Letting go is rarely easy or desirable. However life is made up of numerous “letting go” sessions. I use the word sessions because the act of letting go usually requires more than just a simple release. The release typically comes at the end of a wrestling session.
Similarly, the prayer of relinquishment can be likened to a wrestling match. A match of the will, God’s will vs. our will.
Sometimes when we pray and ask God for something, we will give Him all the reasons why He should answer our prayer in the manner we want Him to. This is a sort of genie mentality. I rub the lamp and He gives me my heart’s desire—no questions asked. Prayer should be birthed out of relationship with God; if it’s not then we are in genie status.
In the blog post prior to this, titled The Power of Relinquishment, surrendering self-will is said to be the first step in relinquishment. Self-will has to be exchanged; our will for God’s will (for more on the subject read the post). Surrendering requires trust, therefore it moves us into relationship status with God.
Grasp the truth of Galatians 2:20,
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
At the cross we relinquish our rights—exchange our will, just as Jesus did. The words “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live” translate to “my life is no longer identified as mine—I give up my rights.” That’s the premise to the Christian life and to living in relationship status; the promise is “Christ lives in me.” Remember we can’t have the promise without the premise.
This brings us to the wrestling match, otherwise known as the prayer of relinquishment.
The foundation for the prayer of relinquishment is trust and love. We give up our hold, no matter the reason for our prayer. This is where the wrestling takes place, we wrestle to give up what we want or what we think is best. Human reasoning grapples with our faith in God and His Word. Then we relinquish.
Why relinquish? Because we understand and know that God will answer our prayer from His all-knowing, all-loving stance of wisdom and care for us. Principally we trust Him to do His best for us.
Another very crucial point to the prayer of relinquishment is—do we want the answer to the prayer more than we want God? If so then we are in danger of idolatry.
The essence of the relinquishment prayer, must be that we want God more than anything else. If it’s healing we are praying for, do we want the healing more than we want God? If it’s a wayward child, is our desire for our child more than our desire for God? If it’s for a broken heart, do want to be pain free more than go through the process of finding God for our relief? If it’s for financial breakthrough, relationships, peace or a myriad of other reasons—what is our real heart’s desire? God? Or whatever will make us feel whole? The truth is, God is the only one who can complete us, so we must start there. If we don’t, even when the prayer is answered, we will be left wanting.
Following is a very simple example of a recent prayer of relinquishment. Here’s the scenario, I was praying about going on a trip. I kept feeling as if maybe it was the wrong timing, but not quite certain—something felt out of alignment. After weeks of not being sure, I get my answer, yes I can go. But I still have a slight problem; I don’t have the finances for the plane ticket and no matter how hard I try they just are not materializing.
Finally, I relinquished the trip. (I believe what felt out of alignment earlier was my desire, I was asking out of wanting my will.) My relinquishment prayer went something to the effect of— “Lord I really want to go to California for my birthday, but I’m done trying to make it happen. I want this trip way too much, I let it go. If it happens it happens, I give my will up, I trust your will; do what’s best for me.” And I basically walked away from the whole idea.
The next day my husband calls me and says “Are you ready to book your flight” I answer “Yes, but how?” When he walked into work that day, he found an unexpected bonus check waiting for him. I let go and God made a way—that’s how!
My illustration is on a matter of small importance, but I have heard of bed ridden people praying for healing, years upon years, that finally relinquish. Changing their prayer to, “God I want you more than I want healing and I’m tired of the wrestle, what’s your will? Healing came after they gave up their will. In essence getting their way was held in higher esteem than God.
A huge component to the prayer of relinquishment is that when we relinquish our will to God, we settle and live in peace, allowing the outcome of our circumstance to be well with our soul.
Please be encouraged to learn the life-style and prayer of relinquishment. In doing so, the peace and rest of God will be your portion!