Prayers of relinquishment:
I’s been just a little while since I have blogged, hoping this year to get a bit more consistent at it…… I thought today would be a great start….
While spending time studying some on prayer this morning I found a blog or a link (Hanna’s Cupboard, a ministry of Barbara Lardinais) she has done an outstanding job in regards to her teachings on prayer. It’s fun to recollect the areas in our lives that we have seen God move in…..
Taken from: (Hanna’s Cupboard, a ministry of Barbara Lardinais)
“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…….
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.”
As I was reading this it hit me that on two occasions I can remember hitting this area of relinquishment… Today I will share one of those two, will think further about sharing the second in the future .. :o)
Shy of having my three children, I had discovered that quite possibly I was finding my identity in my children and young motherhood rather than contentment in the identity that Christ really had desired for me…. Talk of a vasectomy had come up from Scott and quite honestly it was very rarely a “go” area that we could discuss calmly…. The angst that I felt in bringing the chapter of having babies to a close was just gut wrenching for me….. Yet in the back of my mind and shortly after my third was born I was slowly discovering that my desire to mother another child had become more of an obsession rather than a desire….. The second he was born, I began thinking of another, I began developing anxiety that Scott would want to go in immediately and get the vasectomy …. That he would push the issue….. I would sit in my rocking chair nursing my baby, thinking about the next….. It wasn’t until Greyson was around one, that I really began to use a different approach to prayer…. It occurred to me that I was pleading and begging for this season not to end, was pleading with God… “just change Scott’s mind, would you already!” pleading to God… “Just one more, just one more…” At what point do I pause and ask? “Wait, is that what you really desire for me God, for us, for my family, for you and I?”
I wish I could remember all of the details around it; I don’t, maybe so that the details won’t get the glory but just that God himself does…. Too often we put so much time in to explaining the details; they become the praise rather than the act of Christ himself…. I just remember finally on my face before God, in my front room, all had gone to bed in our home…. I remember literally crying out and relinquished the desperate desire of my heart over to him, my desires for more children I handed Scott and I’s marriage over to him, and the battles we were in over this chapter…..
For some results of relinquishment isn’t instant, mine was and I thank God for that, for some it takes more time to see the outcome. This evening for me was like grieving a death; in fact it was grieving a death, a death of a bigger dream in a very specific area…..
While speaking to God, he very clearly just spoke back to me and shared that he had additional seasons in store for me and they were going to be good seasons, seasons that I would find fulfillment in for him… I remember very briefly thinking, “I don’t think I ever thought I could do anything else beyond having children, I don’t think I thought I would ever be good at anything else other than that…” I grieved and I cried a gut wrenching prayer that night and did go to bed feeling heavy however there was peace even in the heaviness. The following morning I woke up and called a very close friend, who knew this battle I had been in, I had shared with her what had happened and shared with Scott shortly following that it was time to make the appointment…. Quite honestly I think both parties were just waiting for the gauntlet to fall or change course, but it didn’t my friends….. Months later the appointment was made, Scott was very hesitant, yet he made it, and I went with him, was it hard? Honestly just a little….. However I never forgot that voice that said “Shannon, I have more in store for you, you are worth more, and will become more…” I don’t say that because I don’t think there is enough worth in motherhood, absolutely not…
In that relinquishment came peace. Relinquishment took time to discover that’s what I was missing. It’s very challenging to grasp hold of when to let go and when to plead for the desires of our heart. However often the desires of our heart become so emotionally tangled that we lose sight of his desires and push towards our own, they don’t appear to be sin, there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to bring another life into the world, and the Lord has that desire for some…. For me however he did not….. I had become stuck and very self-focused to the point of obsessive… It was time to relinquish.
For me the change came when One, I admitted or allowed myself to see that something was off with me… Two I acknowledged that it was time to let go to allow God to move even if that meant it may result in giving up something, there was still a possibility that God would honor the desire of my heart, but was I willing to let go if He had other ideas? (I was) Three, I took action right away when I heard the word that God had for me and shared with a friend and Scott so that I wouldn’t slip back into my old thinking….. It’s so important when we hear something from God especially when it comes to the desires of our own hearts to declare it or speak it as soon as possible, because it is so very easy to slip back into that kind of thinking and allow insecurity to slip back in……
My prayer for you is if a prayer of relinquishment is needed God will bring you to that place of peace, and help you move forward in release so that you can move forward in action for him and yourself and the desires he has for you…
Be blessed friends