For many years, long after the Serenity Prayer became attached to the very fabric of the Fellowship's life and thought, its exact origin, its actual author, have played a tantalizing game of hide and seek with researchers, both in and out of A. I honestly do believe that I wrote it myself." Early in World War II, with Dr. By then it had also been reprinted by the National Council of Churches, as well as Alcoholics Anonymous. Niebuhr was quite accurate in suggesting that the prayer may have been "spooking around" for centuries. "Some say it came from the early Greeks; others think it was from the pen of an anonymous English poet; still others claim it was written by an American Naval officer... The search for pinpointing origins of the prayer has been like the peeling of an onion. "In a rather dreary hall of a converted hotel, overlooking the Rhine at Koblenz," the correspondent wrote, is a tablet inscribed with the following words: These words were attributed, the correspondent wrote, to an 18th century pietist, Friedrich Oetinger (1702-1782). behavior of the soldier citizen in a democratic state." Here, at last, thought A. researchers, was concrete evidence-quote, author, date-of the Serenity Prayer's original source. But it also added more tantalizing facts about the plaque's origin.
Rheinhold Niebuhr, who recounted to interviewers on several occasions that he had written the prayer as a "tag line" to a sermon he had delivered on Practical Christianity. Niebuhr added at least a touch of doubt to his claim, when he told one interviewer, "Of course, it may have been spooking around for years, even centuries, but I don't think so. What are probably truly ancient, as with the above quote from Cicero, are the prayer's themes of acceptance, courage to change what can be changed and the free letting go of what is out of one's ability to change. Grapevine received a clipping of an article that had appeared in the Paris Herald Tribune, by the paper's correspondent in Koblenz, then in West Germany. Peter's research threw the authenticity of 18th century authorship out the window.
Someone suggested that the prayer be printed on a small, wallet-sized card, to be included in every piece of outgoing mail. staff member, Anita R., browsing in a New York bookstore, came upon a beautifully bordered card, on which was printed: "Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, give us Serenity to accept what cannot be changed, Courage to change what should be changed, and Wisdom to know the one from the other; through Jesus Christ, our Lord." The card, which came from a bookshop in England, called it the "General's Prayer," dating it back to the fourteenth century! Bill made this very point years ago, in thanking an A. friend for the plaque upon which the prayer was inscribed: "In creating A. is now located borders on a stretch of New York City's 120th St., between Riverside Drive and Broadway (where the Union Theological Seminary is situated). 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.
Niebuhr's permission, the prayer was printed on cards and distributed to the troops by the U. "No one can tell for sure who first wrote the Serenity Prayer," writes Bill in A. ." Other attributions have gone as far afield as ancient Sanskrit texts, Aristotle, St. Moreover, the plaque was affixed to a wall in a hall where modern day troops and company com-manders of the new German army were trained "in the principles of management and . That conviction went unchallenged for fifteen years. "The first form of the prayer," Beth wrote back, originated with Boethius, the Roman philosopher (480-524 A.
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Moreover, every time a researcher appears to uncover the definitive source, another one crops up to refute the former's claim, at the same time that it raises new, intriguing facts. He had written a book in which he had included the prayer, without attribution, but which resulted in the prayer's appearance in many different places, such as army officer's halls, schools and other institutions. Known for the legendary High Strength Hull, Winchester AA ammunition is a favorite of reloaders everywhere.