God Comes First In The Serenity Prayer

“Every now and again take a good look at something not made with hands—a mountain, a star, the turn of a stream. There will come to you wisdom and patience and solace and, above all, the assurance that you are not alone in the world.” –Sidney Lovett

When I pray the serenity prayer, I place a special emphasis on the first word, “God.” Now, don’t stop reading at this point. See, what I love about the Al-Anon program and the CoDA (Codependency Anonymous) program is they allow for each to come the “God of his own understanding.”

I had a relationship with God before I ever started the program, but I soon realized it didn’t work for me. I grew up with an abusive, alcoholic father, so my very first concept of God was as a tyrant who sat up in heaven keeping score and who did not like me very much. It was exacerbated by my Catholic faith (I’m not saying Catholicism is a bad thing necessarily; it just did a weird number on me in many ways).

To keep this from being a long, drawn-out story, let me just say that it wasn’t until I came to Al-Anon that I realized I needed to rethink my concept of God. Yes, He’s sovereign, and all-knowing and all that is still true. But He’s personal, and I can speak with Him just as easily as I speak to my best friend, my ubersponsor. He wants to know the things that are important to me, the things that worry me, the things I feel bad about, and so forth.

But for me God is the most important part of the serenity prayer. Sometimes I forget that, and today I wanted to remind myself. Because . . . I’m so thankful I don’t have to do this alone.

I hope you are having a great Sunday! Peace out.

2 thoughts on “God Comes First In The Serenity Prayer

  1. What a great piece of writing, Chris! I completely identify even though my upbringing was not Catholic. I think a lot of churches push the “mean ‘ol God” image and have no idea the spiritual damage they’re doing. It was through the 12 steps that I learned how I felt about God when I told Him that I did not understand Him. I didn’t get an immediate answer to that, but when I later found that personal relationship with Him, I learned that He was not mad at me for feeling that way and that He used that complaint to lead me closer to Him. I love that you focus first on God for the Serenity Prayer, and I will now be thinking the same thing whenever I say or think about the words to it.


    • Crystal, thank you for reading, and commenting. Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you. Tough times. I’m glad you found your own relationship with God through your own way…it all happens differently, doesn’t it?


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