Remembering our source
Ultimately, we are on a spiritual quest. Victories are important; losses can be instructive. God alone knows the big picture, the path we are on. Always, always, we need to surrender our efforts to God's direction.
Challenges and defeat can tempt us to get hostile or give up. Success can tempt us to get lost in our own egos. Like Abraham, we need to constantly remember that we are called by God. Such awareness depends on regular prayer and meditation - time consciously taken out of the day to let go and invite God into our hearts, lives and work.
Resources on interfaith prayer
Muslim Prayer of Surrender
The word Islam means to surrender to God, and a Muslim is one who surrenders to God. The command to pray five times daily weaves this invitation to surrender throughout the day. Prayer begins with:
"In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. Most Gracious, Most Merciful. Master of the Day of Judgment. Thee (alone) we worship and Thee (alone) we ask for help. Show us the straight path. The path of those whom Thou hast favoured; Not the (path) of those who earn Thine anger nor of those who go astray.” (1:1-1:7)
Examples of Christian Prayers of Surrender
in the words of Pope John Paul II as he prayed with young Muslims in Morocco:
O God, you are our creator.
You are limitlessly good and merciful.
To You is due the praise of every creature.
O God, You have given to us an interior law by which we should live.
To do Your will is to perform our task.
To follow Your ways is to find peace of soul.
To You we offer our obedience.
Guide us in all the steps that we undertake on earth.
Free us from evil inclinations which turn our heart from Your will.
Do not permit that in invoking Your Name we should ever justify human disorders.
O God, you are the One Alone to whom we make our adoration.
Do not permit that we should estrange ourselves from You.
O God, judge of all mankind, help us to belong to Your elect on the last day.
O God, author of justice and peace, grant us true joy and authentic love, as also a lasting fraternity among all peoples.
Fill us with Your gifts for ever. Amen! Click here for full text.
"My Lord God,
I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know if I do this, you will lead me through the right road though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore, I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face peril alone."
"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
Serenity Prayer of Alcoholics Anonymous
God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.
Attributed, with some debate, to Reinhold Niebuhr. All Twelve Step programs pivot on a conscious surrender to God as understood by the member.