Prayer is no picnic. Prayer is warfare.
But the fact is, we are not and never have been in a defensive stance when it comes to prayer. Prayer has always been our first line of offense not our last line of defense. It is our true source of power in the Kingdom of God.
There is a word that does not seem like it should be considered at all when we are discussing warfare, and particularly when we are talking about strategies for victory and that word is SURRENDER.
What? No, you did not read that wrong. Surrender is not for the faint of heart. As a matter of fact, it is required for all who submit themselves to Jesus Christ.
Jesus will come to us in the middle of our comfortable situations and present opportunity that will require us to give everything in order to gain everything.
Peter, a fisherman, is asked to give up all he knew to follow an itinerant preacher on a promise that he would become a fisher of men.
A single mom, who believed so much in the word of the prophet and the promises of God, was asked to give all of her oil to receive more oil than she could imagine.
The daughter who was dying was asked to give her last breath to be resurrected to life through prayer.
Prayer is an exchange of surrender.
God is sovereign. He has accomplished it all. He has seen it all. He knows it all. So then why should we bother praying if God already knows what is going to happen. Can prayer really change things or is that even the point of prayer?
Let’s look at one of Jesus’ prayers for some clarity. Just before his death Jesus is praying in the garden of Gethsemane. He asks for the cup of suffering to be removed. “Is there any other way?” Jesus asks. Obviously his request to have the cup removed from Him was not answered, but there are things we learn from this important prayer.
Jesus did not hide His emotions. He spoke very candidly and honestly with His Father. He is grieved. So much so that He is physically affected. He even shares His very human emotions with His disciples when He expresses that He is “sorrowful unto death.”
Expressing your feelings is not a weakness. It is an act of humility and of your humanity. It is an act of inviting others into your life for comfort and love. But Jesus did not find the comfort He needed with the disciples. He goes to the source of all comfort.
Jesus prayed three different times in the garden before reaching a sense of peace. It came with the simple words of His last prayer. “Father, let Your will be done, not Mine.”
What if your prayer is less about getting the answer you want and more about the need to surrender?
This is where you find His peace that passes all understanding, His provision for every need, His protection for every attack, His unfailing love for every situation, and His victory for every battle.
Surrender for victory friend.
Patty Powers is a freelance writer, preacher and teacher, and a member of New Life Church.