Prayer of Surrender: Two Quotations

In my message this past weekend, “Prayer of Surrender,” I shared two different quotations related to ways in which we need to relinquish our life to God. The first came from Richard Foster, in his book Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home:

Struggle is an essential feature of prayer…Jesus’ prayer struggle [in the Garden of Gethsemane] – replete with bloody sweat – lasted long into the night….All the luminaries in Scripture struggled as well: Abraham as he relinquished his son, Isaac; Moses as he relinquished his understanding of how the deliverer of Israel should function; David as he relinquished the son given to him by Bathsheba;…Paul as he relinquished his desire to be free of a debilitating ‘thorn in the flesh.’[1]

The second was a story taken from Adrian Rogers‘ book The Incredible Power of Kingdom of Authority. While I cannot necessarily speak to the entire book, in one particular section he records a conversation he has with Romanian pastor, author and president of the Romanian Missionary Society, Dr. Josef Tson. Tson had survived persecution and exile under the Communist rule. Rogers asks Tson what his perception of American Christianity is, and he responds:

Well, Adrian, since you have asked me, I’ll tell you. The key word in American Christianity is commitment….When you make a commitment, you are still in control, no matter how noble the thing you commit to. One can commit to pray, to study the Bible, to give his money, or to commit to automobile payments, or to lose weight. Whatever he chooses to do, he commits to. But surrender is different. If someone holds a gun and asks you to lift your hands in the air as a token of surrender, you don’t tell that person what you are committed to. You simply surrender and do as you are told….Americans love commitment because they are still in control. But the key word is surrender. We are to be slaves to the Lord Jesus Christ.’[2]


[1] Richard J. Foster, Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home (New York: HarperCollins, 1992), 50.

[2] Adrian Rogers, The Incredible Power of Kingdom Authority (Nashville: B&H Books, 2002).

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