Day 9 – "Surrender" Holds the Key to Abundant Life

When we think of the Holy Spirit, let's call to mind one word: MORE! He is someone who desires one thing for us: MORE GOODNESS. And He does it without reservation and hesitation, and without cost. He lets nothing stop Him from granting everything we need to lead an abundant life, to ride out the storms of life, to be a faithful follower of Christ, to accomplish the Father's will and missions for us in life, and ultimately to become who God wants us to be. And He accomplishes all of the above by first leading us to a more intimate relationship with the Father and Jesus. That is the HEART of everything! The Spirit, who is LOVE Himself, likes to fill our cups to the brim so that God's love and power for us can overflow to those around us. That's the Spirit's work on each one of us personally because everyone of us is precious and unique to Him.

However, the Holy Spirit can only give to us up to the capacity we are able to receive. When we are filled and occupied with things other than those from God the Father and the Son, we leave no space for LOVE Himself, and as a result, we leave no space for all the GOODNESS that the Spirit has in store for us.

It is an act of our will to either surrender ours to the Spirit, or we deprive ourselves of the will of Him who desires to give us the very best!

SURRENDER becomes the key word here, a word that few people like. As Christ followers, it means letting go of one's desires to seek and embrace the will of God. It involves our surrender to the lordship of Jesus, just as Jesus did to God the Father when He embraced His Father's will to die for us on the cross. We should place Jesus in the first place and at the centre of our lives just as Jesus did to His Father, especially during His public ministry.

Acknowledging and repenting from our sins unlocks the first door towards a genuine surrender to the lordship of Jesus.

As we turn to God and surrender our lives, the Spirit fills us with new life. Jesus said to us

"He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, 'Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water'"

(John 7:38)

True surrender is not simply surrendering of exterior things, but to surrender our will.

While God desires that we surrender our will to Him because it is for our own benefit, He never imposes His desire upon us. This is the basis of His unconditional love for us.

To surrender means to stop resisting and start submitting; to hide or fight no more but to empty oneself to make room for the Spirit to act. It requires us to let go of taking control of our lives.

It necessitates a humble acceptance on our part that we just cannot control the outcomes of so many things in life. To waste time wrestling with them will only escalate our stress level and make us worry about too many things (cf. Luke 10:38-42). We will feel a huge relief and a renewed freedom when we refuse to grapple with things that we cannot change.

The more areas we allow the Spirit to take over, including those areas we think we can control, the easier our lives will become. The resulting growth of our faith in God transforms us into a person who lives in the moment to savor life more fully, radiates with joy and gratitude as we feel the wonders of God more readily, acts tenderly out of love rather than fear, and cooperates more completely with the Spirit to do the Father’s will.

After all, surrender is not just a concept but a lifestyle. It is about our decision to make Jesus Lord and King of our lives. The moment we take Christ off His throne in our hearts, we limit the Spirit's power and influence in our lives. The process of surrendering requires us to first place Jesus at the centre of our lives, to obey Jesus by keeping His commandments, and then to permit the Spirit to take control of our lives. Everything should begin with a humble and penitent heart, together with a deep desire to abide in the Father as His beloved child.

Like everything else that is worth doing, there is a price to pay in choosing to surrender. But since our God is a faithful God, we should not be afraid but be courageous in entrusting God with every outcome that He permits. If He did not spare His only begotten Son, there is absolutely nothing that prevents Him from giving us His best! His love for us never fails!

Surrender is the only way to walk intimately with God. Let us strive to maintain an unbroken fellowship with God through the Holy Spirit.


Where in your life is God asking you to surrender?

Is there anything in your life that is bigger than God?


Loving Father, I surrender to You today with all my heart and soul. Please come into my heart in a deeper way. I say "Yes" to You today. I open all the secret places of my heart to You and say, "Come on in." Jesus You are the Lord of my whole life. I believe in You and receive You as my Lord and Saviour. I hold nothing back. Holy Spirit, bring me to deeper conversion to the person of Jesus Christ.  I surrender all to You: my health, my family, my resources, occupation, skills, relationships, time management, successes and failures. I release it, and let it go. I surrender my understanding of how things ought to be, my choices and my will. I surrender to You the promises I have kept and the promise I have failed to keep. I surrender my weakness and strengths to You. I surrender my emotions, my fears, my insecurities, my sexuality. Lord, I surrender my entire life to You, the past, the present and the future. In sickness and in health, in life and in death, I belong to You. (cf. Surrender Prayer from the book "Miracle Hour" by Linda Schubert)

Heavenly Father, I love you forever!

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.

My beloved child, your heartfelt surrender prayer is heard. As you offer yourself up to me, I can enter into your life fully and offer myself up completely for you. Never give in when you experience hardships as you always have me within you to accompany you and to strengthen you! I love you always!

Novena to the Holy Spirit:

Invocation Prayer to the Holy Spirit

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love. O Holy Spirit, beloved of my soul, I adore you. Enlighten me, guide me, strengthen me, and console me. Tell me what to do, direct my every choice. I promise to submit myself to all you desire of me and to accept all that you permit to happen to me. Let me only know your will. Grant this through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Day Nine Receiving the Spirit "Liberating the Spirit" 1 Corinthians 12:4-11: There are different gifts but the same Spirit; there are different ministries but the same Lord; there are different works but the same God who accomplishes all of them in everyone. To each person the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one the Spirit gives wisdom in discourse, to another the power to express knowledge. Through the Spirit one receives faith; by the same Spirit another is given the gift of healing, and still another miraculous powers; prophesy is given to one; to another the power to distinguish one spirit from another; another receives the gift of tongues; another the interpreting of tongues. But it is one in the same Spirit who produces these gifts, distributing them to each as he wills.

Meditation: Gently breathe in God's Spirit, that Spirit which if not barred out by selfishness, will enable you to do good works. This means rather, that God will be able to do good works through you. You can become a channel for God's Spirit to flow through you and into the lives of others. The works that you do will only be limited by your spiritual development. Let your spirit be in harmony with God's Spirit and there is no limit to what you can do in the realm of human relationships.

Prayer for the Day: Accomplish your work in me O God, that the many gifts you have given me through the Holy Spirit may lift up the people around me and bring glory to you. Let your Spirit be free in me to fully serve you with all my heart and unite me to work with others in unselfish love. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit

O Lord Jesus Christ, Who, before ascending into heaven, did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul, the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth, the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with You and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of Your true disciples and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.

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Sincerely invite you to share the reflections that inspires you by this day's retreat.