Prayer To Surrender to Love

After last week’s very personal post about my journey to greater trust in the Lord, I thought I would share this prayer of surrender from my journal.

By Artotem [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Prayer To Surrender to Love

Loving God, You know me intimately:

my fears,

my inability to trust You,

my grasping for those things over which I have no control,

my blindness to the reality of Your love and Your presence,

my stubbornness in never trusting the experience of Your love that You continuously shower on me.

I am a mess of contradictions: I want to witness to You,  while emotionally I am locked into overwhelming fear.

In Your time, in Your way, free me!

Let Your Presence fill my prison until its bars burst open

Let Your Love give wings to my desperate heart

Let Your Gentleness soothe my ego’s frantic efforts to control

Let Your Truth root my fluttering doubts

Let Your Light show my faltering feet the Way

Let Your Banquet nourish my weakness into Life

Let Your Faithfulness encompass and embrace me until…

     I am transformed from a being bound by Fear

          into a being transformed by Love. 

Jesus Master, my Way, my Truth, and my Life, I trust in You!

* * *

These are some classic, beautiful prayers of surrender and trust in  the Lord by some of the saints:

Suscipe by St. Ignatius of Loyola

Prayer of Abandon by Bl. Charles de Foucald

An Act of Oblation by St. Francis de Sales

Photo by Artotem [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Dancing with God

In a book or film, the protagonist is the central character in the story—the story is the protagonist’s story. Without the protagonist, there is no story, just a set of circumstances. This is also true of the story of our lives. We are the protagonists of our own lives. It is our story. But it’s also God’s story. God brought us into being, provides for us, and guides us as closely as we’ll allow. So God, too, is the protagonist of our story or rather, God and I are the co-protagonists of our story, which is the story of my life.

385px-Ballroom.svgIf we truly believe this—that the Holy Spirit is our Co-Author and Co-Protagonist—then how do we describe our role as the human co-protagonist? We know we aren’t simply passive spectators to our own lives. The Church unequivocally reminds us that we each have free will and the dignity of exercising that freedom. The question is how do we exercise our freedom, to make a choice, to step forward in faith, while letting God lead?

Letting God take the lead and our making a free choice are not mutually exclusive; in fact, just the opposite is true because ideally, they happen together! God invites, and we respond with faith and loving action. Our full, wholehearted response is absolutely essential to fulfilling our purpose, vocation, and mission in life.

For me, perhaps the best image of discernment as a way of life—even better than the image of co-authoring!—is that of a couple dancing together. Certainly one dancer usually takes the lead, but the other partner must choose to dance, take each of her own steps, occasionally choose her steps more independently when they are not hand in hand, and follow her partner’s lead when they are moving together. True dancing partners—even when across the room from each other—are always aware of each other, always seeking to harmonize or synchronize their movements. If not, there’s no dancing.

Growing in our relationship with God means that our partnership, this “dance” of our lives, enables us to understand always more the intentions and desires of God. Just like partners who have danced together for years can anticipate their partner’s next move, so when we live in communion with God, we start to understand God’s invitations and we can respond more easily and quickly—almost before God extends his hand in invitation.

Each step we take—whether we are intentionally following God’s lead or simply moving forward with our lives by doing the best we can—is a step we take freely. God respects our free will, works with our missteps, and wants us to grow in freedom. Just as partners who have danced together for years feel greater freedom—they trust so much in their partner’s support that they can take riskier moves—so the greater our spirit of discernment and union with God, the greater our freedom in living our deepest identity.