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.
This well-known version of the prayer was written by the American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr around 1932. The prayer came to the attention of an early member of A.A. in 1940. He liked it so much he brought it to G.S.O., then on Vesey Street. When Bill and the staff read the little prayer they felt that it particularly suited the needs of A.A. and they had cards printed and passed around.
“Never had we seen so much A.A. in so few words,” -Bill W.