Menu Close

What Is a Serenity Prayer?

two people sit at a bench possibly discussing What is a serenity prayer

The serenity prayer is a short prayer that became popular through Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and other 12-step therapy programs. It provides a more religious or spiritual experience for men and women who believe their sobriety lies within giving themselves over to a higher power. Patients can experience the benefits of the serenity prayer and other beneficial therapies through an outpatient treatment program.

At Ashwood Recovery, we support men and women struggling with addiction or other mental health disorders. Our certified therapists have experience working with various therapies and will create a tailored treatment program that addresses all of your recovery needs. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction and ready for a positive change, call 888.341.3607 today for more information about how our outpatient treatment facility can benefit your recovery.

What Is a Serenity Prayer?

American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr created the original serenity prayer between 1932-1933. Here is the serenity prayer:

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”

Over time, some wording of the prayer has changed, but the meaning is the same; asking for help from God to grant the power to change the negative thoughts and habits that led to the addiction. In AA, they repeat the serenity prayer at the end of every meeting to reflect on the connection between inner peace and freedom from substance abuse.

At Ashwood Recovery, we know that some of our patients prefer a more religious recovery experience and offer 12-step therapy as one of our therapy options. We base each person’s treatment program on their individual needs and the severity of their addiction.

How to Explain the Serenity Prayer

You don’t have to be very religious or have studied the bible to understand the power that the serenity prayer can have. It can help patients accept that they need help with the things they cannot control and focus on what they can control.

To explain the serenity prayer, here are the four virtues that it focuses on:

  • Serenity – A calm or serene state of mind will help patients focus on the present and their recovery. Patients often obsess or become anxious over past or future events that can cause them to worry, panic, and reach for another drink to calm them down.
  • Acceptance – Acceptance is an important part of the recovery process. It helps patients accept that there are certain things that they cannot control and let go of them. They can then start focusing on what they can control in their lives.
  • Courage – The serenity prayer can give patients strength and determination to do what is in their power. Addiction recovery can be hard at times, and this prayer reminds them to hold onto their courage during their darkest times.
  • Wisdom – The wisdom to know what is in your control and what is not can get fuzzy when you abuse drugs and alcohol. Patients gain the wisdom to understand the things they can control and stop holding onto the things they cannot.

Choose Ashwood Recovery for Your Addiction Recovery Through Our Outpatient Treatment Programs

At Ashwood Recovery, we offer 12-step therapy for patients who feel their recovery is in the hands of a Higher Power. We offer a full range of therapy options to help as many people as possible with their recovery journey:

  • 12-step therapy
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Group and individual therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Art therapy

Call 888.341.3607 today or fill out our online contact form to experience the power of the serenity prayer and how it can aid in your recovery journey.