Sunday, August 24, 2014


by Pastor Bob Lawrenz

    It is easy to identify the pattern of trouble and despair being changed to joyful anticipation and trust in David’s Psalms. Our “present” circumstances can be daunting, and some may even fear for their lives, as David did so often.

    But to quiet our minds and look to the Lord God is an indication of a changing heart. Looking to God and waiting for His perfect will is often the only thing left for us to do. Alcoholics Anonymous adopted “The Serenity Prayer” and uses it regularly in their meetings.

    Written by Reinhold Niebahr (1892-1971) as a prayer to God, Niebahr is credited with the prayer in 1937, but he himself did not publish it until 1951.
A.A. adopted the following portion  of the prayer: 

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can, And the wisdom to know the difference.”

    After 1951, Niebuhr’s full prayer came to light and we find it to be unwaveringly a Christian Prayer, and not just a few words to be recited at a 12-Step Meeting:
God, give me 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.    Amen.

    The bold words are my own emphasis. But as you read through the Serenity Prayer, you will identify the fruit of the Spirit as listed in Galatians 5:22,23 : Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance.

    The underlying message of the Serenity Prayer then is the encouragement for each to be Spirit-Filled, with the anticipation of Eternal Life with Christ! 

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