Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Prayer Study- Part 5- Prayer of Relinquishment

Previous studies here. A continuation of our study of Richard Foster's book on prayer:

The Spirit teaches me to yield my will entirely to the will of the Father. He opens my ear to wait in great gentleness and teachableness of soul for what the Father has day by day to speak and to teach. He discovers to me how union with God’s will is union with God Himself; how entire surrender to God’s will is the Father’s claim, the Son’s example, and the true blessedness of the soul.
Andrew Murray

At some point Christians move from a childish, demanding prayer to relinquishment
• Like falling into the arms of Jesus in total trust (e.g. tea commercial)
• End result of this prayer brings us into soul satisfying rest

The School of Gethsemane

• Jesus’ prayer in the garden reflects both his desire that the cup pass and relinquishment that God’s will be done Luke 22:39-46. “Can people be redeemed in any other way?” “No”
• In the way of relinquishment, “My will be done” is subsumed by “not my will”
• My will my way must yield to higher authority

The Process of Relinquishment
• Struggle is an intimate part of relinquishment
• Abraham relinquished Isaac and with him the Promise itself
• Paul relinquished his desire for greater health (more)
• Relinquishment is not resignation. Christin prayer not fatalism
• We are not locked into a preset, determinist future. Dialogue with God.
• Severing the precious roots. Release with hope and trust in the character of God
• Sometimes what we relinquish may be returned to us
• Sometimes what we relinquish needs to die so that God can accomplish his purposes through us. Settled peace (p53)
Crucifixion of the will.
• I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Gal. 2:19b-20
• “God creates everything out of nothing—and everything which God is to use he first reduces to nothing.” Kierkegaard
• “Crucifixion always has resurrection tied to it. God is not destroying the will but transforming it so that over a process of time and experience we can freely will what God wills.”
• A.W. Tozar ..freedom from the self-sins: self sufficiency, self-pity, self-absorption, self-abuse, self-indulgence, self-deprecation (more)

Practicing the Prayer of Relinquishment
• Begin with the prayer of kenosis (self-emptying) in Philippians 2:5-11
• Practice the prayer of surrender asking Jesus to interpret “not my will” for your life
• Practice the prayer of abandonment –into God’s hands
• Practice the prayer of release, placing all that you hold dear into the Father’s care as well as your enemies, anger, fears and thoughts of retaliation
• Practice the prayer of resurrection, asking God to restore whatever would advance the kingdom of God

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