The Shortest Prayer of Surrender

I heard a recovery speaker years ago talk about the horrors of his life before sobriety and how he often uttered “foxhole” prayers.

You know, the kind that go something like, “Dear God, if you will get me out of this jam, I promise I will ___________” (fill in the blank).

Those kind of prayers seldom work, at least for very long.

Apparently the recovery speaker realized their ineffectiveness so he developed what he called the world’s shortest prayer of surrender, applicable for any situation.  It goes like this:

“Okay, God, whatever.”

I’ll be honest.  I’m in a really rough patch in my life.  There is a lot of upheaval, a lot of stress, a lot of unknown.  Sometimes it feels as if all of my time awake time is spent praying.

The Serenity Prayer, the 3rd step prayer (those in recovery will know what I mean and I’m happy to share it off-line for those who don’t) and the Prayer for Protection have been lifelines for my flailing self.

In addition, I’ve been reading and re-reading these pieces.

A problem is a call for us to open up our consciousness and view a situation from a different perspective.  If we stubbornly cling to a position, we may miss the very awareness we need in order to master the situation at hand.  No one knows it all.  Be innocent enough to consider that the universe may be bigger that what you “know” to be true.  You may gain more by being wrong than by tenaciously clinging to being right. ~ Alan Cohen in A Deep Breath of Life.

True joy is deeper than any sorrow, stronger than any disappointment.  I trust this power within to help me overcome sorrow, anger or grief, to remind me that life is good.  Each day I awaken to an awareness of God.  I awaken to joy. ~ The Daily Word, March 31, 2012

Put God first, rigorously and without exception, and everything–everything–we need in our lives will be given to us.  Put God first.  Make expressing the kingdom of God the first priority in every situation. ~ The Rev.Ed Townley in Spirit Expressing.

Feel the pain.  Don’t try to hide it, avoid it, fight it, or run from it–sit with it instead.  It may feel overwhelming, but know that every feeling eventually transforms, and it will happen faster if you stop resisting.  Sink deep into it and get clear about exactly why it hurts.  What is it that you want to change? ~ Lori Deschene, Tiny Buddha, Simple Wisdom for Life’s Hard Questions

And my favorite, which needs no credit: But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.

Simply adding these thoughtful words causes the knot in my belly to loosen a little.  It is my hope and prayer that your week goes well and that if a time comes that

you feel at a loss for praying words, you’ll remember:

“Okay, God, whatever.”

B Well & Prayerful!


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1 Comment

  1. Bobbi Emel says:

    Great post, Beth! I love short prayers. From Anne Lamott I learned the two most important prayers:

    “Help, help, help!”


    “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

    And now, from you, I’ve learned the world’s shortest surrender prayer:

    “Okay, God, whatever.”

    I think I’m well-equipped, don’t you? 😉

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