God grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change, COURAGE to change the things I can, and WISDOM to know the difference. Thy will, not mine be done.
A nice article explains why alcoholics identify so much with the prayer: it succinctly addresses the principal challenge facing an alcoholic: overcoming self-centeredness. Actually, we all face that challenge; it's only pronounced in alcoholics. Then I came across two expositions of the prayer in which each word is compared and contrasted with other concepts to make the intent behind the overall prayer crystal clear. This is a nice style of explaining something expressed succinctly!
GOD... With the saying of this word I am admitting the existence of a Higher Power; a being far greater then I.
GRANT... With the repeating of this second word I am admitting that this Higher Power is an authority who can bestow and give.
ME... I am asking something for myself. The Bible states that if I ask, I shall be given. It is not wrong to ask for betterment of myself for with the improvement of my character, people around me will be made happier.
SERENITY... I am asking for calmness, composure, and peace in a life which will enable me to think straight and govern myself properly.
TO ACCEPT... I am resigning myself to conditions as they are right now.
THE THINGS I CANNOT CHANGE... I am accepting my lot in life as it is. Until I have the courage to change any part of my life I don't like, I must accept it and not accept it grudgingly.
COURAGE... I am asking for conditions to be different.
TO CHANGE... I am asking for a quality of spirit to face conditions without flinching.
THE THINGS I CAN... I am asking for help to make the right decisions. Everything is not perfect in my life. I must continue to face reality and constantly work towards continued growth and progress.
WISDOM... I am asking for the ability to form sound judgments in any and all matters.
TO KNOW... I want to be able to understand clearly, truths of facts.
the DIFFERENCE... I want to see things differently in my life so there can be some distinction. I need to sense a definite value in love over selfishness.