Prayer of Relinquishment - Hannah's Cupboard (2023)

“I surrender all. All to thee my precious Savior, I surrender ALL” (Lines of an old hymn)

Anyone who knows me well knows that I believe in the bulldog approach to prayer: get hold of it and never let go until the answer comes. God says in James 4:2, “You do not have because you do not ask” and in Luke 11:9, “’ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.’” Far be it from me to ignore such powerful mandates!

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Not surprisingly, a lot of my prayer instruction revolves around being tenacious and resolute. I also highly admire and recommend prayers that are birthed in the kind of desperation Hannah of the Old Testament had when she prayed for a child and got Samuel. No doubt about it, God honors desperate determined prayer. Yet, here I am now to suggest a kind of prayer that is practically the polar opposite of all that.

Relinquishment breaks all the rules

I call this extremely powerful prayer type the prayer of relinquishment. As effective as it is, I have only used it rarely and I’ll explain why later. Relinquishment pretty much breaks all the usual rules: no asking, binding and loosing, fasting, prayers of agreement, declaring God’s Word or rebuking the enemy. And—no desperation required. Rather, relinquishment surrenders to the circumstances just as they are. As I think of it, perhaps it is really taking a step beyond desperation.

My first introduction to this prayer that seems to so run against my natural grain was from a story told by the late Catherine Marshall about her own life in her book Meeting God at Every Turn. Maybe I accepted it initially because I admired Catherine so much and God so often spoke to me through her writing—still does in fact. Though she never knew it, she was a mighty spiritual mentor to me and because of her I had hopes that I too would someday be a writer who would encourage others.

Catherine was diagnosed with tuberculosis in 1943. Her first thought was that she couldn’t possibly have this disease or obey the doctor’s order to complete bed rest. After all, she had a three-year-old son to care for and was the wife of a prominent Washington DC pastor with a busy congregation. But it was true and as month after month of illness wore on she was in dire need of divine healing.

After two years of monthly chest x-rays showing no improvement whatsoever despite every conceivable kind of prayer and all the faith she could muster she “plummeted into real despair” as she puts it. What more could she possible do? This is how she goes on to tell what happened next.

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“Only one way was left. Perhaps I had held back one heart’s desire. So after many days of struggling, I handed over to God every last vestige of self-will, even my intense desire for complete health. Finally I was able to pray, ‘Lord, I understand no part of this, but if You want me to be an invalid for the rest of my life—well, it’s up to You. I place myself in your hands, for better or for worse. I ask only to serve You.”

Later, in the middle of that same night she suddenly awoke with Jesus literally in the room. He spoke with her and his appearance and instruction to her resulted in total healing. As she told the story more than 35 years later in her book she said the incident “remains to this day the most real and vivid experience of my life.”

Essence of relinquishment

There we have the essence of the prayer of relinquishment. Agreeing to stop asking even for what we might assume is God’s best will (as surely healing is). Agreeing to accept our circumstances and not continue to pray for change. Relinquish our own will in the matter and trust God for a bigger plan and purpose than we can see now. Give up! Oh what a bitter pill that is to swallow because you have to really mean it. I know.

The first time I prayed the prayer of relinquishment I did it under duress even though my situation was nowhere near as unfortunate as Catherine’s. I’m embarrassed to admit it but I was pretty thick headed so God had to send me a messenger to tell me what was needed in my case.

I was at a place in my job where I felt absolutely done. The end of the end. As desperate as I was for change there seemed little possibility of it. Month after month of same old-same old rolled along like a rat in an exercise wheel going nowhere. I spared no effort loudly complaining, murmuring and begging my weekly prayer group to beseech God to GET ME OUT OF THERE. They faithfully prayed for me every which way and we saw no results.

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One night I got a call from a man in the group and he told me he felt that God had given him a word for me regarding my situation and he wanted to come over and talk to me. I was surprised he didn’t want to wait till Friday night when we would all be together but then I was also excited to hear what he had to say. I was excited that is, until he actually said it.

He told me the Lord had reminded him of a time in his own life when he had felt the same way about his job but then when he had finally surrendered it to God entirely with no hope that anything would ever change a whole new direction opened up miraculously. He said, “Barbara, I think God wants you to do the same thing. Agree to be satisfied right where you are and trust God. I felt very strongly God wanted me to tell you that.”

I wasn’t encouraged but didn’t want him to know it. I thanked him for faithfully obeying God and then said, “Well Steve, actually I’ve really already done that. But I’ll think this over and pray about it.” After he left the thought went through my mind, “WHEN did you already do that?” I couldn’t pinpoint a time when I had relinquished my own plan at all. With dragging steps I proceeded to my bedroom and kneeled down by a rocking chair and spoke out loud the words of surrender.

