On the cross Jesus let go of everything and abandoned all outcomes to the Father. To help him do this, he prayed a line from Psalm 31:5 to his Abba: “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46).
This is a prayer of submission to God that expresses how Jesus lived everyday of his life (John 5:19). We can apply this little prayer to any situation in our lives with powerful effects.
For instance, Jesus’ prayer has helped me and many people that I counsel and teach to overcome anxiety. Instead of worrying or trying to control how events turn out or what people think about us we can learn to put them in our Father’s loving hands and be at peace!
What stress do you need to turn over to God? Maybe it’s a financial problem, a conflict in a relationship, or a challenge you’re facing. Maybe it’s a burden for a loved one. Take a moment to identify this now…
Let it go! Release your concern to the Father. You can name the situation and put it into God’s hands by praying, “Father, into your hands I commit ______.”
Abide with Jesus in Prayer
You might try staying with this prayer for awhile: repeat it to yourself slowly to connect more deeply with your Heavenly Father. You want to pray the Scripture from your heart. (This is what it means to meditate on a Bible passage.)
It helps to imagine yourself in the situation of distress. (Or if you’re interceding for someone else you imagine the one you’re praying for and his or her circumstance.)
Then slowly repeat the prayer, “Father, into your hands I commit ______.”
You might find it comforting to relate to God from the child-like part of you on the inside (remember Jesus said, “Bring the little children to me,” Matthew 19:14) by praying, “Abba, into your hands I commit ______.”
Breathing your Prayer
You also can try breathing Jesus’ words in and out. Being intentional in this way will help you to be more still in your body and mind. It will help you to focus your thoughts and engage your heart with the Lord. It will help enable the life-giving words of God to live in you.
Breathe in: “Father…”
Hold your breath…
Breathe out: “…into your hands I commit ______.”
Make your rhythm of breathing in and out a prayer:
Breathe in the precious name, “Father…”
Hold onto his love for you…
Let go of control and worry: “…into your hands I commit _____.”
You’ll be Transformed
Why abide in prayer? Why use a Breath Prayer rhythm?
You’re participating in a deep work of the Holy Spirit. You’re…
- Directing your thoughts onto God’s Word to get hold of your heart and submit it to God’s kingdom
- Committing to the Father your desires for the situation you are stressed about
- Abandoning the outcomes of this circumstance to the Sovereign Lord who loves you
- Letting go of control to “Let the peace of Christ rule in your heart” (Colossians 3:15).
- Watching and praying with Jesus (Matthew 26:41) in order to become more like him so when you are under stress you will not press and stress to make things happen but will instead trust your Heavenly Father who loves you (and the other people who are involved in the situation)
The Father’s love was enough for Jesus on the cross and it is enough for us in our trials!
Practice God’s Presence
You can use your Breath Prayer to help you stay in conscious contact with God throughout the day, to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). As often as you can remember breathe your little prayer.
Have fun with it! See how often you can remember to set your mind on your Heavenly Father’s love for you and the people around you.
Jesus’ Yoke for You is Easy!
The cross of Jesus leads us to the easy yoke of Jesus — truly! This Bible meditation is excerpted from my new book, You Can Live in Jesus’ Easy Yoke: Practicing His Rhythms of Grace for your Daily Stress.