The Rest of the Serenity Prayer

I subscribe to Rick Warren‘s podcasts and devotional emails and I just thought to share snippets of the last one I got. There is a lot of pressure going round and there is no better time than now to remember that even in the midst of this, God is still God.

‘Every day, you have to decide who’s going to be in control of your life — you or God. (Never quite thought of it this way)That choice is a battle. (Tell me about it). There are things in your life that you want to control. You want to make your own rules. But stress relief always starts with letting God be God. It always starts with saying, “God, I’m giving up control, because you can control the things that are out of control in my life.” (E.g. Knowing that I can’t control the weather on the day of an important event… Over to you Lord).

Psalm 46:10 says, “Let go of your concerns! Then you will know that I am God. I rule the nations. I rule the earth” (GW).

I don’t know what you’re going to face this week. You don’t, either. But I can already tell you what God wants you to do: Let go, and know. Let go of control, and know that God is in control. Let go, and know! This is the first step to serenity in your life. (Hummmmm, easier said….)

Whenever we face out-of-control situations, we tend to go to one of two extremes. For some of you, the more out-of-control your life gets, the harder you try to control it. (Guilty) Some of you do the exact opposite: You just give up! You have a pity party and invite yourself to it.

Both of those reactions to stress are foolish. They don’t work. Instead of being a victim or becoming hyper controlling, you need to pray the prayer of surrender.

The number one reason you’re under stress is because you’re in conflict with God. You’re trying to control things that only God can control. You can’t control your husband (At all o!) or your kids or your wife or your job or your future or your past or any of that stuff. The more you do it, the more you’re trying to play God, and that puts you in opposition to God. Not only are you going to lose that conflict, but you’re also going to be tired. (I know!)

Millions of people pray the Serenity Prayer;

God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.

which is based on the Lord’s Prayer, but most have never read the last eight lines to the prayer (Guilty again):

“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. Amen.” (Amen)

That’s where the power is! There is power when you surrender to God the very things you’ve been trying to control.’

Have a good week of surrender then.

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