"Serenity Prayer"

Pastoral Prayer

Broadway Baptist Church, April 26, 2015

Rev. Chris Caldwell


  • O God, we who are here today face challenges not of our own making:

    • diseases

    • disappointments

    • tragedies

    • losses

    • the decline of later years

    • the limits of earlier years.

    • And all these, neither we, nor anyone else, created.

  • Our world faces challenges not of anyone’s making:

    • pandemics

    • earthquakes

    • floods

    • tornadoes.

  • And all these are no one's fault; they just are.

  • Yet other challenges, we or someone else have brought upon ourselves:

    • Bad decisions, by us, or by others, have brought trouble to our doorstep;

    • Losses have come because we or others have grabbed something that did not belong to us;

    • Painful memories of abusers haunt us;

    • Painful words or actions of our own haunt us.


  • And in the world around us and beyond us, people are hurt by the power of human sin.

    • Our fondness for sound bytes and lazy stereotyping has labeled too many people unfairly.  We hurt people by slapping easy words and biased assumptions on them, whether they be

      • those with money, or those without it

      • police officers, or those they arrest

      • handsome people, or not so handsome people

      • young or old

      • single or married

      • blacks or Asian-Americans

      • anglos or latinos

      • straight or gay.

      • All have been lumped into categories and labeled unfairly.

    • And no uncontrollable world force accounts for why thousands drown in overcrowded ferries in the Mediterranean, or why thousands of children are placed atop Latin American trains headed toward the United States.  No law of economics or of war accounts for such utter desperation.  No law exists that says our world must have within it billions who face the scourge of war or the crippling effects of living on a dollar a day.

      • Sin created such a world, and sin sustains it.


  • O God, in the face of our challenges, and the challenges of our world, grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change; the courage to change the things we can; and the wisdom to know the difference.

    • Forgive us our pride in trying to control the uncontrollable.

    • Forgive us our apathy in not trying to fix the fixable.

    • And lead us, one day at a time, closer to your kingdom and your will.