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The Serenity Prayer – God Grant Me…

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.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Amen.

Reinhold Niebuhr


The first part of this prayer is beautiful and full of wisdom, but it’s the second part of the prayer, that we don’t often hear, that moves me even more.

God help me to live one day at a time. I try to live so many at once.

God help me to enjoy one moment at a time. I often am unaware, ungrateful and so “hurried” or distracted I miss the moments before me in ungratefulness.

And God, may I be so bold as to ask for happiness? It seems unchristian or unspiritual to ask for that, but is it?  If i could only be happy.  If I could only smile more.  If I could laugh more until I cry.  If I could only tap into the joy that is already in me that is all that you are, then wouldn’t that be one of the most powerful testimonies and examples about the love, joy, and power of God that I could give.  To be happy in an unhappy world?  To know deep happiness and joy, to feel it, live it, enjoy it and share it.  Is it too much to ask to be reasonably happy here, right now in this world.  Haven’t I read that “My joy will be in you and your joy will be complete.”  Help me uncover all that covers it, to dislodge all barriers and blocks to it that I may live on the border between reasonable and supreme happiness and joy now.

And then I realize – that all these things that I’m requesting from God  are all the things I can also practice myself.  So God, bring them, give them please.  Or, may I access them, remove the barriers to them within myself, decide for them and cultivate them in my life and thereby choose them in you.