What is the Serenity Prayer?

The serenity prayer is a simple prayer that many people in 12 step programs use to help them through recovery. It is part of the spiritual side of any 12 step program and it is said usually at the beginning and the ending of every 12 step meeting. This prayer forms part of the core beliefs of these types of programs. If you are considering a 12 step program it is important to consider the history and meaning of this prayer.

The History of the Serenity Prayer

According to Alcoholics Anonymous, the exact origin of the serenity prayer isn’t known. It is said to have started around 1941 when a member presented an obituary notice with the prayer written into it. This is just a rumor though. The true origins of this prayer was lost years ago. Most people just accept it as a prayer and a way to keep themselves stable. Similar to a mantra, repeating the same words over and over can help you calm yourself and calm your cravings.

God Grant Me the Serenity to Accept the Things that I cannot Change

This is the first part of the prayer. When you look at this line you need to understand that this is a mirror of the first two steps of any 12 step program. It is asking a higher power to give you peace when you are faced with something that seems impossible. You’re asking for help in accepting something that you cannot do anything about.

The Courage to Change the Things that I Can

Serenity Prayer

The serenity prayer is traditionally recited at the beginning and end of every 12-step meeting.

In this line you are asking the higher power for strength to make a difference in your life. You are asking for the willpower to change. Change is an important part of addiction recovery. You need to change your habits, your life, and sometimes even your friends. This line is both about the power to change and the will to change so that you can lead a better life.

Change takes courage and sometimes when you are an addict that courage is lacking. In this line you are asking for the courage to make a change in your life. Most people do not like change, it scares them and they believe that they cannot do it. It is important to remember that it takes courage to change.

And the Wisdom to Know the Difference Between the Two

Many times the things you think are impossible to change are merely difficult. Knowing the difference between impossible and difficult is key to recovery. Many people think that the difficult things are impossible. In order to recover you have to realize what you can change and what you cannot. If you don’t you wind up trying to change the things that you can’t and believing that the things you can change are impossible. Change is a key to recovery.

Finding a 12 Step Program to Put the Prayer into Practice

In order to put this prayer into practice you have to find the right 12 step program for you. To find one all you need to do is call 1-800-895-1695.

Morita Therapy And The Serenity Prayer

Where do calls go?

Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Additional calls will also be forwarded and returned by one of our treatment partners below.

Calls to any general helpline (non-facility specific 1-8XX numbers) for your visit will be answered by one of our treatment partners, a paid advertiser on 12Step.com.

All calls are private and confidential.

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