The Serenity Prayer

January 12th, 2022

There is a set of words that are memorized and repeated by anyone who has been through or is a part of the Alcoholics Anonymous community. These individuals likely are saying the words to themselves right now as they even read this. The words we are referring to are those in the 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.

The words above are actually just an excerpt from a longer prayer, but is the most commonly repeated section for those who participate in Alcoholics Anonymous. The Serenity Prayer really is a basis and focal point for those going through AA. These words perfectly express the central problem of addiction and prescribes a timeless solution. There are several versions of the Serenity Prayer, each with slightly different wording that support groups have adopted. Although the full Serenity Prayer text has stronger religious overtones, many nonreligious individuals still rely on these words for daily affirmation. For those who are curious, we included the full Serenity Prayer below so that you can see and read the full passage:

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 things right

If I surrender to His Will;

So that I may be reasonably happy in this life

And supremely happy with Him

Forever and ever in the next.


For many of those going through the Alcoholics Anonymous program, it is important to remember that there is a higher power watching over you and that you ultimately are not alone. The Serenity Prayer is a great way to consistently be reminded of that. And an important reminder is that the higher power you think of and speak to doesn’t have to be the common view of “God” as many think of - it can really be whatever you are most comfortable with.

Ultimately, the Serenity Prayer is focused on three things: Acceptance, Courage and Wisdom. Acceptance is the key to happiness. To be able to accept the things that have happened, the choices that you have made, and to accept them as a thing of the past in order to move forward. Accept your current circumstances and you can begin to make the best of today and tomorrow. A common issue with those battling addiction as well is the false sense of control you have over your life. Letting go of and accepting the fact that no one can control every aspect of their life is a big part of moving forward.

As far as courage, it takes a ton of courage to face the road to sobriety and continued, lasting sobriety. Courage is the power of not letting fear rule your life and to continue striving forward towards a brighter future. Wisdom is key because we all think we are in full control of our lives, but that may not always be the case. When you’re on the road to recovery, you can seek wisdom from within, from others on the same path, or from prayer and meditation.

For someone on the path to recovery, the Serenity Prayer is a helpful anchor - a safe space that you can come to whenever you need it. Windmill Wellness Ranch is also here to be a safe space for those who are struggling with addiction and who are ready to make the courageous decision to seek help. Recovery is never easy, but it is incredibly worth it. Reach out to our admissions team today to get started on your road to recovery.

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