How to Pray and Surrender to God

Posted on 01/01/15 by James Merritt

52_weeks_with_jesus_special_3DHow to Pray

Jesus prays, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).

A kingdom is a place where a king rules and reigns. When you ask God’s kingdom to come, you are asking God to sit on the throne of your heart and your life so that his will will be done in both.

This is the hardest part of this prayer. The number one priority of prayer is not to get God to do what you want, but to surrender to God—to get him to do what he wants.

That is why this part of the prayer is difficult. Before you ask for anything, before you tell him what you want, before you tell him what you need, say right up front, “I am taking my plans, my ambitions, my goals, my agendas, my desires, and I am surrendering them all to you.”

You can’t move forward with God in any prayer until you get this issue settled. Before you get to your wants, your desires, your agenda, you have to go to God and say, “I want your will to be done.”

The Best Prayer You Can Pray

Seeking God’s will above our own isn’t easy.

It wasn’t even easy for Jesus! 

Did you know the only time Scripture records Jesus wrestling in prayer was in the Garden of Gethsemane? What was his struggle? He wrestled over the will of God, and he could not go to the cross until he finally said to God, “Not my will, but yours be done.”

The trouble comes in our lives when we don’t pray this part of the prayer. The trouble comes when we focus on our will and not his. That is when marriages fall apart. That is when business decisions go bad. That is when you experience the kind of moral failure that can scar you with unbelievable guilt.

The best prayer you can ever pray for anyone, in any situation, at any time, in any place, is the prayer, “Your will be done.” Do you know why? Because God’s will is always the right and best thing to pray for.

The purpose of prayer isn’t about getting your will done in heaven; it’s about seeing his will done in your heart. It is not to get God in line with your desires but to help you line up with his. 

Prayer Changes Things

When you surrender your will to his will, you find that prayer changes you. Your prayers will change as well. That is why getting into that secret place every day and surrendering your will to his is so important. Don’t ever leave the place of prayer until you are fully surrendered to Jesus Christ. Without surrender, nothing will change in your life. Nothing will change the perspective of your life. Nothing will change the purpose of your life. Nothing will change the priority of your life like completely being surrendered to his will.

When we pray, we want to know that God hears us. God says, “First, I want your worship. Focus on who I am, where I live, and what I want, because then you will want my will.” You will never experience the power and joy of prayer until you are willing to find and do his will.

I encourage you, perhaps over the next month, to take the first five minutes of each day and give God your worship. Focus on who he is, where he lives, and what he wants. Surrender to his will and watch how God changes your life.

Prayer: Lord, quiet the voices in my heart that are all about me. Tip my face toward yours so that I might greet you with worship, acknowledging who you are.

Excerpted from 52 Weeks with Jesus

James_MerrittJames Merritt (PhD) is a pastor, author, and host of the Touching Lives television program, seen nationwide and in 122 countries. Previously, he served as a two-term president of America's largest Christian denomination. As a national voice on faith and leadership, Merritt has been interviewed by outlets including Time, Fox News, and 60 Minutes. He resides with his family outside Atlanta, GA.

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