Read the full Serenity Prayer when you start to feel overwhelmed

It’s one thing to accept the things we can’t change, but it’s entirely another to keep ourselves in that mindset. Being aware of our negative attitudes isn’t always enough to break free from their harm—sometimes we need something to break ourselves out of our temporarily jaded outlook.

The Serenity Prayer, often used in Twelve Step meetings, has released many people from being trapped in exasperation, fury, and dread, and led them to genuine tranquility and new purpose.

Try saying the Serenity Prayer whenever your thoughts and emotions start clouding over with gloom, fog, or storms. Sometimes this means saying the prayer multiple times a day:

God, grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference; 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 in the next. Amen.

—Dr. Reinhold Niebhur

Action Step: Make a copy of the Serenity Prayer to carry with you in your wallet, purse, or cell phone so that it’s instantly accessible. Read the prayer out loud several times today.

This is an excerpt from my book, 9 Critical Steps to Take in a Mental Health Crisis. To find out more, please click here.


Hi, I'm Jim. I've been through the emotional wringer. I've been a successful pastor and leader and a loving father, but I've also been suicidally depressed. I'll teach you the techniques I used to heal myself, and give you the tools to reclaim your life and move forward!

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