For 35 years, I prayed for my wounded foot to be miraculously healed. At 3 years of age, I lost 2/3 of my right foot in a lawn mower accident. In my teens and twenties, I went to every prayer and healing service I could find hoping the power of God would supernaturally heal my foot, restoring it to the beautiful foot I had when I was born. I hand wrote healing scriptures on slips of paper and kept them in my shoes for years, replacing them as they became thin and tattered. I desperately longed for the effects of my accident to be erased. Morning after morning, year after year I threw the bed covers off my foot to see if God had healed my foot while I slept. For more than three decades, I daily faced the exhaustion of disappointment and limitation as chronic pain invaded and set up camp in other areas of my body. I used to think I had to work hard to get my prayers answered. Now, I know submitting my requests in the form of surrender is the better way.
I spent many years speaking solution-based prayers instead of surrendering my requests to God. Solution-based prayers focus on how we will find resolve. Surrender-based prayers identify the core need and release the how to God’s divine discretion.
Solution-based prayers contain a large volume of our own ideas. When the solution is the focus, we often miss the greater benefits and blessings tucked away awaiting our discovery. When we hold to our ideal of how with white knuckles have we made the how an idol? In these instances, in what do we trust? Is the answer to our prayer as much of an idol as the golden calf the Israelites elevated in worship? When we elevate our ideal how above the sovereign hand of God we risk a delay in deliverance because anything elevated above God will block our view from His best plan for us.
Surrender-based prayers prioritize a dependence upon God and a resolute trust in His willingness and ability to hand-deliver custom-made blessings to our front door. When we surrender our ideals we begin the process of trimming away the excess and an imposed how in exchange for an honest acceptance of the core of our request. Surrender-based prayers allow us to get to the heart of the matter and the core of our need. Surrender-based prayers were modeled for us by Jesus himself. In the garden the night before He was crucified, He prayed these words of surrender: “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” (Luke 22:42)
Sometimes our prayers fall short of our truest need or most heartfelt desire because they are near-sighted solutions we foolishly ask God to fulfill. Rather than insisting the Father fix our problems according to our ways, we can do as Jesus modeled by presenting our cares to Him and ask for courage to follow Him.
I spent 35 years asking God to restore my foot. When I finally took inventory of the real needs in my life I realized they could all be summed up with one simple word: FUNCTION. I do not know one single person who loves her feet so much that she wakes up in the mornings, throw off the covers and says to her feet, “There you are! I missed you so much all night! You are so beautiful and wonderful. You are going to make my life complete, feet!” When we think of our feet we think of how they can support our activity and take us where we want to go. Most people find the function of their feet much more important than the appearance of their feet. When that reality clicked in me I released the features of the foot in exchange for the function of a prosthesis.
As long as I insisted on my way, I could not see the path to freedom. As long as I guilted myself for not having enough faith, I felt defeated and hopeless. When I finally surrendered my struggle to God and embraced new possibilities, my vision elevated above the appearance of my foot. He wants us to surrender our problems, needs and desires to Him. When we boldly and bravely release our ideas about how He will answer our prayers we empty our hands to receive His best answer.
GOD IS ABLE
2 Corinthians 9:8
“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”
I pray you may live an abundant life fully convinced (Romans 4:21) that God is able to do whatever He promises.
© 2017 Lesley Sturm