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Elisabeth Sifton

Originally posted November 2003

The Serenity Prayer

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In the summer of 1943, theologian Reinhold Niebuhr penned a simple prayer that has become one of the world's best known -- it's the Serenity Prayer, "God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the things that should be changed, and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other." Now Niebuhr's daughter, renowned book editor Elisabeth Sifton, puts the Serenity Prayer in the context of her father's life and times, and his faith and beliefs. Her book also seeks to cement its proper provenance, since its popularity has given rise to many competing claims of authorship.

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