January 17, 2013
12-steps, aa, acceptance, al-anon, alcoholics anonymous, alcoholism, God, grace, humility, inspiration, neibuhr, pain, powerless, prayer, recovery, serenity
The Serenity Prayer: Original Version
In 1943, theologian Reinhold Niebuhr wrote the Serenity Prayer for a church sermon. This prayer, an appeal for grace, courage and wisdom, has become closely associated with AA, often recited at meetings all over the world. Adopted in the late 1940’s by AA, it remains a favorite prayer for Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-Anon and other 12-step groups.
Interestingly, the prayer was changed from “give us grace ” to “grant me the serenity”.
Niebuhr’s daughter, Elisabeth Sifton, wrote the book, “The Serenity Prayer”, which explores the circumstances that led her father to write the prayer. The book can be found many places online. I ran across this audio interview of Ms. Sifton on the NPR website a few years ago and have included a link to it here: NPR Audio Interview
Lasting about 20 minutes, I hope you set aside time to find out more about this humble man.
Find a framed copy at our website.
The Serenity Prayer – Original Version
Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)
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.
July 25, 2012
12-steps, aa, al-anon, alcholism, alcoholics anonymous, Fourth Step, mental health, powerless, recovery, searching, Step 4, unity
I’ve found it is so much easier to write about doing a 4th Step than it is to actually write a 4th Step. If you’re having trouble getting started on this vitally important Step, you’re not alone. I talk with people all the time who struggle with this Step. In fact, most comments have been about More
July 3, 2012
Can You Relate?
12-steps, aa, acceptance, addiction, al-anon, alcholism, alcoholics anonymous, humility, recovery, sobriety, sponsorship
As someone in AA and Al-Anon, the word “sponsor” always conjures up many memories. I can still see the face of my first sponsor, Marilyn. Round face and big eyeglasses. Brown, wavy hair cut in a short, practical do. A little on the “mature” side. She had 10 years of sobriety and liked to have fun but understood the seriousness of her task as a sponsor.
Back when I was 2-3 months sober, I told her that I was thinking about finding a new group. When she asked why I would want to do that, More
May 16, 2012
Tools of the Process, Tradition One, Traditions
12-steps, aa, acceptance, addiction, al-anon, alcholism, alcoholics anonymous, anger, Conference Approved Literature, family, grace, humility, Paths to Recovery, recovery, resentment, tradition, unity
When I first hit the doors of AA, it was not a stretch to admit that my life had become unmanageable. I was a divorced 30-year-old part-time mother who had just moved back home and was living in the basement. I say “part-time mother” because my two children lived with their father 9 months of the year. I worked the 12-steps like they told me and found a certain peace within myself and a renewed love of God. But I continued to settle for less than good relationships.
My own childhood was a picture-perfect family–of the alcoholic kind, that is. My memories were that of More