Lastly, there’s another quality in the Serenity Prayer that makes it special. It is a petition for God to give us grace to do our part, rather than to bypass us and do it all on his own. That’s the way it should be, a more human way. And it’s generally the way God chooses to intervene in human affairs. Do you remember feeling a bit strange in school asking god to help you do well on an exam you never studied for? That’s a healthy feeling because God gave us a mind and a will and we act ungratefully when we presumptuously fail to use the gifts he has already given to us with the hope that he will always bail us out. Yes, in the Serenity Prayer we are asking for the miracle of serenity in turmoil, but we are promising God at the same time that we will try to (1) change what we cannot change, (2) act courageously to change the things we can, and (3) use our minds to distinguish between what we can change and what we cannot. That’s a lot of collaboration with God’s grace.
—from The Way of Serenity by Fr. Jonathan Morris