I put my head on my desk and wailed in prayer, “God, I’m done!”
Mentally exhausted after years of waiting, I said, “ God, I’m done praying about this unchanging situation. I’m done wishing things were different. I’m done raising my hope only to be disappointed.”
Although it sounded like a toddler throwing a prayer tantrum, my cries were a moment of complete, honest surrender.
During the years of repetitive praying, I expected God would give me the desires of my heart. I assumed God would see things my way, and act according to my timetable. I was wrong!
I wasn’t accustomed to ineffective prayers.
When I prayed for unhealthy relationships to change or bad influences to relocate, they did. The answers came quickly, and I knew it was God’s answer. That’s why I was confused over the length of time it was taking for this specific request.
In His infinite wisdom, God made me wait. God’s silence doesn’t mean inactivity. God acts according to His will, not mine.
While I wait, God is changing me instead of the situation.
Repenting of my wrong opened my eyes to a better way to pray: “Lord, take this. I can’t do anything about it. Whatever you want to do, please do it. I surrender my will to yours.”
While the situation isn’t changing, I’m asking God to give me peace in it since I don’t have peace with it. This is a more effective way to pray, and I have felt my burden lifted by His undeniable peace.
The surrender of my will to God’s fills me with clarity, peace, and hope for a situation I can’t control. Repentance turns me around to see things God’s way; it reveals the things I only gain as I open my hand to let go of the things I try to hold.
During the Lenten season, the tradition of fasting from something pleasurable requires the same kind of surrender. We choose to let go of one thing in order to make room for more of God. Doing this opens the door of our hearts for more fellowship and intimacy with God.
The more of ourselves we surrender, the more of God we gain.
If you aren’t familiar with Lent, here’s a link to a podcast that explains it well:
How do you feel about Lent? Do you choose to observe it?
My wailed prayer of surrender changed my focus from what I wanted to what God wants for me. Focusing on the cross for 40 days accomplishes the same thing. Gazing at Calvary shifts our eyes from earthly cravings to spiritual desires.
When we fast from things that delight us, we see more clearly what God wants for us.
God wants to make more. Like a potter working a lump of clay, God wants to fashion and mold us into new creations. His artistic hands make us into more of who He wants us to be. Surrendering to His design gives us a new mindset during hardships and a new love for those who are the subject of our mournful prayers.
God wants to lead more. His will is for our good and His glory, and it will not be thwarted. Surrendering our will- to allow Him to lead us- is an act of submission that takes a lot of courage. The more we surrender our attempts to manipulate His will in our circumstances, the more He will lead our lives in the directions they should go.
God wants us to be more. Waiting for prodigals is a long process. If you feel it would be easier to give up, remember that it’s not! The more time we spend with Jesus, the more we will be like Him. Being more like Jesus means we will be more compassionate, more patient, and more hopeful while we are waiting for others, praying for others, and loving others.
While we wait, there are numerous things we can surrender to God, and it isn’t necessary to wait for the season of Lent to do it.
When we give Him our doubt, He will give us truth; when we give Him our darkness, He will give us light; when we give Him our fear, He will give us faith; when we give Him our children, He will give us hope.
Knowing He heard my wailing prayer, each time I worry about my unchanging situation, I surrender my doubt with a simple, “Your will be done, Lord, not mine.”
What do you need to surrender to God? Are you doubting His ability to take control of a particular situation like I did? Will you give it up to God today so you will gain more of Him?
“I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry.” (Psalm 40:1)
Waiting with you,