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Wouldn’t it be grand to get a prize when we conquer our own moods and sins and struggles? Today, I’m learning anew about the Prayer of Relinquishment. This is the type of praying that moves us from the struggle into the release. For me, it often follows the Prayer of Intercession or Prayer of Lament.

After the struggle, facing the battle and seeing the raw realities of our current situations, we have choices… Those split second moments when we talk to ourselves about others…about our situation…about ourselves…about our God. Do you believe everything you say at those moments? 😉

It’s worth it to go through lamenting times and times of intercessions, because on the other side of the Prayer of Relinquishment we can find a soul-satisfying rest. It is there we can say with the Psalmist, “Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; Like a weaned child rests against his mother, My soul is like a weaned child within me.” A child that is weaned is not grasping or desperate, but is safe and at peace.

Jesus modeled the Prayer of Relinquishment in the Garden of Gethsemane. What a struggle he fought…and won! We, too can conquer the desire to bypass trouble and pain, avoid rejection and and overwhelming sorrow for a higher good.

“Not my will but yours be done.” Luke 22:39-46 captures Jesus’ words, but think about *how* He said them. What a wonder! He was yielded to God, but he was not resigned, nor bitter, nor defeated. It’s similar to how we say, “Whatever.” It can be stated with a tone showing we really don’t care OR it can be stated resolutely because we care deeply. Jesus models the more excellent way. And, it’s better than any medal available on earth!

The Scriptures are replete with great examples of people yielding to God at the end of struggling with themselves. While praying in the midst of great trauma, they also demonstrate great faith. If you want to be inspired, find these stories again and reflect on any parallels you see in your story.

– Abraham and his son Isaac
– Moses deliverer of Israel
– David and his son by Bathsheba
– Mary, mother of Jesus
– Paul’s “thorn in the flesh”

The circumstances differ, and it takes practice, but the result of yielding to God in this way is embracing a freedom like no other.

Author Richard Foster reminds us that “this dialogue with God is a letting go, but it is a release with hope. It results in a deeper relationship with God and includes training in righteousness, transforming power, new joys.” A prayer of relinquishment protects us from idolatry, as we so quickly get attached to our people, our things, our positions, our places, our health, our opinions and so much more.

How we need God to help us let go of our tiny vision to release the greater good He has in store for us! In place of what is lost, the release of our will gives us freedom from self-pity, self-absorption, self-deception, self-depreciation, self-indulgence, self-hatred and selfishness, in general.

Sometimes…ok…MANY times… the struggle is more than we can bear and we need real help wanting to go God’s way. In those times, ask people to pray for you, using Philippians 2. Praying through those verses yourself will help you align with the example Jesus provided.

At the end of this massive struggle, know that you can be strengthen, restored and revived. The war is on and the fight is worth it. More battles will be coming, but for now, embrace the Prayer of Relinquishment and find a rest for your weary soul.

“Don’t worry about what you will suffer…and you will be tested and made to suffer…But if you are faithful until you die, I will reward you with a glorious life.” Revelation 2:10

“Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19

I’d love to hear what you’ve experienced and what you think. I’m here and I’m listening. 🙂

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Need Inspiration?

Photo: CarliJeen (Unsplash)

Photo: CarliJeen (Unsplash)

If you’re in a rut or just need a little inspiration, consider Giving, Praying and Loving, like this…

Give as if it were your first gift, your last gift, your only gift…
Pray as if it were your first prayer, your last prayer, your only prayer…
Love like it was your first love, your last love, your only love…

 

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Grace Enough…to Share

Grace Enough...to Share

This Christmas? I’m grateful for grace because, the truth is …I’m a wimp.

Yeah, I know. It’s not very Christmas-y to say it right out loud, but it’s still true.

You see, some people worry about being good enough or smart enough. Others are concerned with being rich or beautiful enough.

I struggle with being strong enough, both physically and what the old folks sometimes called, “intestinal fortitude”. It’s having guts, plain and simple.

It’s all well and good to talk about being brave and steadfast until I actually need to BE brave and steadfast, right? Before long I run into a wall made up of all sorts of limitations and it’s all I can see.

And though I know that God gives grace lavishly and that it…He…is enough, it doesn’t always seem… “sufficient”. Anybody with me here?

Fairly often, it’s just really hard to believe it because we see our wimpiness, our flagging spirits, our envy, our apathy. It’s hard to believe that His grace is enough when there are bills to pay and creditors to talk to and relationships to fix. It’s hard to believe when there’s pain, when there’s loss, or when there’s grief…or when it all just keeps comin’ and we get weary.

The good news is that God’s grace can sometimes come through people. Whether in kind actions or kind words, grace is a motivator.

Some people in the Bible were needy like this, too, so we’re in good company. Naomi needed Ruth. Paul needed Barnabas. Timothy needed Paul. Mary needed Elizabeth. (Can you even imagine how much?!)

So sometimes, God brings people to me that ARE stronger than I am. They shovel walks, do yard work, help carry boxes, give gifts and do labor…in love. There’s others who give me a new perspective and that reminds me that I can choose to not to be a wimp. Their actions strengthen me to reach out with the things I *can* do. The funny thing is that I get even stronger when I get to come alongside someone else and help carry their load.

Isn’t it interesting that in being brave and letting others see our weakness and know of our real needs, we all get better, holier, smarter, and stronger together than on our own.

Then as one, and with God’s help and presence, the amazing grace He offers through us to others…IS enough. Your help, your gracious attitude, your gifts really do add up, so don’t stop now.

And the truth is, because of you, I don’t give up because you show me that there’s more than enough help and grace… to share.

So, that’s me, a recovering wimp who finds grace. Tell of a time when you revealed a weakness or asked for help when you hit a wall. What was it like? Did anyone help? Do you need something now? I’m here…I’m listening… 🙂

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Welcome Grace

Welcome Grace

Bask in God’s welcome grace for cleansing, for healing, for renewal…

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"'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind

Are you all in?

I lost my job.

Again.

It was just yesterday morning and yet the voices in my head make it feel much longer. And though the loss is not of my own doing, it still is difficult. Maybe more so.

Sometimes in past struggles, I’d rush to find a word from God to get me through or lean-in heavy with prayer.  Sometimes, the pain of the moment is mocked by the forever promises.  Been there?

This time, I’m starting where I know the truth lies.

I won’t base my faith on what I see and can respond to.  If my emotions are soothed by Scripture or the encouragement of godly friends, it’s a gift, but not mandatory for faith.  So, regardless if our finances are somehow rescued, if we get good jobs soon, if our health holds, or if it all comes tumbling down… I.will.trust.God.

I will trust his character regardless of what I see or of what I know of Him so far. I will start there, because I know it can’t base my belief and prayers on what He does, but it must be in who He is.

If I don’t put my full trust in Him, my world gets shaky.  Maybe that’s why He exhorts us in Luke 10 to, ”Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind.”  I am all-in with Him. There is no other.

He himself is solid rock. But, even if he lets me suffer-long, He doesn’t leave me alone in it. Somehow, starting there, the internal struggle is less and I’m at peace…regardless. ❤

What part has humor, prayer, diligence, quiet or music played in your life?  What spiritually healthy things have you done in the face of trauma or turmoil to get you through?

I’m here. I’m listening.  🙂

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Cheering You On

We all need someone who’ll cheer WITH us.
Who’s accomplishments can you cheer on today?

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"...God saw all that he had made, and it was very good..."

“…God saw all that he had made, and it was very good…”

 

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