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“Lord grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

September 2nd, 2007 · 44 Comments

“Lord grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” (The Serenity Prayer is the common name for an originally untitled prayer written by the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr in the 1930s or early 1940s.)

One day I went to visit my grandma.  She asked me how I was doing and I told her I am doing my best to stay strong.  She shared the above prayer with me. I am not very religious but this prayer really caught my attention.  After I left my grandma’s house I kept thinking about what she had said and I went home and “googled” it so that I could find out more about it. I am so thankful that she told me this because every time things get tough I think about what she told me. 

You do not have to be religious to allow this to help you.  Just think of it this way, there are some things that you cannot change.  Instead of stressing over the things that you can’t change you need to stop and think about it.  If you can’t change it then accept it and find a way to live with it.  If the thing that is causing you stress is something that you can change, stop wasting time and stressing…DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

This is how I applied my grandma’s help to my life.  Obviously I cannot remove Travis’s tumor.  Sitting around being sad and depressed because he has it will only make matters worse.   I have learned to accept the fact that he has a Schwannoma tumor.  It is just a fact of life.  (That is the part that I can’t change.) I do have control over how I let this tumor effect our life.  Rather than be negative I do my best to see the positive side of it all.  I cherish every moment that I have with Travis and everyone else close to me.  I try and live my life to the fullest and not get upset about little things. (This is the part of my life where I change things.)

I kind of feel like this was a rambling post but the prayer is something that helps me everyday day and something that I think is very simple and can help so many other people.

Tags: everyday life · family · grandma · help · helped us · mood · positive · prayer · serenity · support · tip · Uncategorized · words of advice

44 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Bertha P Jordan // Aug 21, 2008 at 08:46

    I live by this Prayer daily.

  • 2 May // Dec 12, 2008 at 15:07

    I pray the God of your grandma continues to give you his peace and may you come to know Him as your God as well.
    This prayer has brought me ,by the grace of God, great peace.

  • 3 JOEVIEL GOES // Feb 2, 2009 at 05:06

    Next month im answerin my board exams and when ever i think about my studies i get a terrible headache n lazyness to study. My aunty keeps on calling me from dubai encouraging me to study for my board exams and she has also suggested me to say the serenity prayer when i rise from bed early morning. im very stressed for my exams but ill always say the serenity prayer when i rise from bed and study hard for my exams… and i have full faith in JESUS CHRIST that ill will pass my exams with the help of this prayer… GOD BLESS…

  • 4 johnny // Feb 4, 2009 at 12:01

    I too and not very religious, yet this prayer is a source of inspiration for me.

  • 5 KENDRA JONES // Mar 13, 2009 at 21:56

    THANK U FOR REMINDING ME THAT PRAYER. IT TOUC MY SOUL TO MAKE ME KNOW HEARS MY CRY.MAY GOD HAVE PEACE IN OUR HEART MIND SOUL HERE ON EARTH.

  • 6 KENDRA JONES // Mar 13, 2009 at 22:02

    THANK U SO MUCH FOR SHARING YOUR STORY AND REMINDING US ALL OF THE LORDS PRAYER.IT REALLY HELP MY SOUL. I KNOW GOD IS HEARING OUR CRY HERE ON EARTH.CONTINUE BE BLESSED AND KNOW GOD HAS HEALED THE LAND. WHEN HE CAME DOWN DIE FOR OUR SINS.

  • 7 Andrew W. // Jul 28, 2009 at 12:36

    I am Not extremely Religious either… I believe in God, I believe in heaven and hell, but I don’t believe that we need to Pray to our God to know how much he means to us… he Gave us this Short time Here and we should Not have to Waste the time he gave us going to 3 hours of church… but that is not the point… I am an EMT/FireFighter for my Local Department and This Prayer Helps All of my Co-workers and Myself out Daily when we get to a bad scene… we have to Remember we’re Trained to do the Best we Can, say this as we Walk up to the scene and we Take a Deep Breathe and Do our best… Sometimes it’s not enough… but We Cannot Change somethings… and when we can we need to courage to Get in there and DO IT! and we ALL thank God for giving us the Wisdom to Know the Difference! With out this Prayer All Deaths would be SO much Harder than they All ready Are!

  • 8 raymond l smelser // Jul 30, 2009 at 07:53

    Thank you for all your comments. I found a paper with this prayer on it and it has stuck with me now for year. its has been a big help. I had a fall six years broke my nick have nerve damage
    im trying to learn to walk again, my hands dont work well, this prayer keeps me going.’

  • 9 rianne // Aug 12, 2009 at 05:48

    thank you for reminding me.. that I must be thankfull fot the things I have.

