By Pastor Vinnie Cappetta
"A Prayer of Abandonment and Surrender"
2 Timothy 2:1-13 You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, 2 and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. 3 Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. 5 An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. 6 It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. 7 Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.
8 Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, 9 for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound! 10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 11 The saying is trustworthy, for:
If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
12 if we endure, we will also reign with him;
if we deny him, he also will deny us;
13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself.
Paul encouraged Timothy to share in suffering while he (Paul) was suffering in prison for the faith. Where did Paul get such an attitude that allowed him to endure such hardship as a soldier of Christ? I imagine that he prayed a prayer similar to this one written by Charles de Foucauld…
I abandon myself into your hands;
do with me what you will.
Whatever you may do, I thank you:
I am ready for all, I accept all.
Let only your will be done in me,
and in all your creatures -
I wish no more than this, O Lord.
Into your hands I commend my soul:
I offer it to you with all the love of my heart,
for I love you, Lord, and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into your hands without reserve,
and with boundless confidence,
for you are my Father.
When you read this prayer, you may not feel like you can pray it in good conscience because you really don’t mean it. In my mind, we pray prayers like this so that God will soften our hearts toward Him and so that we may express what the Spirit of God inside of us wants most which is that we surrender ourselves completely to the Lord. Maybe as we pray the pray of abandonment and surrender, God will change our hearts and minds to want more of what we should want…surrender.