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The wording of AA’s prayer, still used today, is as follows: (Niebuhr’s preferred version, according to his daughter, was the one that appears at the beginning of this article. The one in Robbins’s 1944 book, based on the text that Niebuhr himself handed to Robbins, is closer to the AA version.) At first, AA did not know of Niebuhr’s connection with the prayer and did not attribute it to anyone.

In its literature over the years, AA has given detailed but conflicting accounts of how the organization first found the Serenity Prayer—stating that the prayer was spotted in an obituary in the New York Times or New York Herald Tribune, in 1939 or 1940 or 1941 or 1942. wrote in his book, Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age: “Never had we seen so much AA in so few words.” To this day the prayer remains a mainstay of AA meetings, and it is as a celebrated part of the culture and language of recovery that the Serenity Prayer probably exerts its greatest influence and inspiration.

Today it is possible to buy jewelry, candles, and many kinds of embroidery kits that feature the prayer—even Zippo lighters. Mc Clure, Mobile, Ala., associated it with the works of Reinhold Niebuhr, associate professor of philosophy at Union Theological Seminary, N. No further identification given by this correspondent about the passage.

The Niebuhr family’s most extensive discussion of the prayer appears in a 2003 book by Elisabeth Sifton, Niebuhr’s daughter, entitled The Serenity Prayer: Faith and Politics in Times of Peace and War. of January 1950 states that the prayer “was actually written by Dr.

In an undated memorandum in the Reinhold Niebuhr papers at the Library of Congress, she wrote: My husband wrote that prayer in [the] early 1940s during the war. My husband and I were never quite sure whether it was 1941 or 1942. Hart, various World War II military leaders, and anonymous sources going back to the ancient Egyptians.