Serenity Prayer

Who wrote the Serenity Prayer? His name is Richard Neisbuhr. He wrote the prayer over 80 years ago. Little did he know; his short prayer would go around the world, and help countless of people.

I became familiar with the Serenity Prayer while attending Al-Anon. A family member had a drinking problem and I needed help on how to cope with it. I stayed with the program one year, and learned a great deal through Al-Anon.

The words in the Serenity Prayer took on greater meaning as I studied them out. Let me share them with you.

There are three key words that stand out in the Serenity Prayer. The first is serenity. Words like peace, calmness, composure, and patience are associated with it. Serenity is God’s guidance system in our lives. I love what Colossians 3:15 says, “Let the peace of God rule your lives.” Peace of God – isn’t His peace what we hope to attain on a daily basis? I know I do.

Yet in the throes of a crisis, we may encounter the voice of the world, ourselves, the devil, or God. As we come to rely on God, we come to discover that only His voice is the One of total peace. When we truly turn things over to God, we’ll get still and trust the voice of Peace.

Courage is the second key word. Guts, nerve, heart, strength come to mind. Deciding to take a stand for God is deciding against the flesh and the devil. It takes God’s courage to take a stance to make a change in our lives. The story of Joshua provides a good example. When God called Joshua to move forward and do His will, He said again and again. “Don’t be afraid, but be of good courage. (Joshua 1:6)

We are reminded, turning our will over to God is an active decision that requires both strength and courage. As with Joshua, God will give us both, we just have to ask Him.

Wisdom is the third. Meaning insight or understanding. Wisdom is really applied knowledge. When we apply what God’s Word says, we not only gain knowledgeable, but a greater understanding that enables us to be wiser when making choices or decisions. God is way smarter than we are. Through Him, all things are possible, and nothing impossible.

It’s been said that a man of great wisdom always has it over the man with just an argument. Yet, isn’t that the way we stand before God sometimes? We argue and complain, but never really turn our situation over to Him. We want to trust God, yet part of us hold back. The good news is, we don’t ever have to.

This is what the Serenity Prayer has shown me. We can have serenity in our lives by allowing God to grant us the courage to do and change what we can, and the wisdom to know the difference when it’s time to give to Him what we’re not able to do ourselves. Thank you Lord for Your serenity.

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