Relinquishment: What It Is And How It Works

Prayer of Relinquishment
Prayer of Relinquishment | Source

Definitions For Relinquishment

To give up
To abandon
To put aside
To desist from something
To let go
To surrender
To release something
To cease holding onto something

About Relinquishment

Often times our prayers are not answered in the way we want them to be answered. Many times God answers our prayers in a manner that is much better than we could imagine. God will never go against your free will not even to answer your prayer. It is only when you give up and leave it up to God that He will step in and answer your prayer.

Jesus used that method Himself in the Garden of Gethsemane when He prayed that perfect prayer. In His prayer, Jesus deliberately chose to make His will and God's will the same. The prayer was not answered as the human Jesus initially wished. He prayed, "Yet not my will, but yours be done" (Luke 22:42).

What Should Happen When You Relinquish

When you relinquish everything to God, you stop commanding and demanding God to do things for you. God will be silent until you turn everything over to Him. As long as you keep telling God what to do, He will honor your free will and will not violate it even to answer your prayer.

The moment you give up on your prayer is the moment God will take over. It is the turning point for your prayer to be answered.

Catherine Marshall (September 27, 1914 - March 18, 1983)
Catherine Marshall (September 27, 1914 - March 18, 1983) | Source

Who Was Catherine Marshall?

Catherine Sarah Wood Marshall LeSourd lived from September 27, 1914 until March 18, 1983. She was an American author of nonfiction, inspirational, and fiction works. She was the wife of well-known minister Peter Marshall. Her love for God and love of writing came at an early age and was prominent

Marshall wrote and edited more than 30 books. At least 16 million copies were sold nationwide. Marshall was the editor of Guideposts Magazine for 28 years. She and her first husband, Peter Marshall founded a book company, Chosen Books.

Catherine Marshall wrote many inspirational books. In her best-selling book Beyond Our Selves, she offers guidance on topics such as forgiveness, suffering, miracles, unanswered prayer and healing. Throughout the 266 pages, the writer offers deeply inspirational thoughts and recollections of her own life. She writes a very profound chapter about the Prayer of Relinquishment. She said she was introduced to that particular from of praying in the fall of 1943 during a long illness that kept her in bed. After seeing many specialists and being persistent in prayer, Marshall used all the faith she could muster. However, she did not get well. Nothing happened.

Relinquishment: Voluntarily giving up your self-will and letting God take over.

Catherine Marshall's Illustration of Relinquishment

Marshall tells the story of how she was led to make a change in what she was doing in order to get well. She came across a pamphlet that contained a story of a missionary who had been an invalid for eight years. The missionary had prayed that God would make her well, so she could continue her work for God. She came to the end of what she was doing and prayed the Prayer of Relinquishment. She prayed, "All right, I give up. If you want me to be an invalid for the rest of my days, that's your business. Anyway, I've discovered that I want You even more than I want health. You decide?" Within two weeks the missionary was completely healed and out of bed.

Catherine Marshall could not forget the story. Therefore, she came to the same point of relinquishment. She prayed, "I'm beaten, finished. God, decide what you want for me for the rest of my life...." From that moment, Marshall's recovery began, and she felt as if the windows of heaven opened for her.

Steps To Relinquishment

  1. Commit your burden to God.
  2. Trust God with your painful burden.
  3. Accept God's will.

Step 1 of Relinquishment

The first and most important step to the Law of Relinquishment is to make the honest decision to commit to God your painful burden without exceptions. No matter what the burden is, commit it to God. He can handle it while you can't. Otherwise, you would have done it by now.

Step 2 of Relinquishment

The second step to relinquishment is to honestly commit to God your burden with real faith. Real faith is nothing more or less than actively trusting God.

In her book, Catherine Marshall gives a simple example from her first husband, Peter Marshall, that illustrates what real faith. She tells the story about a child and his broken toy. The boy tried for the longest time to fix the broken toy himself. He finally gives up and takes it to his father because he knows his father can fix anything. His father begins working on the toy, but his son keeps telling him how to fix it. The little boy finally went away and got busy doing something else. Then the father quickly fixed his toy. That's the way it is with God. We should have real faith and let God fix our problems without telling Him how to do it.

Step 3 of Relinquishment

The third step of relinquishment involves acceptance rather than resignation. You are to accept the outcome instead of resigning to the situation. There is a difference between acceptance and resignation.

Trusts God and His good will
Closes the door on God

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