The Prayer of Serenity

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. – James 3:13-16

Life is messy and not black and white; we need God’s wisdom to navigate its complexities. 

Many of us are facing tough questions, some of them showed up in the prayer cards during our January 2023 Pray First

  • God, give me the wisdom to know how to be a light to my children who are far from you. 
  • Give me the wisdom to know how to navigate the mental health of loved ones. 
  • Help me know how to talk to my child about their struggle with sexuality or gender. 
  • Should I move my family or stay put? 
  • Should I get a new job? 

These are difficult decisions, and we’re terrified to make the wrong move. Here’s the good news. 

We can pray for wisdom. Praying for God’s wisdom over our own is how we continue to surrender to His idea of human flourishing. It’s saying, God, I trust you and submit to what you say is best, not what I think is best. 

We can read and reread God’s word, where we find the story of God’s wisdom and how we are designed to live in it. 

We can let others walk with us. There are so many ways to connect with others, to know and be known by them. Step into a group where you can navigate the complexities of life with those who are also doing the same. We are not meant to do it alone.

Solomon had wisdom beyond imagination, but even he failed to completely live by God’s wisdom. And there were many who came before and after him who showed potential but ultimately failed as well. Then Christ came, the one who perfectly submitted to God’s wisdom in every situation. He is the Truth and Wisdom personified. When tempted to choose His own way, He remained faithful. The wisest thing we could ever do is choose Him, love Him, and be like Him in the world.

Let’s close with this famous prayer for wisdom by Reinhold Niebur: 

The Prayer for Serenity

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.

Living one day at a time;

Enjoying one moment at a time;

Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;

Taking, as He did, this sinful world

As it is, not as I would have it;

Trusting that He will make things right

If I surrender to His Will;

So that I may be reasonably happy in this life

And supremely happy with Him

Forever and ever in the next.


Related Message

Speaker: Carlos Ortiz