Lesson 3 from 31 days of Prayer: Sweet, Sweet Surrender

Lesson 3 from 31 days of Prayer: Sweet, Sweet Surrender

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer.  Romans 12:12

Hi yal! (you are loved)

I wrote the verse above in my prayer journal on July 25, 2021 and in the same entry  I wrote ‘the devil ain’t got no new tricks!‘ (picture my most drama filled head snap and snarled lip for effect, remember I’m a bit extra).  I was praying that morning and asking God to continue to refine my character.  I remember thinking how great I felt because I recognized a pattern or a roadway (neuro networks) that I always did before and was able to stop and redirect my thoughts, habits and behaviors (neuroplasticity)  I thought that since I had successfully looked at this same scenario that I had been in 11 years earlier and successfully did not succumb to temptation, foolishly, I felt that all my future was situated on MY doing the right thing no matter what. I have built a  career on catchy phrases and one liners based on individuals sitting around tables sharing their successes and struggles.  Saying things like “keep coming back, we’ll love you until you can love yourself, and my best thinking got me here” certainly helped me on my journey away from drugs and alcohol.  These phrases work well for anyone not just those who use substances to escape their painful memories, emotions and past experiences.

A quality that is used to describe me is determined.  I think this perfectly describes me.  I was recently going through family pictures for a presentation on family history/generational curses and the brain workshop and was reminded of learning to tie my shoes.  My mother told me how I sat with my great aunt and grandmother in Tennessee trying to tie my shoes.  My mother laughed as she told me how I would get frustrated but would not stop trying.  She said “you were so determined”.  That was in 1978 and I was three years old.  I tied my shoes because they told me I couldn’t.  This used to give me a weird since of pride, like I had found the secret sauce to living life on life’s terms.  I wanted everyone I knew to be like me! I shared for years how “if you want what I have and are willing to do what I did to get it all you have to do is do what I did to get it”.  But what about my brothers and sisters who don’t have a chip on their shoulder already at 3 years old and don’t have that Moxy, determination?  Or, what about those who are compliant and never break a rule, do they have it easier? And why were they born like that and I was born like this? My mother told me curiosity would kill the cat- 1 Peter 5:8 Be sober-minded, be alert, Your adversary the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. 

Well, the cat ain’t dead, yet!

So, how does this equate with a lesson titled Sweet, sweet surrender? Another phrase that I use for myself and clients is “it ain’t about you” (yep! head snap and snarled lip).  I’m usually utilizing this tool when shifting perspective from others to self or vice versa.  (yes there is a method to therapy and we aren’t just talking). But recently with my own shift in perspective,(thank you Jesus that we can change our minds) to viewing our problematic behavior as solutions; and identifying the problem as a core belief, identified by: lack of hope, connection/love, trust and acceptance to  our ultimate connection with God, our creator; the one that sacrificed and died for us so that we can have eternal peace.  Oh, I am convinced that as Solomon stated in Ecclesiastes 3:11 He has made everything appropriate in its time,, He has also put eternity in their hearts, but no one can discover the work God has done from beginning to end. And I believe that while He is pursuing us like a lost sheep, a lost coin and a lost child (Luke 15) that we would definitely resort to utilizing our magnificent brain chemicals, that were designed and created by the creator, to be cheap imitations until we were united together and the enemy (the cat) was defeated and we lived in harmony united together as the early church believers were!

We have the ability, for such a time as this, to get the message out: that loving our God with all our heart mind soul and strength is our daily prayer and we would pray likewise that we would love our brother as ourselves. In so doing, we could bring His kingdom down to Earth!  Before you argue, just consider “what if we could just surrender completely, no pretenses, no expectations for one another; other than love?”

2Peter 1:4 by these he has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world because of evil desire. 

I see corruption based on evil desire playing out in our homes, in our work places, in our schools, in our politics.  I can’t honestly look around and see any system that I can say “wow, that’s perfect!”  All systems are subject to fail because they are based on perfect behavior modification and integrity.  I think most of us agree that any system we have been apart of was broken because it lacked both perfect behavior and perfect integrity.  Or, was the system good but the participants were the problem?  Do the rules change based on who you know? Where you’re from? The color of your skin? The amount of money you have or don’t have? The gender you are? Or the enneagram number you have, or Meyer’s Briggs personality profile? Or the Religion you were born into? Or maybe, the lack of Religion you have? Are you questioning? These are all questions that I have wrestled with and came to the same conclusion: none of this should matter and yet we all know that it does matter.  Ma

One statement I heard and am still wrestling to see if it holds true is “If you aren’t being oppressed are you the oppressor?” 2Peter 1: 5 says

For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.  8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  

I’m going to say again pray that you would love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself! The Holy Spirit will reveal His truth to you and in you based on Christ’s work on the cross so we could be reconciled with the One True God! Not because of anything we did, do or will do EVER! IT IS FINISHED! It’s not about you or me!


Here are linked posts to help expound on some of what I’ve shared.  https://signalforhelpministries.com/1104!68-2/  https://signalforhelpministries.com/lesson-2-from-31-days-of-prayer-what-about-boundaries-when-loving-like-jesus/


"Thank you for telling me what I needed to hear and not what I wanted to hear; and doing it in the most loving and stern way I've ever seen!"
- Amanda I.

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