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Thursday, October 24, 2019

Serenity Prayer Song for Addiction Recovery

Serenity Prayer
The Serenity Prayer is synonymous with addiction recovery meetings across the country and abroad. While many people know the prayer by heart, fewer know the origins of the prayer. The American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr wrote the prayer for a sermon; church groups in the 1930s and 1940s used the prayer, and Alcoholics Anonymous eventually adopted it.

The prayer was first published in 1951 in a magazine column, according to Yale Alumni Magazine. However, it did appear earlier than that in 1944 A Book of Prayers and Services for the Armed Forces.

Today, millions of people around the world know the prayer by heart, both religious and atheists alike. While it has had many different versions over the decades, the form that people in recovery use reads 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. 

A major component of addiction recovery is acceptance; one must come to terms with the fact that they are not running the show. Men and women must acknowledge that their way didn't work, so long-term recovery will depend upon making drastic changes.

People in active addiction have a common mindset of wanting what they want when they want it. If something does not go the way he or she expects, it quickly becomes of justification for a high or drunk. That mindset is dangerous and must be extinguished if one hopes to succeed in adopting the principles of recovery.

In each person's life, some things can be changed, and some things are out of one's control. All that one can hope for is the wisdom to know when they have the power to influence change. It becomes easier to determine those instances the longer one is in recovery.

Serenity Prayer Song


Some people in recovery repeat the Serenity Prayer to themselves several times a day. It isn't just good for the closing moment of an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. When you are having a hard time, or a seemingly impossible challenge arises, merely saying the prayer can be calming and prevent you from making a rash decision that might result in relapse.

More individuals are learning the words to the prayer now that it's set to music. Boston attorney Patricia St. James created a Serenity Prayer song to help people overcome addiction, WBUR reports. St. James says in an interview that she set the prayer to music for a client who wrote a play called Recovery. However, the song is being utilized outside of the theater; it's being played at some drug court graduations in Massachusetts. St. James shares that:

"After writing the song, I played it for Chief Justice [Paula] Carey. It was her idea initially to use it to be played in the drug courts. I got the idea that maybe it would be helpful for people going through the programs, whether in the courts or otherwise, to actually tell their stories through song." 

St. James is hopeful that more drug courts and treatment programs will start using the song. She wants to get it into an MP3 format so that people can listen to it if they are having a hard time and can't reach their sponsor.

Please take a moment to listen to the short interview:


If you are having trouble listening, please click here.

SLO County Addiction Treatment


Please contact The Haven at Pismo if you require assistance for alcohol or substance use disorder. We offer several programs and a full continuum of care for substance abuse and co-occurring illness, from detox to transitional living. The Haven is the perfect place to renew to your best today.