PrayingSerenity PrayerQuotationsRelated Pages

Praying for Acceptance Starts with Accepting Nonacceptance

“There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.” —Epictetus

“For if thou canst, correct that which is the cause; but if thou canst not do this, correct at least the thing itself; but if thou canst not do even this, of what use is it to thee to find fault.” —Marcus Aurelius

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10 Things I Cannot Change

The Serenity Prayer for Acceptance

  • This is the complete version.
  • AA and other support groups tend to use only the first paragraph.

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.


Living one day at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to
Peace; taking as He did, this world
As it is, not as I would have it.


Trusting that He will make all things
Right IF I surrender to His will;
That I may be reasonably happy
In this life and supremely happy
With Him, forever in the next.


—Reinhold Niebuhr, 1926

Quotations from Various Sources

Listed Alphabetically

“And then, examine it by those rules which you have, and find, and chiefly by this: whether it concerns the things which are in our control, or those which are not; and if it concerns anything not in our control, be prepared to say that is nothing to you.” —Epictetus

“At the head of all understanding is realizing what is and what cannot be, and the consoling of what is not in our power to change.” —Solomon ibn Gabirol (Solomon ben Judah)

“Correct it or accept it.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice

“Do not seek to bring things to pass in accordance with your wishes, but wish for them as they are, and you will find them.” —Epictetus

“Happy he who learns to bear what he cannot change.” —Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller (1759-1805)

“If you desire any of the things which are not in your own control, you must necessarily be disappointed.” —Epictetus

“Life is short, pray long.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice

“Peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be.” —Wayne Dyer

“Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” —Matthew 6:34

“There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.” —Epictetus

“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?” —Matthew 6:25

“Tolerating frustrating events well increases your power to change what you can change.” —Albert Ellis

“Well, then, is it not better to use what is in their power like a free man than to desire in a slavish and abject way what is not in their power?” —Marcus Aurelius

“When confronted with a situation which we cannot change, we are then challenged to change ourselves.” —Viktor Frankl

“When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation–some fact of my life–unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.” —Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Edition, p. 449 (The Big Book)