Be a little better today

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


This simple prayer is recited in the rooms of all sober support meetings. A prayer of peace, courage, and wisdom from one’s higher power. For some, it is something one may say by rote. For others, it holds deep and significant spiritual meaning. Recovery requires us to seek insight and wisdom every day. This, hopefully, leads being courageous in order to become a little better. A simple prayer with a complex and interesting statement:  Written by Reinhold Niebuhr.

Niebuhr’s prayer for serenity goes beyond the first stanza:

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

Living one day 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 forever in the next. Amen. 

One Day at a Time

Pealing away from the cliche terms utilized in recovery, we begin to unpack the true principle meanings. One oft hears, Take one day at a time! when it comes to recovery. Each day is a gift. How we live it daily determines if we are moving toward sobriety or moving back toward relapse and bondage to our substances. By taking one day at a time, we come to accept and experience the hardships of our recovery and life in order to understand how this may lead toward peace.

Accepting reality

While we desire to have our recovery and sense of serenity as we want to have it, we come to realize that we are to take our recover for what it really is. Accepting life on life’s terms comes through understanding our inability to control, or manipulate, things. Our greatest downfall is our own illusion of control. Letting go of our control and surrender our life and our will to our Higher Power helps us come to comfort, peace, and gain wisdom.

Trusting requires faith and hope

As we focus on submitting our lives and wills over to a higher power, as we may understand, we gain faith and hope. For many, this is a difficult task. Despite any misgivings, the reality comes when we faithfully place our trust in a higher power, we are lead to a life where things are made right. Healed relationships, restoration of health, increased vitality, emotional and mental stability, restoration in personal identity where there is meaning and purpose, ability to serve others, and re-established beliefs and values.

Requires complete and total surrender on our part

Recognition we are incapable of gaining wisdom, incapable of making things right, and recognition we are unable to trust our own self is the reason we come to realize our need to surrender our life and will over to our higher power. Our surrendering to a higher power means we understand we may be reasonably happy in our own recovery. Surrendering leads us toward the higher goal of supreme happiness sobriety may offer us.

In this way, we come to resonate the truth of scripture:

Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you. ~ 2 Corinthians 13:11. 

Let us, therefore, be a little better today in recovery as we continually surrender our will and life over to our higher power in order to gain comfort, peace, and trust in the will of God as we realize we are not alone.


Thoughtful Meditation for today

Today, I give my  life and my will over to you as I seek to become a little better today in accepting the hardships of life that lead to peace. I know you are with me always and working through me to make things right.

Published by Timothy R. Berman

Founder and content provider for Damascus Way Recovery. Developing relevant content to educate, inform, and empower conversations regarding Homelessness, Substance use Disorders, and Mental Health issues from a Christian perspective and worldview.

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