The “Serenity Prayer,” made famous through its use by Alcoholics Anonymous, is actually an 18th century German prayer of significantly greater length, appearing on the tombstone of Friedrich Oetinger (1702-1782) and presumably, therefore, of his composition.  It is sometimes attributed to Reinhold Niebuhr (1892­–1971), which is impossible.


God, give us 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.