From Chapter 6 of my book Spiritual Infusion:Twelve Step Recovery and Revival Inside and Outside The church, you will find my study and commentary into the depth of this marvelous prayer and what it offers us in recovery.

This is the long-form of the Prayer and warrants study of the words so divinely chosen. Come join me now and savor this prayer and let it wash over you! Be Blessed!

SERENITY PRAYER: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace; Taking, as Jesus did this sinful world as it is, Not as I would have it; Trusting that You will make all things right If I surrender to Your will; So that I may be reasonably happy in this life And supremely happy with You forever in the next. AMEN. By Reinhold Niebuhr

The Serenity Prayer is actually a problem-solving tool. Let us take a look at the deeper meaning of certain words of this prayer.

Study Excerpt: “God grant me the SERENITY”
The synonyms for grant are award, present, bestow, and there are many more. So why should God grant us something unless something has changed? Is it action along with the Twelve Steps that creates some quality that should be rewarded? At the 3rd Step where we turn our lives and our wills over to the care of God, surely this is the change that needs to take place (just for starters). For this, God will grant us rewards.
The synonyms for serenity are tranquil, calmness, and contentment. Serenity means more than happiness, peace and contentment. It is immeasurable. It is more than more. It keeps growing as we grow spiritually. Serenity is above understanding and it is real! “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee” (Isaiah 26:3 KJV). “Peace, I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27 KJV). “Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you” (Philippians 4:9 KJV).

Study Excerpt: “to accept the things I cannot change;”
The synonyms for the word accept are agree to, recognize, and understand. The synonyms for the word change are transform, revolutionize, and alter. So I ask God to grant me acceptance. I accept those things I cannot change about anyone else (people, circumstances, etc.) and put them into my prayers. Yes, Let Go and Let God! Nothing happens in God’s world by mistake.
The word things is all inclusive, it leaves nothing out. Everything that exists falls under the word thing. Cannot change refers to of our own power we cannot change those things. “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knows not” (Jeremiah 33:3 KJV). “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord” (Isaiah 55:8 KJV). “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28 KJV).
Study Excerpt: “the courage to change the things I can;”
The synonyms for the word courage are bravery, guts, and daring. So I ask God to grant me courage to change those things about myself (my attitudes, my knowledge, my way of thinking, etc.) that need changing. This is not about fear. Making changes is about determination in spite of any fear. We must become willing and we must rely on God for the strength. “That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man” (Ephesians 3:16 KJV). Buy they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31 KJV). “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13 KJV).

Study Excerpt: “and the wisdom to know the difference.”
The synonyms for wisdom are good judgment, insight, and good sense. Wisdom is the ability to discern the true from the false. Wisdom does not necessarily refer to book smarts or intelligence. Many of God’s people have intelligence, but they can’t make a good decision because they can’t see what is right or wrong, what is good or evil. Wisdom may not come with age alone. You may have to pray for it.
The synonyms for know are identify, recognize, and understand. In order to know something you must have the facts (truth).The synonyms for difference are distinction, discrepancy, and change. The difference in this prayer simply means action to accept it or change it. “How much better to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver” (Proverbs 16:16 NKJV). “These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren” (Proverbs 6:16-19 NKJV). “He also taught me, and said to me: “Let your heart retain my words; Keep my commands, and live. Get wisdom! Get understanding! Do not forget, nor turn away from the words on my mouth. Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you; Love her, and she will keep you. Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding. Exalt her, and she will promote you; She will bring you honor, when you embrace her. She will place on your head an ornament of grace; A crown of glory she will deliver to you.” Hear, my son, and receive my saying, and the years of your life will be many” (Proverbs 4:4-10 NKJV).
Prayer is not a weapon, or even a part of the armor that we dress in. It is the means by which we engage in the battle itself and prayer is the purpose for which we get armed. To put on the armor of God is to prepare for battle. Prayer is the battle itself, with God’s Word being our chief weapon employed. I still fight today, only my weapons are different! Please read this over several times before going on.

Study Excerpt: “Living One day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time;”
Synonyms for living are alive, active, existing. It is time to live. Knowing what you are saved for is the key to being alive and active, and not just existing. Synonyms for day are day of week, time, and date (24 hours). I had no idea how long 24 hours was until I sobered up. It was a long, long time when I first sobered up. Now there are not enough hours in a day to get done everything that I want to do. Synonyms for enjoying are take pleasure in, like, and get pleasure from. Today I truly can say I enjoy each moment I have every day. At work I try to be the best employee enjoying my achievements and a job well done. At home I truly enjoy every moment I have to spend with my husband and fellowship with others. There is so much pleasure in living a righteous life.
The challenges are there, but so is the glory. “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11 NKJV). “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do no know what a day may bring forth” (Proverbs 27:1 NKJV). “This is the day the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalms 118:24 NKJV).

Study Excerpt: “Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace;”
Synonyms for accepting are put up with, agree to, and believe. Synonyms for hardship are suffering, difficulty, and adversity. Synonyms for pathway are way, conduit, and trail. Synonyms for peace are calm, reconciliation, and harmony. “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken cast down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9 NKJV). “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of min enemies, and thy right hand shall save me (Psalms 138:7 KJV). “Be careful for nothing but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7 KJV).
Study Excerpt: “Taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it;”
Synonyms for taking are winning, captivation, and attracting. Synonyms for sinful are corrupt, immoral, and wicked. Synonyms for world are mankind, humanity, and the human race. “The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy” (Psalms 147:11 KJV). “For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23 NKJV). “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16 KJV).

Study Excerpt: “Trusting that You will make all things right if I surrender to Your will;”
Synonyms for trusting are hope, have faith in, and dependence. Synonyms for right are correct, appropriate, and just. Synonyms for surrender are to give in, relinquish, and submit. “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith” (Philippians 3:9 KJV). “And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness” (Romans 8:10 KJV). “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:10 KJV).
Study Excerpt: “So that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with You forever in the next.”
Synonyms for reasonably are sensibly, logically, and realistically. Synonyms for happy are contented, joyfully, and pleased. Synonyms for supremely are completely, absolutely, and totally. Synonyms for forever are evermore, ceaselessly, and without end. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me has everlasting life” (John 6:47 KJV). “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16 KJV). “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever” (Psalms 23:6 KJV).

Study Excerpt: “Amen”
Amen means "yes" it is true!

Author's Bio: 

Published Author of "Spiritual Infusion:Twelve Step Recovery and Revival Inside and Outside The Church. (on-line bookstores globally)

Teacher of Recovery in Seattle, every thursday night at the Cross Church Discipleship Recovery Program in White Center.

Degree in Batchelor of Science in Criminal Justice and Sociology