“Let It Go” from the Disney movie “Frozen” was the hit song last year. Everyone was singing the words from youngsters to advertisers and comedians to pastors and flashmobs.
Letting go can be a type of prayer too. Often it is called the prayer of release or the prayer of relinquishment. Sounds simple but often, in reality, quite challenging.
I turn to God for help with a burden or a concern about a friend/loved one. I worry. I am afraid. Anxiety drives my prayer.
I give my distress to God….then take it back. Leaving it in his hands is difficult.
What type of things can we let go into God’s care?
- Our attempt to control
- Our will
- Concerns, worries, fears
- Physical and emotional burdens, life circumstances, discernment and distractions
- Friends and family
- Attachments that come between us and God
When trying to let go in a prayer, I come to God, quiet myself, offer my prayer, often picturing placing the concern into his hands. But after a few minutes or hours, I find myself fretting again on whatever the issue was. I don’t fully surrender.
I learned four new insights into the prayer of release this past weekend in my Sunday School Class. These are steps I have taken in the past but rushed through them. I am learning to slow down, pause a little between the stages of the prayer of release and thought this may be beneficial also to you.
- The importance of naming the burden or concern. Giving a specific name to what is bothering me helps me hand it over to God. I take a moment to feel its heaviness, to acknowledge its weight on my heart and mind. I visualize the person I am praying about. This is the step I bolted through in the past; it only takes a few second more to pause here – name, see and feel what I am presented to God.
- Posture – Our muscles help us to remember. Researchers have discovered that our muscle cells hold memories and that can make us stronger. The posture in the prayer of release is first placing your hands palms down, and then later moving them to palms up as you offer your prayer to God. In the first step when considering the weight of the burden, you could actually press down on your legs with the palms of you hands, feeling the pressure. Or make a fist, then feel the actual release of tension when you let go.
- Acknowledge God is in Control – I am learning to spend time after I let go, to recognize who God is. That this person or burden belongs to him. He is the Lord, not me when it comes to best way to manage, heal or ease the situation. And God is the source of love – the ultimate and only way.
- Embrace the release – Just as I felt the weight of the burden or the tears of whomever I am praying for/about, I pause to celebrate in the release. I rest in the peace I experience when I finally fully let go and linger a little longer with the Lord. I ask for strength to leave it in his hands and thank him for being so gracious and open to hear me. I dance in his smile.
Slowing down is my major lesson with this type of prayer. I know God hears our bullet prayers but there are times when a deeper, slower stroll through prayer is needed. God doesn’t need it – I do.
Let it go and give it all to God!
What has helped you when praying this type of prayer?