June 15

Thy will be done. . . . —Matthew 6:10

Because I'm perfectly capable of being a control freak, a seeker of revenge and one who hesitates to forgive, Dr. William R. Parker's second touch point of successful prayer is my ultimate test: "Make prayer an act of surrender," he says. "Pray dangerously. Let go and let God."

There is a song we sometimes sing at church on Sunday mornings, and when I find myself in a tug-of-war with my old self—trying to take back what I've struggled to give to God—I retreat to a vision evoked by it: "Lord, You Have Come to the Lakeshore."

I am walking barefoot across a beach. My self-imposed burdens are heavy. The sun is hot. The sand burns my feet. Up ahead, beyond the point where the waves lap the shore, a wooden boat floats. The boat is painted the color of the sky. There are no oars, no motor, and I know the boat waits only for me. I step into the water, wade up to my knees, then halfway to my waist. The boat rocks with the breeze. I touch its wooden side, hike myself up, fall into its bow, then right myself on its middle seat. I sit there, calm, trusting, at perfect peace. All my worries are on the shoreline. I shiver in anticipation. God is my captain. Thy will be done. I am free.

"Making prayer an act of surrender" just might be the boldest venture you'll ever take. You are surrendering your old self to God. You are trusting Him to make you new.

In the month ahead, let's vow to surrender every inclination to control, every grudge, every bad thought, over and over again to God . . . until we are free.

Father, I leave behind all the trappings that hold me back. I surrender all to You. I trust.

—Pam Kidd