Jeremiah 10:23 “Lord, I know that people’s lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps.”
Prayer is surrender to the will of God and ultimately our co-operation with that will. An illustration found in the book, “A Song of Ascents” by E. Stanley Jones’s might be helpful; if you throw a boat hook from a boat and catch hold of the shore and pull, do you pull the shore to you or do you pull yourself to the shore? Prayer is not pulling God to my will, but the aligning of my will to the will of God.
Jesus himself was our great example of prayerful surrender; “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” Matthew 26:42
The discipline of conforming to the will of God, listening for His voice, sensing the gentle movement of His Spirit, and confessing His lordship over our lives is the crux of genuine prayer and petition. The act of dying to self is a practiced element of sanctification that comes through the Word of God, the sin cleansing blood of Jesus, and the power of the Holy Spirit in our worship toward God.
The Apostle Paul gave clear instruction in Romans chapter 12:2, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing, and perfect will.”
Surrender is a most difficult and fleeting thing. There must be a daily commitment to denying self and yielding to the will of God. My heart is above all wicked and my mind easily distracted. Only genuine surrender to the will of God in prayer can bring victory.
What a friend we have in Jesus All our sins and griefs to bear
What a privilege to carry Everything to God in prayer
Oh, what peace we often forfeit
Oh, what needless pain we bear
All because we do not carry, Everything to God in prayer.