Tag Archive: surrender

Unanswered Prayers

We have all heard the saying that sometimes unanswered prayers are the best kind, but how do we know when a prayer is an “unanswered prayer”? Of course we can all look back on our life in hind sight and see where an “unanswered prayer” was the Lord’s divine answer, but what about at the time we are praying and asking? How do we know when we should continue in our persistence or when we have been heard? At what point does our prayer become only a vain repetition in the Lord’s ear (Matthew 6:7)?

I believe we always receive an answer within our Spirit, but we must be sensitive to it. It may not be something we “hear” in the Spirit, but rather a type of “knowing” which brings peace into our hearts and minds. We may not know what the answer is or will be to the request itself, but we know He has heard the cry of our heart and we are released from our posture of prayer. It is at that moment our prayer of petition would become a vain repetition if we were to continue in it. Once we receive the release in our heart, our prayers should change from one of petition to one of thankfulness for His answer.

As a parent, we can relate to what it is like to have a child ask for something they want over and over and over again, sometimes repeating (even begging) the same words. Once we acknowledge their request and let them know we are “thinking it over”, we expect them to stop bugging us. Right? God is our Heavenly Father and we should show Him the same respect we desire from our own children. If we tell our children, ‘Ok, I hear you. Now go play and let me think about it.”, we expect them to obey and leave us alone for awhile…The Lord is no different.

What if our child does not leave us alone, but instead keeps following us around and continues to ask or even tries to talk us into granting their request? They keep telling us facts about how good it would be or how important it is to them that they get their way. Or they tell us how much they love us and that we are the “best” mom or dad in the whole world. I would call this manipulation, what would you call it? Would you give into it and let them have their way? A loving parent would never give into manipulation or a tantrum of a child. Why? Because they need to learn to obey and trust you…The Lord is no different.

When your child tells you they love you and you are “the best”, is it because they  are “feeling” the love right then, or because they want something? I’m not saying they don’t love you, because I’m sure they do, but why are they telling you at that moment? The answer is simple; it is because they want something from you. How does it make you feel, do the words seem hollow or shallow…Do you feel any love in their words? Probably not…The Lord is no different.

When He releases us from our prayer of petition, we need to stop asking and begin to praise, worship, and thank Him for hearing our prayers and for always answering what is best for us. We should not try to manipulate Him into answering the way we want Him to answer, but truly praise and worship Him for who He is and what He has already accomplished on our behalf. The request should be surrendered to Him and laid at His feet as we walk away. We now have the freedom to walk in confidence knowing He has heard our prayer and is answering it.

If we have surrendered our life to Him and it is no longer our own, then we should not be upset when we do not “get what we want”. If we truly believe He works all things out for our good (Romans 8:28), then we should praise Him for all answers, including His “no” answers. I would rather not receive something that is outside of the Lord’s perfect will, than to receive it and step outside of His grace. I have learned over the years that walking in His grace, His perfect will, is everything. My life is nothing without Him. Something outside of His perfect will is not a blessing, it is almost a curse, and often becomes a Christian’s downfall. Without His grace, life is hard and has no true joy or peace.

As I look back on my life and see all the “unanswered” prayers, I can thank and praise Him, because I see all the blessings which could not have come through Him “giving in” to any of those prayers. This is what I stand on and helps build my faith, seeing Him work all things out for good in my life. I can walk away when I am released; knowing that whatever His answer is will work out for the best in my life. I know if He does not open one door, or even closed a door, He will open another door…One that has gone unnoticed while I was blinded by my desire for the first door.

As a loving parent, we sometimes have to say “no” to our child’s requests, because we know what is best for their life…The Lord is no different.

praying for answers

#unansweredprayers

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Let Go and Let God

Surrender by definition is both a verb and a noun, it is an action and a thing…It is something we must choose to both “do” and “be”. The legal definition for both the verb and noun refer to “giving up rights” to something, especially a lease, “before it has expired”. When we surrender our life to Christ, we give-up (give away) all rights and responsibility for it. At that moment it is no longer our life, it now belongs to Him (1 Cor.  6:20). We must let it go and not pick it back up, or even glance back as we walk away. When we truly surrender we have no regrets or worries, never thinking or worrying about “what if”.

