How I find peace in the midst of turmoil and strife

man standing on rock with waves during daytime

One of my greatest tools for finding peace in the midst of turmoil is praying the Serenity Prayer in its entirety

The actual author of the Serenity Prayer was Reinhold Niebuhr, widely considered the most renowned American theologian of the 20th century.

The earliest reference to the prayer is found in 1932. The question he was struggling with was the question of reality: What is it to be a victorious person in the world as it is – not in the world as it is promised one day to be or as it should be, but as it is?

What drove this question in him was his own foresight as he looked at the rise to fascism and Nazism in Europe, imperialism in Japan, and thereafter of communism.

His first use of the prayer in a worship service occurred in 1943. He refined the prayer as a matter of his personal devotion and reflection over the course of years, until 1951.

Here is the final version of the prayer, in which you hear how rooted it is in Christ:

What I hear most in this prayer is surrenderSurrendering is the path to peace.

Surrendering our will to God’s, including at times our hopes and dreams:

  • Being aware of when I am trying to run the show.
  • Relinquishing my anger over the medical system or what I see others doing wrong
  • Wanting my mother/mother-in-law to see things differently and react differently
  • Wanting to be able to retire but not sure if it’s the right time and not being in one accord with spouse
  • Wanting him to see it my way.

Surrendering our fears and worries:

  • How am I ever going to get this all done?
  • What’s going to happen to my son (or daughter) if he (she) continues down this path?
  • What’s going to happen when 5G rolls out in full force?
  • What will people think of me if I stand up for what I see as evil?
  • How am I going to afford to pay for housing and food?

When we accept and surrender, we can gain greater clarity on what to do.  We can receive God’s wisdom to distinguish between what we can change and what we cannot change. And we can better trust Him.

We can never change the past, what’s done.  (Trust me! I spent a lot of time trying, it never worked!)

If you get anxious or angry because your husband does not communicate the way you think he should, you’re likely thinking, ‘he should not have gone and watched TV after dinner, I wanted to have time talking.’

When you think this,  you’re arguing with reality b/c he did go watch TV.  And arguing with reality will never serve you; it will only frustrate you.

We can never change anyone else.

But with God’s help we can change and grow ourselves, which may just have the ripple effect of helping others to change and grow too.  🙂

Click here for a print version of the prayer to carry with you:  The Serenity Prayer

Peace and grace,

Karen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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