Even though I hadn’t felt much of anything at all while I prayed and didn’t feel much different afterward I knew I had meant those words with my whole heart. Now it was in God’s hands to do something or nothing—whichever he desired. No more prayers. No more complaining. After a few days passed a peace (or maybe a better word is contentment) settled in. Nothing changed at work but I had changed. At least the desperation finally lifted.

Exactly three weeks later a huge “something” happened after all. My company did a major reorganization and I was offered an exciting and challenging promotion. I was off the treadmill. Had my prayer of relinquishment unlocked some door to a spiritual law I little understood? It seemed so.

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What is required?

Well, you might say, why not just skip all the other kinds of prayer up front and head straight for the prayer of relinquishment? I don’t claim to understand all the mysteries of it but it doesn’t appear to work that way. Relinquishment usually comes only after every other prayer type has been thoroughly tried and exhausted. Desperation included!

I mentioned earlier that I have rarely used it and that’s one of the reasons why. But mainly it’s the fact that you have to actually mean it when you surrender. You can’t relinquish your own will as a ploy to get God to move. He knows. And in your heart you know too. So relinquishment is surprising hard because there are some things we care for so much we can never honestly lay them down at God’s feet and walk away.

You might wonder if this kind of prayer is scriptural since the word “relinquishment’ isn’t found in the Bible as far as I can tell. Yet, I think the concept is definitely there. Wasn’t that Job’s heart when he said, “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him.” (Job 13:15) But I think it was Jesus that expressed the prayer of relinquishment best. “’Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.’” (Luke 22:42)

Have you tried all else? Are you ready to be finished with your way and accept only HIS way? Maybe this prayer belongs to you.

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What is the prayer of relinquishment? ›

She came to the end of what she was doing and prayed the Prayer of Relinquishment. She prayed: "All right, I give up. If you want me to be an invalid for the rest of my days, that's your business.

What is the lord's prayer in the Bible? ›

"Pray then like this: 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Why is prayer necessary? ›

Prayer is necessary so that through us the will of God will be done on earth as it is in heaven. When we pray, we proclaim and assert the will of God on earth. Prayer is necessary because through it we press into the will of God for our lives.

Why is prayer important to God? ›

Prayer helps you develop a relationship with God

Just like your parents here on earth, your Heavenly Father wants to hear from you and talk to you. When you pray, He listens. Then He answers your prayers in the form of thoughts, spiritual feelings, scripture, or even the actions of other people.

What is the one sin God will not forgive? ›

One eternal or unforgivable sin (blasphemy against the Holy Spirit), also known as the sin unto death, is specified in several passages of the Synoptic Gospels, including Mark 3:28–29, Matthew 12:31–32, and Luke 12:10, as well as other New Testament passages including Hebrews 6:4–6, Hebrews 10:26–31, and 1 John 5:16.

Why is Catholic Lord's prayer different? ›

But why do Catholics have one version of the prayer and Protestants have another? The ancient manuscripts of the Gospel of Matthew disagree on how the Lord's Prayer ends. Catholic Bibles do not include the longer ending of the prayer. Some Protestant Bibles include the longer ending, but others do not.

What is the first prayer in the Bible? ›

The first notable prayer whose text is recorded in the Torah and Hebrew Bible occurs when Abraham pleads with God not to destroy the people of Sodom, where his nephew Lot lives.

What happens to your body when you pray? ›

First, engaging in 12 minutes of personal reflection and prayer each day makes a profound impact on our brain. It strengthens a unique neural circuit that specifically enhances our social awareness and empathy and helps us love our neighbor by developing a heightened sense of compassion and subduing negative emotions.

Why is prayer so powerful? ›

Prayer also energizes the heart of a believer through the power of the Spirit. Consistent prayer also releases the power of God's blessing on your life and circumstances. Jesus said, “When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen.

What is a simple prayer to say? ›

Father in heaven, I stand before You today in Your omnipotent presence to ask that You grant me strength. I want You to give me the strength to power through all of the tasks today — whether little or big. It is by Your will that I live oh Lord. And I know it is also by Your will I will not go weak today.

What are the powerful prayers? ›

The 15 Most Powerful Prayers
  • The Lord's Prayer. Our Father who art in heaven, ...
  • Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy. ...
  • The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. ...
  • O gracious and holy Father, ...
  • Morning Prayer. ...
  • Christ with me, Christ before me, ...
  • The Serenity Prayer. ...
  • Bless all who worship thee,
30 Sept 2020

What are the three benefits of prayer? ›

Prayer can foster a sense of connection, whether it's to a higher power, what a person finds important in life or their values, said Ryan Bremner, an associate professor of psychology at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. Prayer can reduce feelings of isolation, anxiety and fear as well.

