Surrender. Gosh, that is a scary word isn’t it? I don’t know about you but in my generation we were taught to fight, to not give in, to be strong. Surrender seems to be a word we never ever would want to utter from our lips. Am I right?
But today I want to talk to you about the STRENGTH that comes through surrender.
Believe me, this is a very personal topic God has been teaching me full time for awhile now. As a first born, (mostly) type A American girl, I like to have my list. I sometimes think I came out of the womb several weeks early only to get a head start on my list and productivity for the day. There is no slacking around for this girl.
While being organized, having a to do list and achieving goals can all be good things, they can also stand in the way especially when a difficult season comes around. I’m talking about the kind of season that, no matter how you try, no matter what angle you go at it, you just simply cannot control or change it.
This type of season has occurred for me in different ways and different forms over the years, but the most helpless I ever felt was after the birth of my third child. My body basically “wigged” out (for lack of a better word). I was constantly facing panic attacks and wasn’t able to control one thing about myself or my health. I learned very quickly, that I was not in control; the control I always thought I had over myself was an illusion.
Thank God, I have since recovered mostly from that season and now am in a season of trusting God with other matters in my life that I am finding I have no control over.
How helpless we can feel when the “control” we thought we had manages to show up as a smoke screen, just an illusion of control. It happens to all of us in one form or another: lack of control over a loved one’s decisions, lack of control over health of ourselves or someone in our family or friend, lack of control over our world and what it is coming to, lack of control over work situations, and the list could go on and on.
But friend, we have the ultimate strength of God on our side when we surrender in prayer.
I have been finding myself more and more praying in my prayer language (Romans 8:26, 1 Corinthians 14:2, Jude 1:20). Sometimes it is so hard to find the words to pray over situations. But the Holy Spirit knows how to pray every time! I also use this book as a good resource: “Prayers that Avail Much” by Germaine Copeland.
Seriously, get a copy! It will change the way you think and pray.
When we surrender, yes even sometimes full out kneeling down in a submissive pose before the Lord, we are able to receive strength to go on.
We know trying to control and grip tight isn’t working, but neither do we want to be passive and give up and give in. Surrender, especially to God, is actually a great in-between compromise and coping mechanism… no, this surrender is not a waving of the white flag, but rather, an acknowledgement with hands lifted high “this is out of my control— I am spinning my wheels and getting no where. I have to lay this down”. And how we as Christians lay it down is through PRAYER.
Here is a simple example of surrendering all through prayer (although I also recommended prayer from book and also prayer in the Holy Spirit!):
Also, we have all heard the serenity prayer, which can be a good place to get started.
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.Reinhold Niebuhr
When we come to the place that we realize we are not able to fix a situation, a person, in our own might, it is humbling and also can be very helpless feeling and anxious producing. But, like in the words of a friend of mine:
This friend of mine and I were talking about two family members of hers that she has been praying years for. She selected a promise from the Word and just prayed it over and over no matter what things looked like at each family gathering or meetup. She continued to pray and pray. With tears in her eyes she told me about how one has come to the Lord and the other family member has been delivered from an environment of darkness and is coming towards the light again.
Hallelujah! What an example she is to me of the strength that comes from surrendering in prayer. When we pray, it’s a surrendering of our control, our agenda, our plan and putting our faith in the one who is worthy and able to carry it all: our Savior God.
My prayer for this week: Lord, may we never cease to remember you are the one in control. May we continue to keep our eyes on you and your promises no matter what situations, people, health, etc. may look like at the moment. May we be encouraged to know you keep your promises and your power is at work in our lives and situations and you can change things! Help us to continue to wait on you, surrender to you, and pray to you.
Three things to remember in the time you feel a debilitating lack of control:
1. Keep yourself submitted to God. Let go of trying to maneuver, change or dictate what needs to be done.
3. Keep eyes focused on Him not the situation.
Friend, I encourage you… as I encourage myself: do not give up hope! Continue to receive His strength for your situations by surrendering to Him in prayer daily, moment by moment. Hold onto His promises— write them out, pray them, declare them over your situation. Stand strong upon the word. Be willing to put in the work. Stay patient and wait (this is often the last step before BREAKTHROUGH comes). You will receive the BREAKTHROUGH. Keep holding fast. Not in your own striving, determination, work, but in deep soulful surrender to the Lord.
Just think of the testimonies we will have to tell as we continue to hold fast!
Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise.Hebrews 10:23
Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.1 Thessalonians 5:24
Before you go… here are some of my other articles to encourage you on this topic:
All About Holding onto Hope in the midst of a dark season: https://melanietalevski.com/2020/04/21/a-tiny-steady-light/
Encouragement and Infusion of His strength https://melanietalevski.com/2020/12/26/an-infusion-of-strength/
Leaning into God and receiving His grace in our time of need https://melanietalevski.com/2022/03/12/pockets-of-grace/
Until next time,
PS. An inspiring song to encourage you in your surrendering in prayer:
And an old time favorite hymn: