We want what we want when we want it, and we want others to be happy when we get it. We may pray earnestly God gives us what we want and feel disappointed when we do not receive it in our time frame. We might get insistent and demanding with God. In these times we need to relinquish control to God.
He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if You are willing, take this cup from Me; yet, not my will, but Yours be done.” Luke 22:41
Relinquishing prayer does not mean we let go of all our desires. Rather, we pray for what we want in an attitude of humility, not demanding God to grant our request, but asking for our heart’s desire and leaving the answer to God.
Today I read about Dorrie, a Filipino young woman who exemplified relinquishing prayer. She took a ride on the ship Christopher. A furious storm sank the ship which had no life-boats and far too few life-vests. Dorrie swam poorly and had no life-vest. She clung to a piece of floating wood from the ship. After sinking and returning to the surface three times, she saw a large fire extinguisher floating at her. She held it in one hand and the wood in the other. The storm and waves had separated her from others. She sung to the Lord as night approached and prayed. She saw two bras and had a sudden insight to use them to tie together the wood and extinguisher. She then leaned upon them. By early morning she was exhausted and dehydrated. When a sudden rain fell, she said, “Thank you, Jesus!” and drank it. After another three hours she was so weak that she prayed, “Lord, I’m ready to die in the sea to be with You, but I’m also ready to live to serve You. You choose, Lord; Your will be done.” Two carrots floated to her. She received a bit of strength from eating them. Half an hour later, seventeen hours after the ship sank, she was rescued.*
Relinquishing prayer involves opening our hands rather than grasping for what we want. We hold loosely the things we want and allow God to work in our hearts as well as our circumstances. We present our requests to God not knowing how He will answer. While waiting, we thank Him for His goodness to us and find “the peace that surpasses understanding.” (Philippians 4:7)
Receiving His peace,
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*Robert Doorn, The Filipinos Are Coming! pp. 39-41