The Serenity Prayer Elisabeth Sifton is the daughter of American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, who wrote the Serenity Prayer. The prayer appeals for grace, courage and wisdom. It has become a mantra of Alcoholics Anonymous, but has appealed to, and been quoted by, many people all over the world. Niebuhr wrote it in 1943. Sifton's new book about her father and the circumstances that led to the prayer is The Serenity Prayer: Faith and Politics in Times of Peace and War. Sifton is senior vice president of Farrar, Straus and Giroux and has been an editor and book publisher for 40 years.