The Art of Surrender

The concept of surrender to God is not often spoken of in churches or discipleship meetings, but I consider it to be of extreme importance to the life and spiritual growth of every Christian. Songs like ‘I surrender all’ have often irritated me, because what does it mean to surrender absolutely everything that we are into the hands of God – and how do we do so in a real, deliberate, holding-nothing-back way? It seems to me that simply repeating that one short sentence is not what it means to surrender ourselves to God. And if we could come to a place of authentic surrender of ourselves to God, what a difference that would make to our lives, our mindsets, our friendships, our decisions, our everyday activities.

This project, The Art Of Surrender (TAOS), leads us to prayerfully ponder this idea of surrender – to consider the cost, and the commitment, and the potential impact – and to practice it. Each chapter leads us to think about surrendering to God a different area of our lives, and each chapter ends in a prayer. These prayers could be seen as a challenge: having considered the impact and counted the cost, do we dare to pray a prayer of surrender to God; do we really choose to give over to Him that part of our lives?

The layout of this project uses a metaphor of the human body – each section is connected to a body part. This may sound strange – and some chapters could arguably be attributed to more than one body part – but I have found this image helpful, and I pray that you might benefit from it too.

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How to use this book

The Art of Surrender is not a story, by which each chapter follows on directly from the last, but an exercise, a meditation, a way of life. I encourage you, do not read two chapters in one sitting without praying for a while in between. Do not simply read one chapter after another, like any other book. This is not a book to be simply read and absorbed, but to be lived, practiced, reflected upon. Do reflect. Pray. Think. Surrender.

There are fifty chapters – some longer than others – so if it would be useful to you this way, feel free to read a chapter each week and spend time during the week pondering what you have read and putting it into practice, surrendering to God. This way it should last a year (with a week off for Christmas and Easter to reflect upon other relevant and important things!). Or read a chapter a day, if you have time – and allow God to speak to you throughout each day as you reflect upon what you have read and understood. Or pick it up and put it down when you feel like it, or have the time, or feel led. Use it in a way that suits you, and may God bless you abundantly in your journey with Him.

 

 

As well as being available from this website, TAOS has been going out a chapter a week by email since January 2017. If you would like to sign up to this weekly email (starting somewhere in the middle doesn’t matter!), or if you would like to receive full sections as they are completed, then please do let me know. I don’t know if it will ever be published – though I’m encouraged that my wonderful Grandma thinks it should! – but I do hope that it will be helpful to people by whatever means.

Feel free to email me with any comments, corrections, suggestions, etc.

Introduction: Why surrender to God?

Part 1: Eyes

Part 2: Ears

Part 3: Nose

Part 4: Mouth

Part 5: Head

Part 6: Shoulders

Part 7: Knees

Part 8: Feet

Part 9: Hands

Part 10: Heart

[Statement of Faith – in case you question my theology!]

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