MY FAVOURITE PRAYER: Serenity Prayer eases things in stressful world

By  Catholic Register Staff
  • April 13, 2007
For Green Party of Canada leader Elizabeth May it’s difficult to choose a favourite prayer. She’s partial to the Peace Prayer of St. Francis (which is Franciscan in spirit, but not written by St. Francis) and St. Francis’ Canticle of All Creatures (which probably does date from St. Francis’ lifetime).
But the prayer May ultimately relies on is of a much more recent vintage. The Serenity Prayer was penned by American Protestant theologian Reinhold Niebuhr in 1934, but secured its place in the culture when it was adopted by Alcoholics Anonymous in the 1950s. The simple version used by AA says: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”

May chooses this prayer for daily meditation because she finds herself in a stressful world and up against huge odds, according to a member of her staff.

Over the years the Serenity Prayer has wormed its way into a wide range of popular culture. The hardcore punk band Blood for Blood named its 2004 album Serenity after the prayer, and Olivia Newton-John’s 2006 album Stronger Than Before includes a setting of the prayer.

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