No Surrender, No Retreat
No surrender, no retreat; that’s how I was raised. I grew up as part of the John Wayne generation, our values shaped by the World War II movies and westerns we watched on our black and white TV’s. Men were supposed to be independent, tough and in control. Our heroes were Davy Crockett, Daniel Boone and “I have not yet begun to fight” John Paul Jones. Surrender was not part of our vocabulary. It was extremely difficult for us to give up control, even to God.
It was not until I was drafted into the healing ministry that I ever began to understand what it meant to surrender to Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I really knew nothing about healing prayer so I read everything I could find on healing prayer. Healing I learned was an act of love by Jesus and Jesus’ love encompassed every aspect of our lives. His love is total, completely beyond our imagination or comprehension. When He sees us we look like Him in the scene from The Passion where Pilate presents Jesus to the crowd after the Scourging, all covered in blood and wounds. Jesus sees every emotional, spiritual, relational wound we’ve ever suffered. He knows our every hurt and longs passionately to heal all of our wounds not just the physical. He wants to pour out His love upon us and heal all of us. He passionately longs to unleash a Niagara Falls worth of blessings upon us.
To surrender to Jesus means to open ourselves up to the unbelievable love He has for us, to be open to a love so far beyond human imagination it isn’t funny, a love that encompasses every aspect of our lives, that knows and ardently desires what is best for us. Surrendering to Jesus means we allow Jesus to pour His love upon us and do what is best for us. He knows what we need. He knows what we can handle and He knows what truly will make us happy.
What can be greater than that? Sadly, too often we hold onto control. We are afraid. We don’t trust Jesus or we think we know better. We only open our hearts a little at a time and pull back over and over. For many of us this is a lifetime process of taking little steps towards God, allowing Him in a little at a time. Maybe we need help. Jesus Himself wants to help us.
He’s given us the awesome gift of the Eucharist so we may approach Him and grow in a relationship with Him. All we have to do is open our hearts to Him as we receive Him in communion. Ask for the grace to be totally open to Him and what He wants to do when you come to Him. He longs to pour His love upon you.
So often we think that this kind of relationship is just for saints, not ordinary people like us but God pours His Spirit and love upon all of us. His greatest desire is to bless us beyond our imaginations. He wants to knock our socks off so open your heart and let Him in.
Jesus, I believe that You love me more than I love myself, more than anything that I can imagine. I believe that Your love for me is infinite, beyond comprehension, limitless. I believe that You know and want what is best for me, that you want to pour your love and blessings upon me.
I believe that You loved me enough to die for me. I believe that You would have endured the entire Passion just for me out of love. I believe that You have forgiven all my sins and that I can come to You at anytime in confession and receive Your awesome mercy.
I believe that You are present in the most holy Eucharist, that You created the Eucharist out of love, that the Eucharist is love itself, that You wait in the Eucharist to pour out your love upon me.
I believe but help my unbelief. Help me to believe in my heart, not just my head. Strengthen my faith in Your awesome love for me. Help me to open my heart to Your love. Help me to put aside all that may block my receiving the love and blessings You want to give me.
Help me to let go of my past, of any sins or mistakes for which I keep beating myself up. Help me to let go of any sense of unworthiness and remember that it is your love not my worthiness that matters.
Help me to let go of all pride, the false sense that I have to earn Your love, that I have to do things on my own. Help me to turn to You.
Help me to let go of all fear and doubt. Help me to totally put my trust in Your awesome goodness, love and mercy.
I want to be totally open to You, Jesus. I want You to come into my heart and heal the wounds of my past. I want You to help me to forgive all those who’ve hurt me. I want You to change me from the inside, to help me let go of all the anger, resentments, to let go of the pride and independence, anything that keeps me apart from you.
I want to know You, personally. I want an intimate relationship with You. I want to see You each time I receive You. I want to feel Your presence, Your love in my heart. I want to hear Your voice. I want You to guide me with every decision I make. I want You to take charge of my life. I want You to truly be my Lord and Savior. I don’t want to live my life anymore. I want to live Your life. I want to serve You, to be Your hands and feet. I want to receive Your love and bring it to those around me. Help me to do so.
Come into my heart and change me into the person You created me to be. Fill me with Your love. Free me of all fear and doubt and help me to trust You with everything, my health, family, finances, career, relationships, everything.
Help me Jesus, draw me close to You. Let me live in Your heart. Fill me with You. Take charge of my life. I surrender all to You and Your incredible love. Amen