Is it a sin to be cremated? ›

The Bible neither favors nor forbids the process of cremation. Nevertheless, many Christians believe that their bodies would be ineligible for resurrection if they are cremated.

What are the two unforgivable sins? ›

— J.F.D. Rev. Graham: Only one sin that can't be forgiven is on God's list — and that is the sin of rejecting Him and refusing His offer of forgiveness and new life in Jesus Christ. This alone is the unforgivable sin, because it means we are saying that the Holy Spirit's witness about Jesus is a lie (see Luke 12:10).

Is smoking a sin? ›

The Roman Catholic Church does not condemn smoking per se, but considers excessive smoking to be sinful, as described in the Catechism (CCC 2290): The virtue of temperance disposes us to avoid every kind of excess: the abuse of food, alcohol, tobacco, or medicine.

Why do Catholics pray to Mary? ›

Catholics do not pray to Mary as if she were God. Prayer to Mary is memory of the great mysteries of our faith (Incarnation, Redemption through Christ in the rosary), praise to God for the wonderful things he has done in and through one of his creatures (Hail Mary) and intercession (second half of the Hail Mary).

Why do Catholics worship Mary? ›

Roman Catholic views of the Virgin Mary as refuge and advocate of sinners, protector from dangers and powerful intercessor with her Son, Jesus are expressed in prayers, artistic depictions, theology, and popular and devotional writings, as well as in the use of religious articles and images.

Why do Catholics not use doxology? ›

Catholics do not believe that the words were part of this most perfect prayer Jesus gave to his disciples. Also, the Church does not believe that the phrase (or doxology) was part of the early Scriptures. The fourth-century translation of Greek into Latin by St. Jerome did not include it.

What is the greatest prayer? ›

Catholics often say that the Mass is the greatest prayer that we can offer. This is true for many reasons, and especially so because it is Christ's prayer, Christ's saving sacrifice offered to the heavenly Father for his glory and for our salvation.

Who was the first woman to pray in the Bible? ›

Hannah (/ˈhænə/; Hebrew: חַנָּה‎ Ḥannā "favor, grace") is one of the wives of Elkanah mentioned in the First Book of Samuel. According to the Hebrew Bible she was the mother of Samuel.
Hannah (biblical figure)
Major worksSong of Hannah
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Who prayed 3 times a day in the Bible? ›

Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.

Is it okay to pray in your head? ›

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What time should I pray? ›

The typical schedule for the Divine Hours follows a three-hour pattern, with prayers at 6:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m., noon, 3:00 p.m., and 6:00 p.m. In addition, there are evening prayers and morning prayers outside of these times.

What do you do after you pray? ›

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What is the true power of prayer? ›

Through prayer, you come before the very presence of God.

Through sincerity of heart, your spirit is moved by faith and by love. Faith that can move even mountains. And love that can overcome all things!

Do you pray to God or Jesus? ›

Do we pray to the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit? (Ask Dr. Stanley)

How do you start a prayer? ›

We open the prayer by addressing God because he is the one we are praying to. Start by saying "Father in Heaven" or "Heavenly Father." We address Him as our Heavenly Father, because He is the father of our spirits. He is our creator and the one to whom we owe everything we have, including our lives.

Why is morning prayer important? ›

1) Prayer in the morning is so important because you meet God before you meet the Devil. 2) You meet God before you meet the circumstances of life. 3) You talk to God before you talk to many people. 4) You fellowship with God before you fellowship with other people.

Why we should not stop praying? ›

To pray without ceasing is to have a constant awareness that your God is with you, to surrender to Him, and an ongoing conversation with Him that doesn't end when you stand up and go about your day.

What do you say in a prayer? ›

Tip: You could say something like, "God, you are so mighty and strong!" or "Loving Father, you hold the world in your hands." Thank God for his goodness and mercy. God is merciful, loving, and generous. Take the time to include worship in every prayer.

What is the most powerful prayer for help? ›

Loving God, I pray that you will comfort me in my suffering, lend skill to the hands of my healers, and bless the means used for my cure. Give me such confidence in the power of your grace, that even when I am afraid, I may put my whole trust in you; through our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

What is a simple and beautiful prayer? ›

God, please help me to make peace with yesterday and have an open mind and heart for today. Help me to be a blessing. Help me to see the good around me, the good in others, and the good in myself. Fill me with happy thoughts and a thankful heart. Guide me into living like you, with selflessness and love.

What are the 7 prayers? ›

Prayer topics include:Confession,Salvation, Release, Submission, Praise, Promise, and Blessing.

