Prayer of Abandonment

by | Mar 30, 2011 | Catholicism, Prayer

* I am humbled to be a guest blogger today over at Sarah Reinhard’s site, Snoring Scholar, writing about my difficulty with the powerful Prayer of Abandonment.  Below is the post that also appears at Snoring Scholar. Thank you Sarah for the invitation today.

This Lent, I’ve heard many people reference a Prayer of Abandonment by Charles de Foucald. As I sat down the first time with it, I found myself unable to pray all the words. 

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 Foucald
Prayer of Abandonment

Why would I stumble through a powerfully humble prayer?  At this point in my life when I find myself closer to God, with my heart and mind more focused on my personal relationship with our Lord than ever before, what is holding me back?  Maybe it is the knowledge that surrendering myself to God’s will cannot be done without serious consideration.  This prayer, though simple in verse, cannot be taken lightly.
 
Offering this prayer with my whole heart is my “Yes” to God as Mary said “Yes” to God at the Annunciation.  But I am held back from shouting, “Yes!” to the Lord. 
 
The honesty welling up within my heart as I pray tells me I have doubts.  Not doubts that I love God and want to abandon myself to Him.  These doubts are centered on whether I can pray meaningfully, that “I am ready for all, I accept all.” Is it possible for me to truly, “wish no more than this” in my life?  When it comes down to it, how much control do I still believe I want or have in my life?  With these words, am I giving it up?
 
Can I “surrender myself…without reserve, and with boundless confidence?”  My mind races with questions about my weak moments.  How much confidence do I have that I can fulfill this prayer each and every day?  Am I strong enough to not question the terms of my surrender and acknowledge I am not in control? Knowing that I love God and pledge to be his faithful servant is different than total abandonment. 

St. Therese of Lisieux Quote

With all my heart I want to offer this prayer to the Lord, but I can’t do it – yet. 
 
For now, I pray the words repeatedly and ask God to enable me to perfect my abandonment into his hands.  The desire is within me, so I ask that the Lord will not give up on me.  The words of St. Therese, the Little Flower, offer me great comfort,

“God would never inspire me with desires which cannot be realized.” 

St. Therese of Lisieux

My journey towards Him continues and with His help I will offer this Prayer of Abandonment “without reserve and with boundless confidence.” 

Lisa Henley Jones

WRITTEN BY:

Lisa Henley Jones

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