Devotional – Tuesday, April 21, 2020


Several years ago I came across a prayer that later would become a part of my daily prayer life. When I first discovered this prayer I liked it but did not give it much thought. Some time later I learned this prayer was a regular part of AA meetings. That caused me to look at this simple prayer more closely. The more I studied the prayer I realized that it its simplicity was deep spiritual insight..You have probably guessed that prayer is The Serenity Prayer. The prayer was written by Protestant American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr in the 1930s. 

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.

Do you see why I like this prayer so much? It is simple, easy to memorize yet has deep spiritual insight. In this prayer we ask God for three things: serenity, courage and wisdom. To receive these three things – to experience serenity, to have courage to act and to have wisdom means we will need to talk with God often. We ask God for these three but we must also work for them and depend upon the grace of God to lead us along the way. For me the Serenity Prayer has become a vital part of my life. I pray it before I go to sleep, when I wake, when I am afraid, when I am happy, when I do not know what else to say, and when I fail.

I have been praying it a lot recently as I have been anxious, afraid, bored and uncertain about the future. The Serenity prayer gives me a sense of peace and hope in these troubled times. What I have learned is that if I really pray this prayer and not just say the words God will give me the grace I need to put it in practice. And He gives me His peace. 

Jesus promised us that, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27) Jesus said this to His disciples knowing that suffering lay ahead, assuring them that in the midst of it all, they need not fear. Psalms 31:15 says, “My times are in your hands…” If we believe that, then we can face the future with confidence and hope. During this time when we are home, have time on our hands and are wondering about the future, pray this prayer. God will hear you and will give you peace. Maybe it will become a daily part of your life.

Grace and Peace.

Offered by Rev. Dr. Michael Elmore

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