  • 10 trish // Sep 11, 2009 at 04:20

    im absoultly against religion, you couldn’t have said and explained it better. Totally was able to see the meaning behind it without involving a GOD or whatever.Thanx well said:)

  • 11 cindy // Nov 7, 2009 at 17:49

    I heard this saying in a movie. Took it in mind and want to make this saying for my grandbabies room. gonna make letters and put on the wall. I may not be alive to see when they realize what it really means, but at least they will see. we all hope. i have faith.

  • 12 jasonya // Dec 6, 2009 at 16:10

    Thank yall so much it feel so good to know that there is somebody somewhere that is living by these beautiful words as will as I am I lost my mom in march and my heart hasn’t been the same since so I trying my best to cope. I hope and pray that all of u say bless and remember GOD so love the world he gave his only begotten son

  • 13 michael preston // Apr 26, 2010 at 14:32

    Thank you so much for remembering this prayer. I just had a break up with the love of my life. All i was doing was trying to change how she felt towards me and it was tearing me up inside. I now accept that we never might together again or even talk again. Even though it hurts so much I can’t change it. So baby I love you and i set you free. If were meant to be together then we will be.

  • 14 Dee Temba // Oct 21, 2010 at 01:00

    What a wake-up call! I had “forgotten” about this serenity prayer. It embraces a human spirit, daily happenings, the past, present and future.

  • 15 Rebecca // Jan 16, 2011 at 15:17

    This prayer helped me the first time I was in hospital, it was on a little card outside the hospital chapel and has always stayed in mind.

  • 16 Henry // Mar 27, 2011 at 10:33

    I understand the point of serenity and courage except for the wisdom to know the difference. What does it means?

  • 17 Leu // Sep 8, 2011 at 04:42

    @ Mr. Henry…..
    Wisdom to know the difference if such things cannot be change then have a serenity to accept it. But if think you can do the changes for such things..then have the courage to change it!

  • 18 Lena // Oct 13, 2011 at 04:30

    Thank you for posting this. You have no idea how much this has helped me put things in perspective. God is so good…he spared me from cancer and now I really know that every breath is precious and we should not worry over things that block us from true happiness that God wants for us 🙂

  • 19 Handy // Oct 17, 2011 at 23:31

    Thanks

  • 20 Brouard Martin // Oct 21, 2011 at 05:42

    Henry,

    The wisdom to know the difference means :

    – Ask God to grant you wisdom to distinguish what is it you can change in your life and what is it you cannot.

    It means ask Him to help you see what you can actually change in your life.

    This way, you will not waste energy trying to fix something that is completely out of your hand.

  • 21 Stratis // Feb 14, 2012 at 10:19

    What a lovely sotry, I deeply agree with you. Good luck

  • 22 Peter mbakwem // Mar 24, 2012 at 15:20

    About two weeks ago i visited my Aunt and i saw a frame in the parlor with this serenity prayer, i read it more than once, cause it really touched my heart. I was living with my Aunt and i did something unthinkable, i no longer live with dem. But dis prayers keeps me going, though i have my regrets at times for wrong things dat i did, but when i rememba this prayer it makes me feel better. I had to google search it b4 i got to dis site. God bless y’all.

  • 23 Peter // Mar 24, 2012 at 15:20

    About two weeks ago i visited my Aunt and i saw a frame in the parlor with this serenity prayer, i read it more than once, cause it really touched my heart. I was living with my Aunt and i did something unthinkable, i no longer live with dem. But dis prayers keeps me going, though i have my regrets at times for wrong things dat i did, but when i rememba this prayer it makes me feel better. I had to google search it b4 i got to dis site. God bless y’all.

  • 24 Butch // Mar 25, 2012 at 20:04

    I first was introduced to this prayer in 1982 when I saw it printed on a small foil decal in a dime store. I purchased it and stuck it to the middle of the dash of my new CJ 5 jeep as are reminder to be thankful for what we have been given. Since then I have often reflected on those words in both good times and in trials. I just scribed those same words in a birthday card to to my now 24 year old son for him to have and know. As I was writing, I realized that this prayer applies to ones past as much as it does the present and future. Obviously, the past is unchangeable and we must accept that. How we move forward from the past is what takes courage. As a God fearing man, I know that thru Jesus Christ I am forgiven. But it takes courage to forgive ones self for our past failures. Today I am determined to have courage not to let my past dictate my future. Every day is brand new and every tomorrow is a”sunny day”. Gods’ speed.

    day” to quote and

  • 25 Aunt // Aug 18, 2012 at 21:52

    My mom first hung this prayer on our living room wall when I was a child,and there was plenty that our family went through.Then the Lord was our “Footprints in the Sand”,and carried us.
    It was a comforting reminder, “A family that prays together ,Stays together”at times but mostly they were just words ona plaque,”The Serenity Prayer”until now as i read them again… at age 50,asking the Lord why my niece had to die?,yes i cry, but today august 18 2012,I may have the WISDOM to know the difference .But it still hurts to realize I can;t change the events of 3/7/2012.That in her sleep(or overnite) she went home to Be with theLORD at 21.
    Eunique i miss your joyful prescence ;but am at a peace that you are with GOD and Jesus.
    PS Thanks for your site I was just about to store the Serenity plaque ,because of its antiquated appearance.Its life has brought my understanding back to life.

