Niebuhr's versions of the prayer were always printed as a single prose sentence; printings that set out the prayer as three lines of verse modify the author's original version.
In 1950, in response to questions about the already quite widely known prayer's provenance, Niebuhr wrote that the prayer "may have been spooking around for years, even centuries, but I don't think so.
I honestly do believe that I wrote it myself." The Serenity Prayer will be listed under Niebuhr’s name in the next edition of the Yale Book of Quotations, whose author Fred R.
Shapiro had first raised doubts about, but was later instrumental in confirming Niebuhr's authorship.
Numerous statements of more or less similar sentiments by other authors have been identified and it is likely that more will be found.
The prayer has unfortunately also been falsely attributed to a variety of other authors.
Epictetus wrote: "Make the best use of what is in your power, and take the rest as it happens.
Some things are up to us [eph' hêmin] and some things are not up to us.
Our opinions are up to us, and our impulses, desires, aversions-in short, whatever is our own doing.
Our bodies are not up to us, nor are our possessions, our reputations, or our public offices, or, that is, whatever is not our own doing." The 11th century Jewish philosopher Solomon ibn Gabirol wrote "And they said: At the head of all understanding – is realizing what is and what cannot be, and the consoling of what is not in our power to change." AA's co-founder and staff liked the prayer and had it printed out in modified form and handed around.