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The Prayer of Surrender

Friday, October 1, 2010

by Dr. Paul Chappell

"So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk. Now Eli the priest sat upon a seat by a post of the temple of the LORD. And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore. And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head."

1 Samuel 1:9-11

Often the deepest grief brings God's greatest blessings.

Why does it seem that customer service is a lost art in our day? Between rude customer service agents and outsourcing of customer service calls, it feels as if you can't get help from companies these days. Then there's automated phone services that run you through a system to get help. Press this number for this area, press another number for a more specific issue, and wait on the line for a customer service representative. A simple question takes half an hour to simply reach someone!

Can you imagine if God used an automated phone service to answer prayers? What if you began to pray and heard, "This is the Lord's house. Please select from the following options:
Press 1 for general requests
Press 2 for thanksgiving
Press 3 for complaints
Press 4 for healing
Press 5 for help with the IRS
Press 6 for rain or no rain
Press 7 for miracles
Press 8 for all others or to just say hello

Or, what if it said, "We're sorry, we are busy helping other sinners right now. Please stay on the line and we will answer your call this millennium."

Thankfully, God is always available to us no matter how many other people are talking to Him. We can always expect a listening ear when we talk to our Heavenly Father. How blessed we are to have the privilege of speaking with our Lord.

Hannah took full advantage of her ability to approach God with her concerns. She was barren and wanted nothing more in life than to give birth to a son. Her grief became so overwhelming that she poured out her heart to God, surrendering to give her son back to God. Hannah gave up full control of her situation to God. She surrendered her will for God's.

Often the deepest grief brings God's greatest blessings. The times of waiting we endure can break our own will and remind us of our true dependence on God. As the psalmist said in Psalm 61:2, "From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I." God's waiting for our complete surrender to Him.

When was the last time you approached God through prayer and completely surrendered your will to Him? He knows your needs and desires. He knows the situation you're facing right now that has you grief-stricken and burdened. He knows your worries. Rather than hold on to the burdens, approach God, lay them before Him, and surrender your will to Him.

Thank God that you can approach Him at any time, even in your time of grief and worry. Like Hannah, pour out your heart to God, admitting your inabilities and weaknesses. Surrender your burden to God and allow Him to have control over your situation. As you admit your weakness and rely on God's strength, you'll find peace even in the midst of difficulty.

To learn more about the ministries of Lancaster Baptist Church and Pastor Chappell, please visit lancasterbaptist.org, paulchappell.com, or follow him on twitter.

Daily Bible Reading
Isaiah 11-13 | Ephesians 3