This week I will talk about a familiar prayer. Serenity Prayer. This prayer is used by People in AA. The prayer is short but profound. The three sentences convey three messages that work together. They sum up what we should pray daily. I will use this prayer for us to learn acceptance requires change.
The first sentence says ‘God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change”. I love the place of this sentence in the prayer. The first sentence the author asks God to grant him something. He asked for serenity. Serenity means, the state of being calm, peaceful and untroubled. That is deep. I mean you ask God to allow you to be calm, peaceful and untroubled. But from what? To accept the things I cannot change. He didn’t ask God for money, fame or for God to hurt the people that hurt him. No, he wants to be untroubled about accepting change.
The word accept means to consent to receive. We must be calm to consent to receive the things we can’t change (alter). We can’t change others. Our families, the neighbourhood in which we grow up in, the elementary and high school we went to. The Ministers or Pastors that guided our former years in the church. The Co-workers and managers we worked with. These people are things we couldn’t change because they were placed in your lives. These people opinions of us at the times may be harsh. It may not just be verbal but also physical. As this may be true we can’t change those situations or circumstances. We need to be calm, peaceful and untroubled to accept (consent to receive) what we can’t change (alter). We can’t change the past behaviour of others in our lives. All we can do is accept that it has happened and not allow it to be our future.
The second sentences say “Courage to change the things I can”. Now the second sentences he places the responsibility on himself for his change. He asks for courage to change the things he can. We all need courage (brave) and begin the process of changing (altering) ourselves. We must change. In the word of God, it tells us we are to be transformed Romans 12:2. Transformation only happens when we are ready. We must give up your old self for a new and improve version.
If you want to change you, first change the way you feel, talk and see yourself. The person who hurts us the most is us. We feel bad about things we did or didn’t do and instead of taking responsibility we make excuses why nothing is working out. Change requires accepting responsibility. We see ourselves as overweight but continue to eat our feelings of past hurts and pains and expect to lose weight. It will not happen. We must accept the pain of our past, receive change (alter) to live the life we want.
The last sentences say “Wisdom to know the difference”. This is three sentences and so important. If we lack wisdom (experience) we are in trouble. We need to be clear on the difference between their stuff and our stuff. Without this wisdom, we will repeat the same cycle.Wisdom means the quality of having experience, knowledge and good judgement, the quality of being wise. The wisdom factor looks like this. Your stuff is the things you think about ourselves that we don’t tell their people. Example ” I need to shed a few pounds so I can look better in my clothes. Their stuff is their opinion about who you are or have been or will be. Example, ” I notice you have put on some weight lately. Don’t get mad about it you were always chunky. Being big isnt so bad plus you have a pretty face “
As we accept the things we can’t change and the things we can our lives will get better. Like the people in AA that are learning to live in sobriety, we must do the same. We must stop being intoxicated with pass hurts and pains and work to be alert to see our future. We can live a calm life just accept it. I hope you like the following prayer: