Recovery from addiction – how prayer can help

These days, many nations have heard about the prayer of serenity. Anyone who has gone to 12 Step meetings, such as Anonymous Alcoholics, Anonymous Names or Al-Anon to reduce alcohol or drugs, will acknowledge this prayer as a group rating at the end of these meetings.

God, give me education

To accept what I can not change,

Courage to change what I can,

And the wisdom to understand the difference.

But you have often heard this prayer and sometimes often say it yourself, have you ever looked at it in a bad way to see what it really means?

God, give me the thought

Of course! The dictionary defines "calmness" as calm, peacefulness and tranquility. How we all want to find it going! Serenity is a big part of physical and emotional self-defense. When you do not feel calm you can suffer from it in many ways.

Physically, your stress levels are raised as you worry, frustrated, even outrageous. These feelings can contribute to such diseases as heart disease, irritability and cancer.

A lack of emotional tranquility can lead to depression, insomnia and addictive behaviors such as alcohol and drug abuse, eating disorders and violence.

To accept what I can not change

Most of us admit that there is definitely power that is greater than us and many things we can not control or change. To test this theory, consider this: even if you do not want the sun to rise tomorrow, it's going to rise anyway. Even if you want the lawn to be purple, it will turn green no matter what you do.

And even if you want other people to work differently, unless you're consistent with what you want, you'll probably be very hard to change them, because actually changing others than yourself is impossible.


Now there's a tricky part – if we can not change another person, or what color will the lawn, or if the sun will come tomorrow, what's on earth?

And of course, the only answer to the elderly question "self us" is. We can only change ourselves. But to change something about ourselves, we first need to open our eyes well enough to realize that our unhealthy behavior has become a problem for us. We need to be prepared to come out of our own denial and choose something different for ourselves.

It's not easy to take this kind of full responsibility for ourselves – and that's why this part of Serenity encourages prayer. It does not need courage to make things easier in life. It is courage to be willing to change ourselves if we are not happy with anything in our lives.


This can be the most important part of Serenity Prayer. When we have "wisdom to understand the difference" between what we can and can not change, we can save us great troubles and high energy. When we can distinguish between what is and what is not something we can change, we can stop trying to control what we absolutely can not control!

You can begin to accept your own imperfection and develop the very necessary understanding and compassion for yourself. This will once again help you to be understanding and compassionate to others, even if you do not resemble their behavior.

Moreover, when you begin to respect you more, you will find yourself setting healthier goals with people in your life. You take personal responsibility for yourself and your decisions, including how you have allowed others to treat you.

Being grateful to wisdom to understand the difference and know how to change what you can, will create what you may have tried to find in your life.

The next time you hear or recite the Serenity Prayer, consider what this simple prayer really means and reflect how you can change what you can so that you can have the quality of life you want.


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