SERMON DATE AND TITLE: 2008-09-21: "The Prayer Of  Relinquishment"

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Have you ever held on to things too tightly? What about that new car you were terrified would get its first scratch? In spite of your death-grip on the Detroit wonder, it still became scratched and worn. What about the “umbrella parent” that over-shelters their child to protect them from all of life’s pitfalls and dangers? The child still will have to experience life’s trauma and injustice, learning to overcome it anyway.

This is a message about those who hold on too tightly. It is a message about “letting go and letting God.” Prayer again is the subject of this sermon. Why am I doing so many sermons on prayer? This series of sermons have been on my heart because it’s so easy to be distracted and lose our connection with God.

          My need to pray is no lesser or greater than my listeners or readers. I do not elevate myself above the world around me, instead I allow myself to be as needy for prayer as this weary world.

          Here are five simple prayers of relinquishment that are aimed at helping you to let go.


Sheepfold Ministries, September 21, 2008

Pastor Phil Roland



Philippians 2:5-13

“Following Christ is a life of surrender. We surrender to Accept Christ and make Him Lord of our life, and we continue to relinquish ourselves to Him throughout our lives.”

                                                                                                                             Pastor Phil

"God creates everything out of nothing - and everything which God is to use, He first reduces to nothing"        Soren Kierkegaard, Swedish Theologian

There are five Prayers of Relinquishment:

I.  THE PRAYER OF SELF-EMPTYING – Philippians 2:5-13, esp. 6-8

“He made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”

            A. He Give up Self, Pride. Arrogance and Control

            B. Jesus did it throughout His Earthly Life

                        1. Gave up the Glory of Heaven

                        2. Renounced His Worldly Desires – Luke 4

                                    a. Self-Gratification, Stones to Bread – vs. 2-4

                                    b. Worldly Authority / Acclaim, Worship Satan  – vs. 5-8

                                    c. Self-Appointed Messiah, Control His Destiny – vs. 9-13

                        3. Gave Up His Body to His Enemies and the Cross

                                    a. Allowed His Betrayal by Judas’

                                    b. Praying in Gethsemane until His Sweat became Blood

                                    c. He gave His Will Up to do His Father’s Will

                                    d. He suffered mockery of a trial

                                    e. He bore the Humiliation Beating and Scourging

                                    f. He Wore the Crown of Thorns

                                    g. He endured the hammering of the nails

            C. LORD,

                        I empty out by vanity and pride. I gave up my foolish ambitions, all

of them and lay them at your feet. Use me in any way You choose

in Your Kingdom.

               In Jesus’ Name,  A-men

II.  THE PRAYER OF SURRENDER – Luke 22:39-46, esp. v. 42

"Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done."

            A. Invite Jesus into Every Part of Your Life

                        1. Baptist Altar Calls

                        2. Persuasion Music

                            “I surrender all!  I surrender all! All to Him, my blessed Savior!”

                            “Lord, I’m coming home!”

                           “Just as I am without one plea, but that Thy Blood was shed for me!”

            B. LORD,

                        “I surrender my self-centered hold on myself. I give my independent

arrogant spirit to You to mold or use in any way You wish. I totally yield

myself to you.”

               In Jesus’ Name,  A-men


          A. Abandonment is the child’s greatest, most primal fear

                        1. It also plagues us throughout our lives

                        2. Loneliness and being truly alone

                        3. Terror of being truly alone

            B. Abandonment to God

                        1. The “Nestea Prayer” – Hint: TV Commercial

                           ”The man is hot, tired, dusty, sweltering from the summer sun, falls into

    a swimming pool with the thirst-quenching sense of “ahhh!” on his face.”

                        2. Allow Jesus’ Spirit to touch your life / lean into His Arms

   “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” - Fall into His “ahh…men!”

          C. Charles de Foucauld’s “Prayer of Abandonment”

                   ”Father, 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.”

--Charles de Foucauld (1858-1916)


IV.  THE PRAYER OF RELEASE – Matthew 18:18

"Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

            A. Release the things that hold you the most

                        1. What preoccupies your time, and consumes your thoughts?

                        2. Release it to God!

                                    a. Family, children, Spouse, Friends

                                    b. Cares, Future, Hopes, Dreams

                                    c. Enemies, Hostility, Revenge Obsessions

                                    d. Do “AA’s” Third Step

            B. Forgive the Past with its Cares and Worries

                        1. Poem: “Treasures,” by Martha Snell Nicholson

                        2. Hands that are full cannot receive Spiritual Treasure


            C. LORD,

                        “I release all the things I have valued more than I have valued and

                        treasured You. I give to You all the heartache, pain and disappointments

in my life. Forgive me and Fill me anew with Your love.”

               In Jesus’ Name,  A-men


V.  THE PRAYER OF RESURRECTION – 1 Corinthians 15:51,52

“Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”

          A. Christian Principle: “Out of Death comes Life.”

                        1. Vegetation in Springtime, Resurrected by God’s Hand

                        2. Natural Cycles of Resurrection – Night/Day, Seasons

            B. We Die to Self so that Christ can be Resurrected in us

                "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross

    and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever

    loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the

    whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his

    soul?” Matthew 16:24-26


                        “I put to death all the desires of my flesh, everything that separates me

from You. Raise to newness of Christ’s life, His life in me. I pray for resurrection power to result from my surrender to You.”

               In Jesus’ Name,  A-men




Philippians 2:5-13

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,

6  who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,

7  but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.

8  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

9  Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,

10  that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,

11  and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

12  Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;

13  for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.






In several of her books, Catherine Marshall has written how she learned this lesson. For six months she had lain in bed with a massive lung infection. She was too weak to walk unassisted and the doctors gave her little hope for recovery. She prayed throughout her waking hours and every day her health declined. She confessed to God every sin she could remember. She wrote letters of apology to every person she could recall having offended, even back to childhood. And her condition worsened.

She documents this event in her book entitled, “Something More.” Finally, on the early morning of September 14, 1943 she prayed: "God, I am beaten. I'm finished. Do with me as You please and I will accept it." Catherine talked about sensing a brightness coming into the room and holding her eyes tightly closed, the moment was so sacred.

In the blackness of that early morning event Catherine Marshall's life changed because the peace of God filled her. His presence forever changed her. When the sun arose that morning, so did Catherine. She made her bed and resumed the activities of her busy life.

Two days later she was x-rayed and was told by her astonished doctor that her lungs had greatly improved. After six months in bed, she found in a few short days that she had virtually recovered her health.