Read this Prayer of abandonment. It is Charles de Foucauld’s translation of the prayer Jesus taught us to pray, Our Father.
It does not become your prayer until the words become your thoughts, feeling & action.
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,
& 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
For I love you Lord,
& so need to give myself,
To surrender myself into your hands,
& with boundless confidence,
For you are my Father.
- What part of this prayer do you find most easy to pray?
- What is most difficult?
Read & Contemplate this prayer again but instead of addressing it to the Father, put in the names of the people with whom you live & work each day. (Tom, Mary, Jane, etc. “I abandon myself into your hands.”
- How does this affect your prayer?
- Is it possible to give yourself to another in this way?
- What do you find possible to say?
- What do you find most difficult?
- How could we dare trust ourselves to another person so totally?
- Would it be good for them?
- Would I be good for us?
- What would happen if we did?\What would happen if someone entrusted themselves totally to me?
We forget the awesome creative power we have in each other’s lives. When someone trusts us totally & completely, they compel us to grow, to measure up to their love, to become what they want us to be. Each of us has incredible power to enable each person in the measure we believe in them., hope in them & love in them into the fullness which they never recognized in themselves. Such love & trust from another can be humbling & frightening. At times we are more comfortable with our enemies or strangers that do not ask this of us.
The more honest we are with ourselves, the more we see that we do not & cannot pray like this.
Only Jesus is able to pray like this, & only he is able to say “Father” with the fullest depth of his being. We can’t pray the PRAYER OF ABANDONMENT. This is Jesus’ prayer alone. But if we desire, Jesus will teach us & enable us to pray his prayer.
Now listen to Jesus pray this prayer to you. In the place of “Father” & “Lord,” put your own name & take time to try & listen to the way Jesus says your name, the way he calls you.