The Prayer of Abandonment by Charles de Foucauld

charlesdefoucauldFather,
I abandon myself into your hands;
do with me what you will.
Whatever you may do, I thank you:
I am ready for all, I accept all.

Let only your will be done in me,
and in all your creatures –
I wish no more than this, O Lord.

Into your hands I commend my soul:
I offer it to you with all the love of my heart,
for I love you, Lord, and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into your hands without reserve,
and with boundless confidence,
for you are my Father.

By Charles de Foucauld, missionary to North Africa.

A Prayer by Teresa of Avila

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Lord, grant that I may always allow myself to be guided by You,
always follow Your plans,
and perfectly accomplish Your Holy Will.
Grant that in all things, great and small,
today and all the days of my life,
I may do whatever You require of me.
Help me respond to the slightest prompting of Your Grace,
so that I may be Your trustworthy instrument for Your honour.
May Your Will be done in time and in eternity by me,
in me, and through me. Amen.

By St. Teresa of Avila, Carmelite nun and mystical theologian.

Prayer of Surrender: Mary

As we continued our Great Prayers of the Bible” series this past weekend at Eastbrook Church, I spoke from Mary’s prayers of surrender to God in Luke 1. This weekend’s message explores what it means to pray into a place of surrender with God and why surrendering to God in prayer is one of the best things we can do. This was the second of two weekends of outdoor worship services for us, which explains why the video may look different.

You can view the message video and sermon outline below. You can follow the entire series at our web-site, through the Eastbrook app, or through our audio podcast.

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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).

Prayer of Dependence: Habakkuk

This past weekend at Eastbrook Church, I had the privilege of continuing our “Great Prayers of the Bible” series by co-preaching with my wife, Kelly. This weekend’s message explores the prayer of Habakkuk during the impending judgment and exile of the people of God. With our attention on chapter 3, Kelly and I developed our message around the following idea: in difficult times, the one who trusts in the Living God will live and flourish.

You can view the message video and an expanded sermon outline below. You can follow the entire series at our web-site, through the Eastbrook app, or through our audio podcast.

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Let Your Will Be Done [30 Days of Prayer]

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“Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10)

Following the first petition that God’s name be hallowed and the second that God’s kingdom would come, the third petition of the Lord’s Prayer asks that God’s will would be done upon the earth. This summarizes the first half of the Lord’s Prayer, which focuses upon God and His ways before turning to human beings and our ways. The primary focus – the first place of attention – in prayer is upon God and not upon ourselves.

Jesus makes this clear through His request that God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Heaven is the sphere in which God lives and in which His rule and reign is perfectly done, but earth is the place touched by sin, evil and death in which God’s will is imperfectly done. That is true in us and in the world around us.

Jesus provides us not only teaching on this aspect of prayer, but a model for it as well. Approaching His Father in agonized prayer while in the Garden of Gethsemane, just before His arrest and crucifixion, Jesus asks that the cup of suffering before Him might pass by, if there is any other way. Yet the summary statement of His desire in prayer is found in these words: “Yet not my will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42). We see this same attitude in prayer modeled by Mary, the mother of Jesus, when the angel Gabriel approached her with the message that she would bear the Messiah in her womb miraculously. Her response was: “I am the Lord’s servant. May your words to me be fulfilled” (1:38).

This is holy submission to the will of God. If we did not know God as perfectly holy and truly our Father, then such submission might seem risky. Yet as we grow to know the One whom we approach in prayer, we learn again and again just how good it is to yield in our lives to the will of God. Such humble surrender to God in our own lives quickly leads us to intercede before God on behalf of the world that “His good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2) may be done here on earth as it is in heaven.

So, the major preoccupation of children who come into their Father’s presence in prayer is not that we may receive what we need but that He may receive what He deserves – which is honor to His name, the spread of His kingdom, the doing of His will.[1]

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed by Your Name.
May Your kingdom come
and Your will be done
here on earth
as it is in heaven.
Shape and mold my life according to
Your good, pleasing and perfect will.
Even so, bring Your will to fruition
upon every square inch of this world
that You might receive the greatest glory
in the greatest number of lives
around the globe.


[1] John R. W. Stott, “Growth in the Prayer Life,” sermon given on August 20, 1989.

[This post is part of the “30 Days of Prayer” devotional. Read other posts here.]