Serenity Prayer is a powerful tool used in the 12 steps for addiction recovery: “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”.
“The world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.” This is the gospel according to 1st John 2:16 – 17.
John talks about how human beings are susceptible to earthly indulgences. Sometimes we are so absorbed into these activities that we end up developing addictions for them. Fortunately, even in addiction, God still offers a way out.
Serenity prayers are the kind of prayers that can help you overcome your addictions. Contained in this article are the 12 steps conducting serenity prayers.
Don’t forget to review our post about “Serenity Prayer – How to use the 4 Principles for Addiction Recovery“.
1.- Accepting What You Can’t Change
The first element of a serenity prayer is accepting that some things are beyond your control. For instance, once you become addicted to a habit, the control you had over yourself is lost. You lose one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit – self-control.
Acknowledge this fact in your prayers. For even in 1 Corinthians 13 it is written “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience.
And God is faithful; He will not allow you to be tempted more than you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure.”
Accepting that you can’t change everything will help you to submit to the Lord’s grace in your recovery prayers. God only works a miracle in us when we submit to Him.
2.- Encouraging Yourself to Change What You Can
After conceding that change is not completely under your control, motivate yourself to change what you can in the recovery prayer. You might have fallen into addiction because of your harmful habits. It is still in your power to change these habits.
Encouraging yourself in prayers works because you restore the confidence that you already lost. Philippians 4:16 reminds us that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
It is through including such elements in our serenity prayers that we derive the spiritual strength to change for the better.
3.- Asking for Wisdom to Know Possible from Impossible
In the recovery prayer, it is important to ask for wisdom. The kind of wisdom that will open your eyes to what mortals can do and what only God can achieve. The kind of wisdom that will help you to appreciate and respect these differences.
Addiction recovery is a bumpy journey. Asking for wisdom to distinguish these differences will help you remain steadfast. You will know which roles you are expected to play in this journey.
You will also understand the role of the spiritual aspect of this journey and learn to be patient with it.
4.- Living One Day at a Time
The journey to addiction recovery is one whose time limit is unknown. A person could take six months or maybe a year or even five years.
It is different from person to person. The mysterious nature of this journey may breed anxiety in recovering addicts. They may begin to wonder when they will complete this journey.
Therefore, it’s necessary that we ask God to help us live one day at a time in our recovery prayers.
We should not dwell in the past for it is written in Isiah 43:19 “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make pathways through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”
5.- Enjoying One Moment at a Time
Solomon in his wisdom observed that there is time for everything. We do not have to do everything at once. In recovery addiction, there is also a time for everything. There will be times of pain and times of rejoicing in the journey.
Sometimes you will be hopeless at other times you will irradiate optimism. It is then good to include in your recovery prayer a request to be enabled to navigate these tides.
The Bible says in John 16:24 “you haven’t done this before. Ask using my name, and you will receive it. And you will have abundant joy.”
Asking to enjoy moments at a time through recovery prayers important. It does not matter whether the moments are defined with pain or joy.
The recoveree will understand that this is God’s way towards healing. It will help them to remain calm and appreciate the processes in their lives.
6.- Accepting Hardships as the Pathway to Peace
Recovery prayers should include an element of accepting hardships that come along the way. We all know that once you develop addictive habits to some sort of pleasure, letting go of it is an uphill task.
There will be moments of withdrawal and times of second-guessing your choice of opting for a recovery. Christ had foreseen His crucifixion long before it happened. But even so, He still prayed to God asking to be spared from crucifixion.
But since it was the will of God, He opted to accept the hardship that was coming His way and prayed for strength to cope with it. We should exemplify Christ when in our serenity prayers.
Accepting the hardships that come with addiction recovery through prayers will help us handle the situation better. We will realize that even in our hardships we are not alone. The strength of God keeps us moving.
7.- Accepting the World to be Sinful
1st John 1:8 says “If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in truth.” John wanted everyone to understand that we are imperfect. It is not by our own will sometimes that we commit sins. The world was already sinful even before you were born.
As such in the recovery journey, acknowledge in your prayers that you live in a sinful world. And just like other mortals, you fell into sinning that yielded your addictions.
Accepting the world is sinful helps in addiction recovery becomes it helps with the healing. The first step towards recovery is always to admit. Admit that you fell into temptations of this sinful world and that you are ready to emancipate yourself from it.
8.- Accepting it is God’s Will
Serenity prayers should acknowledge the fact that every situation we find ourselves in is because of God’s will. God says in Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
Accepting that our addictions are because God willed it helps us submit to the Lord. We quickly realize that maybe we got addicted so that our bad habits are brought to light. God then gives us a redemption chance through addiction.
Once we understand that even our recovery depends on His will, we will be in a better position to undertake the recovery journey according to spiritual principles.
9.- Trusting God will Make Things Right
Once we have acknowledged the will of God, we should also make it clear in our prayers that we trust His guidance.
For in Proverbs 3: 5 – 6 pieces of advice, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your understanding. Seek His will in all you do and He will show you which path to take.”
Trusting in the Lord in the recovery process preserves our endurance. In whatever hardship we might encounter, we are assured that our paths will eventually be straightened.
10.- Living Our Lives Happily
It will not be uncommon to find people who will mock you during your addiction recovery. Sometimes this mockery and ridicule might overwhelm you. You may start feeling unworthy and your happiness is affected.
To mitigate this, ask in your serenity prayer for the Lord to preserve your happiness.
For even David advises in Psalms 1:1-3 “Oh the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither and they prosper in all they do.”
11.- Happiness in God
Serenity prayers must always include this. It is very possible that during your addiction you lost touch with the spiritual aspect of your life. Maybe you became afraid of the light when you indulged in the dark world.
Include this request in your prayers to restore your relationship with God. God is a forgiving God, He won’t forsake you. Living in Happiness in God will help you shift your happiness dependency from human beings to God. As such, you will always have a shoulder to lean on during the recovery.
12.- Admit Your Wrongs to God and People
In your recovery prayers admit the wrongs that led you to be addicted. Ask God to forgive these wrongs so that your path may be righteous again. Besides, ask God to give you the strength to admit these wrongs to your fellow human beings.
Make it a point of admitting these wrongs to the people and ask their forgiveness too. In the end, admitting will free you from the burden of guilt. With this gone, you can focus fully on recovering.
Serenity Prayer can help you deal with any difficult situation. Be it an addiction, loss of a loved one or a job. Anything that will require you to recover.
Serenity prayer will empower you with the spiritual strength, wisdom, and endurance to overcome the trying recovery times. Start practicing this kind of prayer as soon as possible. You never know when it might come handy.
Leave me a comment or share with me a story or a testimony on how effective the Serenity Prayer is and how your life or the life of a loved one has changed thanks to this powerful Prayer!