I have been crucified with Christ [in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in (by adherence to and reliance on and complete trust in) the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me. – Galatians 2:20 (AMP)

Many of us struggle with letting things go or taking on too many responsibilities, but what we do not realize is that our real problem is we do not trust the Lord or believe He will work it out for our good. Trust must come before surrender. We cannot surrender to Him without first trusting Him, believing He will take care of us no matter what may come in our life. We no longer need to worry about a backup plan if we are surrendered to the Lord. As long as we obey His instruction and do our part, the results are His responsibility.

We must learn to “Let go and let God.” This does not take away our responsibility to obey Him. What it does is take away is our responsibility to do anything He has not told us to do and for the outcome of what happens. As long as we do our best in the responsibilities He has delegated (given) to us, He is responsible for everything else. In Matthew 11:29-30 He instructs us to take His yoke upon us, because doing it His way makes the work easy and light. This is the freedom Christ died on the cross to give us.

Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” – Matthew 11:29-30 (NKJV)

When we take on responsibilities He has not delegated to us, we become worn down and frustrated with our lives, wondering why He is not helping us in our situation. We must remember, He is not responsible to help us with or for the outcome of something He has not delegated to us, such things are not a part of  His yoke. It is not our works that please Him, instead it is our obedience (our surrender) to Him. We must develop the faith to walk in obedience, to do only those things He has delegated to us and believe He will take care of the rest.

When was the last time you either took on too many responsibilities, tried to fix a situation on your own, or tried to solve a problem in your life by yourself only to realize after going in circles, there was nothing you could do, but “pray and trust God” to take care it. Why do we too often wait until we hit the wall of “there is nothing else we can do” before we take it to God? Are we truly surrendering our life when we use God as a “backup plan” when nothing else works?

Have you fully surrendered your life to the Lord? Have you laid it at His feet and walked away, trusting the outcome to Him? If not, ask Him to help you and he will come in and give you the freedom Christ died to give you.

Remember to “Let go and Let God.”

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Who’s in the Driver’s Seat

A couple weeks ago, my oldest son asked why his dad always gets to make the final decision if he and I are equals in our marriage. My simple answer was a quick, ‘because he is the head of our family and someone has to make a final decision when we cannot agree.’But a few days later the Lord showed me a good visual example of the correct answer. He showed me our family is like a car, and someone has to be the driver steering our lives. Have you ever noticed that in any type of vehicle, there can only be one primary driver. Even in cars that have more than one steering wheel, such as a driver’s education car, only one person can control the path of the car at any given moment. If more than one person tries to steer and control the car, an accident can happen, or at the very least the car goes off the correct path.

Our life is like a car, the question is “who is controlling the path” of your life? Who is sitting in the driver’s seat of your life? As Christians, our answer to this question should be, “my Lord Jesus Christ is in control.” Some may quickly give that answer to the question, without any thought of what it truly means…But how many can give that answer willingly, honestly, and whole heartedly with an understanding of the surrender and sacrifice that must come along with it? How many Christians can truly say the Lord is in full control of their life, that they would willingly lay down all of their wants and desires to follow the path the Lord sets before them…no matter where that path may lead them?

When we lay our lives down at His feet, fully surrendered and willing to go where He sends us, we are not to become simple passengers in the backseat of our life, just going along for the ride. We are to use the wisdom and knowledge the Lord gives us daily to navigate [plan] the course He lays before us, following His direction for our steps.

 

A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps. –Proverbs 16:9 (NKJV)

 

Although we may plan our way [life], we never know where the Lord is leading us until we arrive at our destination. Quite often we would never choose the steps He lays out before us if we knew what the path looked like before we took it. His steps will take us down the less traveled, rocky and narrow path, one that may be hard and even painful at times. But when we come out on the other side, we are stronger and wiser.

I recently heard someone say that we live our life looking forward, but we understand our life looking backward. How true this is…When we are on the dark, rocky, and less traveled road we are unable to see the changes in our life and the lives of those around us that is happening. But when we emerge from the darkness and look back, we can see the Lord’s hand guiding our every step, maybe even carrying us during the hardest times. It is when we look back on these “hard times” that we can gain wisdom and understanding, this is when we grow in our faith and trust in the Lord…This is when we are able to surrender another piece of our life to Him, allowing Him to “take the wheel”.

Who’s in your driver’s seat?

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