Applying the Serenity Prayer to Marriage

Serenity Prayer Marriage AdobeStock_502264441Most of us have seen what is termed as The Serenity Prayer at some point in our lifetime. And probably most of us have prayed it a time or two, or more. But have you ever applied it to your marriage prayers? And what about the whole prayer in its entirety? We hadn’t thought of this before; but we’re thinking and applying it now! Hope you do too!

There are several “authors” attributed to this prayer (with Francis of Assisi, and Reinhold Neibuhr being two of them). There’s also a shorter version of the prayer and then a “fuller” version. Different people have different takes on all of this. But we don’t care. That’s not relevant to this Marriage Insight. We just want to apply a great prayer outline to our marriages. Any (reasonable) prayer that we lift to the Lord on the behalf of our marriages is a great idea!

So, here’s the short version of The Serenity Prayer. Read it and see what you think as far as applying it to your marriage. We also encourage you to pray it:

The Serenity Prayer and Marriage

“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.”

Do you see how you can apply this to marriage? We all know that there are a multitude of things we can’t change in our marriage relationship. So, why keep hammering away at and focusing on those things? Give them to God, grab onto His peace, and let go of whatever you can. And then ask God to help you to accept that, which you can’t change. (That can be difficult, no doubt—but it’s important.)

And then as you move along, ask God to help you to be courageous to change that, which you CAN. This is also not easy. But there isn’t very much in marriage that is! However, we’re told in the Bible: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid… for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.(Deuteronomy 31:6) We can have courage to do what we should in our marriage because God is with us.

But here’s another important thing to all of this. Ask God to give you the wisdom to “know the difference.” We’re told, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (James 1:5)

Fuller Version of Serenity Prayer

With that said, here’s the “fuller version” of this prayer. Again, we encourage you to read it AND pray it. We will add a few short comments and scriptures in [indented brackets]. It starts out:

“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.”

[We encourage you to pray this, applying it to your marriage.]

But then it goes on to say:

“Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time.”

[Lord Jesus, help us to do this knowing, “This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.(Psalm 118:24)]

“Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace, taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is—not as I would have it, trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His will.”

[“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.(Romans 8:28)] “…We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.(Romans 5:3-4)]

“That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Amen.”

[“One thing I have desired of the LORD, that will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple.(Psalm 24:7) As we are told: “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.(James 1:12)]

And to all of this, as you apply what the Lord teaches you, we say, Amen!

As it applies to your marriage:

To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of His calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by His power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.(1 Thessalonians 1:11-12)

Cindy and Steve Wright


To help you further, we give a lot of personal stories, humor, and more practical tips in our book, 7 ESSENTIALS to Grow Your Marriage. We hope you will pick up a copy for yourself. (It’s available both electronically and in print form.) Plus, it can make a great gift for someone else. It gives you the opportunity to help them grow their marriage. And who doesn’t need that? Just click on the linked title or the picture below:

7 Essentials - Marriage book


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