  • 26 Eneri // Oct 1, 2012 at 14:50

    My Englisch is not very good.
    This prayer is with me many years. Your explanation is the same as i feel . It’s a kind of mindfulness-living .
    Thank’s for sharing this.

  • 27 Amelia // Nov 7, 2012 at 03:01

    its true, God, Jesus Christ is alone in control of our situations. i believe there is nothing in this world without He being a part of it. Trust Him and He will make this prayer come true in your life. thank you for this meaningful prayer

  • 28 Elfas Muhauli // Nov 11, 2012 at 09:03

    Powerfull Prayer Indeed. Recently I was robbed in my house while I was asleep with my family, someboy broke into my house and took a plasma and my wife’s cellphone. I just sat down with one of my friend who normally motivate me spiritually and he said to me anyway God knows everything and he is not a fool, he might have protected your life and you family but not the Plasma, perharps he had to bargain with the devil at that moment, because it was beyond his power at the time, so how muh more about us. So do not really mourn about what has happened to you and concentrate in fixing and shaping your future, other battles are not ours but are God battles. Amen

  • 29 vanessa // Dec 30, 2012 at 09:44

    My husband has passed on 2moths back and its hard to cope, thanks a lot for this prayer as I hope it will help me 2 have strength to go on

  • 30 Erie Haryanto // Jan 31, 2013 at 03:05

    Woooow…… Have read this since 2012 but today I was so touched by Travis’ experience. Glory be to GOD, Lord of the multiverse……..

  • 31 candice johnson // Apr 19, 2013 at 07:19

    I would really appricate something nice prayer or massages like this to help me get through my probleme

  • 32 len // Aug 3, 2013 at 17:12

    The post was not rambling, by the way. It was coherent and straight-forward, FWIW.

  • 33 Freeman // Nov 21, 2013 at 03:02

    I am very pleased this prayer has helped and is still helping you. I have gotten myself into a serious relationship issue and remembered i heard this prayer in a movie or a song (cant actually recolect), so I googled it and read the full prayer. After the reading the prayer, i felt a strong sense of completeness even though I am too religious but I believe in the most high GOD. I say this prayer each morning and I hope it will go a long way to guide my path in the things I do.

  • 34 Jay // Jan 19, 2014 at 11:41

    May God bless you and give you peace of mind. Thanks for reminding me of this quote

  • 35 Augustine Teye // Jan 26, 2014 at 15:54

    Wonderful

  • 36 D // Jan 29, 2014 at 04:46

    Thanks for this!! I needed it. D from South Africa

  • 37 nhlahla lesley // Feb 2, 2014 at 05:19

    GLORY 2 GOD

  • 38 Marius // Jul 13, 2014 at 01:06

    This helped me a lot, thank you, i am currently in a position where I have to accept my situation, please pray for me, I’m 24 and need guidance. Thank you

  • 39 shelagh // Aug 8, 2014 at 21:29

    I miss my little brother so much and his wife was aweful to us while he was dying like we didnt matter. she tried to have e arrested during his ben efit that I threw for him and bossed me the whole day. I wish I would have kissed him all day, he died 2 days later. she waited 4 hours before they came and got me. I lived 2 houses down……

  • 40 Stephanie Trim // Feb 25, 2015 at 11:14

    Please read. This is so true and very encouraging. Love you much. God is always there and will keep you.in his perfect peace. Just call all his name and ask him to help you.

  • 41 Ella Glass // May 4, 2015 at 05:38

    I can’t change what has happen to me but I can certainly accept and move on with my Heavenly Father help

  • 42 Iris Sutton // Jun 8, 2015 at 09:01

    Today my husband and his fami,y are taken their mother off life support and for weeks now I feel that he has pushed me away I wanted to be there with him but he said he need to only be with his siblings and I was left feeling like I only wanted to be there to comfort him and I just don’t know how to deal with it can someone please help me to understand.

  • 43 Lynda Cooper // Sep 24, 2015 at 10:41

    I hope and pray Travis gets better. I love the prayer.

  • 44 suba me // Jun 25, 2019 at 15:34

    skY0rG Really appreciate you sharing this article post.Thanks Again.

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