One of the first books I read when I became a Christian, aged 17, was Catherine Marshall’s “Something More,” and I remain very fond of it.
She describes a very powerful form of prayer, ” The Prayer of Relinquishment” she calls it. It’s essentially saying, “Have thine own way. It’s okay if you grant me this desire I want so desperately. And okay if you do not.” A Gethsemane prayer.
Odd thing, in my own life, praying like that has been the precursor to getting the thing I wanted so badly. However, there are no short-cuts to it. You do have to tortuously and painfully get to the stage at which you want God, his blessing, and his wise choice for you in the circumstances more than you want your heart’s desire.
One thing that, of late, gets me to the prayer of relinquishment is occasional exhaustion. Roy and I have reached middle-age throughly unprepared for it. For one, we have not been good about exercise, so are not as physically strong as we should be (though we are now trying to rectify that). For another, we still live as fully and intensely as we did when we were first married, with several interesting balls in the air at any given time. Until exhaustion strikes. As it has now.
And then, how easy it seems to surrender your life once more. ” Have thine own way, Lord. Take it, oh Lord, take this life of mine. It’s really not of the greatest interest to me. Work in it and with it. Create something beautiful with it.”