“Prayer is surrender without giving up.”
This phrase came from a journalist who was kidnapped in Afghanistan by the Taliban. As a non-religious person, he found himself turning to the spirituality of his youth in order to sustain him while in captivity. I found this phrase to be a wonderful description of the point of prayer, and why prayer is such a difficult spiritual discipline.
Prayer is humbling because it does acknowledge that we are not in control of every situation—it is surrender. However, prayer is not inaction—giving up. Prayer is an act of spiritual discipline because it is the way we communicate with God. As Paul says, “Do not be anxious about anything but through prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, bring your requests before God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
As we finish 2010, I wanted to share the words I use during the benediction as God’s blessing and challenge for us. Let us bring our anxieties, worries and joy before God, and may we receive the peace of God because through prayer we are reminded that we are in desperate need of a God who is in charge, who cares for us, and who is active in our lives.
May we receive the peace of Christ, that brings us hope for the new year!