymous since 1941 and today is also said in other 12-step recovery programs. It obviously resonates with all who struggle with one form of addiction or another and who are looking to God to get their lives back on track.
The Serenity Prayer
Overcoming an addiction is not easy. It doesn’t matter what it is that has you in bondage, whether drugs, alcohol, pornography, gambling or something else. Each addict has their own ‘drug of choice’ that they use to self-medicate against the pain, depression, or whatever turmoil is taking place in their lives.
Breaking free takes a process of recovery and can also take a group of people around you who’ve been through the same challenges and overcome them. That’s why recovery programs are so helpful and of course prayer is a vital part of the process. When you are dependent on anything other than God you don’t have peace. And that is what serenity is… As the dictionary defines it… it is “the state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled.”
So it’s really helpful to pray for serenity. And, attending a support group will help addicts in their journey to freedom. However the serenity prayer is only an initial step… What you really need is to have an encounter with the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ.
He said that we would have trouble in this world, but that we should be encouraged by the fact that He has overcome the world. (John 16:33). He is the great deliverer. He came to set the captives free. And in John 8:36 we read… “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.“
As you pray the serenity prayer, stand in faith for God to deliver you from whatever addiction or challenge is facing you. Believe that He will take away every fear or anxiety that is plaguing you and give you His peace that passes all understanding.
The serenity prayer is so powerful because it helps us come to terms with the situation we face, the fact that we are reliant on something that is harmful to us, and challenges us to find a way to rectify that. It gives us the hope that God can work all things together for good, like only He can.
It also gives us hope to find forgiveness for the things that we have done wrong, that keep us bound in shame and a cycle of addiction. It’s a beautiful, God-inspired prayer that undoubtedly helps many people to find freedom.
And that’s God’s will for you. To walk in complete freedom. So pray it with faith that God will come through for you and your family.
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