Guiding Light: The Prayer of Surrender

There was a queen of a faraway realm, who was known for her piety and devotion. Her baby princess fell ill, and the best doctors in the kingdom were asked to attend on the child. However, despite the best medical help, the child steadily grew worse.

Day and night, the queen prayed fervently to God, even as she cared for her ailing child, and attended to her every cry and whisper. “Lord, help my child,” she prayed. “May Your healing touch be upon her, and make her better!”

But the child did not get better. In fact, as days passed, her condition deteriorated until, finally, the doctors gave up all hope and told the queen that they could not do anything more for the child.

A holy man, who was visiting the palace at that time, suggested to the queen that she should try the most efficacious of all prayers– the prayer of surrender.

“What is the prayer of surrender?” asked the queen. “You surrender your child to God absolutely,” explained the holy man. “It becomes His responsibility to do with the child as He wills. You do not have to ask anything on her behalf anymore.”

The queen sank on her knees and prayed fervently, “O Lord, this child is no longer mine. She is Thine. I surrender her to Thee absolutely. Do with her as Thou will.”

Tears flowed from her eyes even as she uttered the words– for what mother could say of her child, “This child is not mine, but Thine!” People can let go of many things– but not their own flesh and blood!

With great effort, the queen persisted with her prayer of surrender. Even as the child lay unconscious, she repeated, “This child is not mine, but Thine. I surrender her unto Thee. Do with her as Thou will.”

Gradually, the child grew better. The doctors gasped at the miracle unfolding before their eyes as the child whom they had given up for lost, revived and returned in course of time to good health.

The prayer of surrender is perhaps the most difficult form of prayer. It puts our faith to the ultimate test– that of surrendering our hopes and fears, even our very will to live, to the Will of God. How many of us can say to Him in absolute surrender– “Not my will, but Thy Will, be done!”

(Dada J.P. Vaswani is humanitarian, philosopher, educator, acclaimed writer, powerful orator, messiah of ahimsa, and non-sectarian spiritual leader.)

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