How do I pray to protect my house? ›

Dear God, I pray over this home and everyone in it. Lord, I pray that you will keep this home safe both spiritually and physically. I pray for the safety of the physical house against damage, and the members of this house against injury and sickness.

How do you pray for immediate miracles? ›

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How do I ask God for immediate help? ›

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What does pray without ceasing mean? ›

1 Thessalonians 5:16-17) To “pray without ceasing” means to have our minds always on the things of God, to be in constant communication with him, so that every moment may be as fruitful as possible.

Does prayer reduce stress? ›

Prayer is an easy way to reduce stress. It is simply addressing your thoughts and concerns to a higher power. Interestingly, researchers have found that the way a person views the deity they pray to has an impact on their mental health.

Does prayer help calm the mind? ›

If you are spiritual or religious, finding solace in daily prayer can be something that helps ease your anxiety, too. Finding prayers for peace can be a great way to calm an anxious mind or take a moment to be still after experiencing a hectic day or racing mind.

What is the main message of the Lord's prayer? ›

In the Lord's Prayer, Jesus teaches us to pray for the things that we need. “Give us this day our daily bread. Forgive our sins. Save us.” Jesus also teaches us to pray for God's ways above our own.

Why is the Lord's prayer different in Matthew and Luke? ›

Jesus often assures his followers that God will provide for them (12.22-32). 'And forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us. ' Matthew asks for forgiveness of debts rather than sins (Matthew 6.12) whereas Luke refers to both sins and debts.

Why are there two versions of the Lord's prayer? ›

Two millennia ago, history often was handed down by word of mouth before being put into writing. As a result, Catholics living in the eastern half of the Roman Empire usually added the doxology while those in the western half believed the “Our Father” as said during today's Mass was sufficient.

What is the origin of the Lord's prayer? ›

The Lord's Prayer, also known as the 'Our Father,' comes from the Gospel of Matthew, with a shorter version in the Gospel of Luke. It is one of — if not the — most popular Christian prayers.

How many times should you say the Lord's prayer? ›

Pray the Lord's Prayer, they say. Pray it three times a day.

Can you recite the Lord's prayer? ›

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What is the meaning of let your kingdom come? ›

Your Kingdom Come Means to Invite God's Reign. The Kingdom of God is God's rule and reign. God is the King. When the Bible uses the phrase King of kings and Lord of lords, it mean Thy Kingdom Come – What it means is that God's throne is the highest.

Did the Pope change the Lord's prayer? ›

Now Pope Francis has risked the wrath of traditionalists by approving a change to the wording of the Lord's Prayer. Instead of saying “lead us not into temptation”, it will say “do not let us fall into temptation”. The new wording was approved by the general assembly of the Episcopal Conference of Italy last month.

What are the 2 versions of the Lord's prayer? ›

It appears in two forms in the New Testament: the shorter version in the Gospel According to Luke (11:2–4) and the longer version, part of the Sermon on the Mount, in the Gospel According to Matthew (6:9–13).

Who wrote the original Lord's prayer? ›

The Lord's Prayer appears in two of the four Gospels: Matthew (6:9-13) and Luke (11:2-4). Scholars generally believe that those two Gospel writers got the prayer from a source, never found but labeled “Q” by researchers. The wording varies, however, in Luke and Matthew.

What is the modern version of the Lord's prayer? ›

Our Heavenly Father, may your name be honored; May your kingdom come, and your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day the bread we need, Forgive us what we owe to you, as we have also forgiven those who owe anything to us. Keep us clear of temptation, and save us from evil.

Who added the ending to the Lord's prayer? ›

Why the Ending of the Lord's Prayer was added to the Bible - YouTube

What is the new version of the Lord's prayer? ›

A New Version of the Lord's Prayer
Old Version.New Version, by BF.
2. Hallowed be thy Name.2. May all revere thee,
3. Thy Kingdom come.3. And become thy dutiful Children and faithful Subjects.
4. Thy Will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.4. May thy Laws be obeyed on Earth as perfectly as they are in Heaven.
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What was the first language Jesus spoke? ›

Most religious scholars and historians agree with Pope Francis that the historical Jesus principally spoke a Galilean dialect of Aramaic.

Who wrote the Hail Mary? ›

The closing petition came into general use during the 14th or 15th century and received its official formulation in the reformed breviary of Pope Pius V in 1568. Of the many musical settings of the prayer, the Ave Maria of Franz Schubert is perhaps the most widely known.

Is the Hail Mary prayer in the Bible? ›

The prayer is based on two biblical episodes featured in the Gospel of Luke: the Angel Gabriel's visit to Mary (the Annunciation), and Mary's subsequent visit to Elisabeth, the mother of John the Baptist (the Visitation).


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