Part of my prayer routine is to periodically pray through the alphabet, letting each letter begin a sentence or two prayer. For example, on the letter C, I sometimes pray: “Come, Holy Spirit, and change my heart to better love Jesus.” On the letter “I”, I might pray something like, “I worship you, Oh, my God. Keep me today in the center of your will.
Praying through the alphabet helps keep me focused and adds some variety during my time with the Lord.
In my prayer this morning, on the letter ‘A’ I recited the first words of the hymn, “All to Jesus, I surrender.”
For those who do not know the lyrics, here is the first stanza:
All to Jesus I surrender,
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.
I surrender all,
I surrender all.
All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.
I never got to the letter ‘B’ today because the Holy Spirit asked me a question that stopped me before I could continue with the alphabet.
“Richard (God always calls me by my full given name. Never ‘Rich’), what do you mean when you say you surrender all to Jesus?”
His question caught me off guard. I don’t remember ever in the past thinking about the meaning of those words beyond my ‘talents, time, and treasure.’
But this morning He was not satisfied with that knee-jerk answer. So, I spent several minutes thinking what the words of that hymn SHOULD mean for me.
What about my day-to-day plans? Do I surrender them all to Him? Even the ones I am looking forward to doing and which, if He changed those plans, I’d be disappointed?
And what about my attitudes? Am I careful – or even willing – to surrender them to the Savior, even if I want to pout, or to stay angry with someone, or to find fault with someone, or to not forgive another?
What about my health? And my safety? When I sing, “I surrender all,” does ALL mean I’m willing to relinquish my health and safety to Him to do with them as HE desires? What if that means I get really, really sick? Is that okay with me? What if I seriously injure myself? Am I willing to surrender ‘ALL’ to Him?
I think you can understand why I never got to the letter B in my prayer this morning. I spent my time considering not only what I mean when I sing, ‘I surrender all” – but also what I SHOULD mean when I sing those lyrics.
Have you ever given deeper thought about the hymns you sing – deeper thought than just a quick knee-jerk response?