Serenity Prayer in the Big Book: How the Serenity Prayer is used in the A.A. community and why it’s important.
serenity prayer in aa big book
the serenity prayer in AA’s big book is a prayer that can help you in moments of struggle. The prayer is as follows:
“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.”
The serenity prayer is a spiritual tool that is used by many people in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). It is written in the AA Big Book and can be found on page 59.
The serenity prayer was written by Reinhold Niebuhr and Richard C. Henry, who were not members of AA. The prayer was first given to Bill Wilson by a Unitarian minister named Dr. Bob Smith, who later became Bill’s sponsor in AA. In turn, Bill gave this prayer to Dr. Bob’s wife Anne Smith when she was struggling with anxiety and depression over her husband’s drinking problem. Anne would read it every day as part of her daily routine, often using it as a form of meditation before going to bed at night. She encouraged him to do the same thing whenever he felt overwhelmed by his own feelings or emotions.
She later convinced him to share this practice with other people struggling with alcoholism through an article that she wrote for The Grapevine newsletter called “Turning Our Will and Our Lives Over To The Care Of God As We Understand Him.” This article was published in May 1946 and was reprinted in the second edition of Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How Many Thousands Of Men And Women Have Recovered From Alcoholism (1957
You can find the Serenity Prayer in the “How It Works” section of the AA Big Book. It’s one of the most famous parts of the book, and it’s recited at meetings all over the world.
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.