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Pray Until Submission Happens

by Maria Lovinia Gaane
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A review on last Sunday’s sermon based on Matthew 26:36-46.

Almost all Christians are familiar with the acronym P.U.S.H., which stands for Pray Until Something Happens. However, we know that sometimes the best answer to our prayers is a big, resounding NO, for reasons only the Lord knows. Thus, instead of praying until something happens, wouldn’t it be better to pray instead until submission happens? This seems to be more in line with how we were taught to pray.

Oftentimes when we pray, we bring to the Lord our concerns, then we list the ways the Lord can deliver us from them. We begin by asking the Lord for help and end up dictating to Him what we want Him to do with our problems. There are also times when His answers to our prayers do not satisfy us; we ask to be relieved from our suffering and pain rather than the extra measure of grace to endure in a manner that glorifies Him. But just as Jesus yielded His will to the will of the Father when He said, “Your will be done”, we are to submit our will also to the Father – even when we pray.

The word submit is translated from the Greek word hupotassohupo means “under” and tasso means “to arrange”. Thus, to submit means “to obey, put under, be subject to, submit oneself unto, put in subjection under or be under obedience or obedient to”. What does it mean, then, to submit to the Lord? “It means to arrange oneself under the command of divine viewpoint rather than to live according to one’s old way of life based on a human viewpoint. It is a process of surrendering our own will to that of our Father’s.”[1]

Submission brings joy, increased intimacy with God, and transformation in the life of a believer. As we surrender our own will to the Lord, we pray for His will to happen in our lives. This way of praying brings numerous blessings, among which are the following:

1.      It brings comfort and strength.
2.      It brings joy even in suffering.
3.      It brings peace even in turmoil.
4.      It brings divine justice to unbridled corruption.

Writer and poet, Soren Kirkegaard, once said that “The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.” It’s for this reason that we pray, to grow closer to God and to help align our hearts with His heart until His will is our highest goal. When we submit to God, we allow the Holy Spirit to work in us, conforming us to the image of Christ. However, we have to choose to submit to God in order to grow spiritually. It will not always be easy, but the blessings that we gain from humbly surrendering and submitting ourselves to Him daily are a gift of grace that nothing in this world can compare to.

Pray, therefore, until submission happens because God promises to listen and grant the desires of our hearts when our hearts our wholly His.

[1]GotQuestions.org, “How are we to submit to God?”, https://www.gotquestions.org/submit-to-God.html (accessed March 10, 2021)

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