Reinhold Niebuhr was an American theologian, ethicist, public intellectual, commentator on politics and public affairs, pastor and professor at Union Theological Seminary for more than 30 years. In the summer of 1943, when Adolf Hitler’s armies marched unchecked across Europe, he wrote what we know today as The Serenity Prayer. While there are several versions of this prayer, the most accepted form from the pen of Niebuhr is this one:
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 Serenity Prayer is a prayer for all occasions and all situations. Whether we face an ice and snow storm, death of a loved one, the trauma of an incurable disease, an accident, the ravages of war or the brutality and senseless atrocities of terrorist, this prayer is a profound approach to life.
But there is more to the serenity prayer than is often quoted. There is a second part which also deserves our attention.
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.
Give attention to this thought provoking prayer this week and experience God working its truth into your heart, your emotions and your lifestyle.
In His Love, Charles