What Are The Ways We Can Surrender To God And Why Do We Need It?

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Published by Kenneth Garcia


Co-Founder of Biblekeeper, Author & Theologian

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We are often blinded by our desire to have complete control over our lives. We believe we can do it all on our own and do not trust or rely on God’s will or way. Also, many of us consider surrender to be a sign of weakness, vulnerability, and defeat. And, at times, our shame, guilt, and, mainly, pride prevent us from surrendering to God.

They say we must surrender everything to God to live a life free of worries, torment, and suffering. They also say that a complete surrender to God is essential to your faith journey. But what exactly does it mean to surrender to God? If surrendering to Him is necessary, how do we do so?

What Is Surrender?

The word “surrender” originates from sur- + rendre (“render”), “give back,” which means to completely give up, deliver over, or give oneself up. According to Merriam-Webster, “surrender” is defined as “yielding (something) to the possession or power of another, delivering over, agreeing to give up battling another, and giving oneself up to the control or influence of another.”

We surrender when we stop resisting an enemy or opponent and submit to their authority. We agree to stop fighting, hiding, resisting, and so on because we know we won’t win or succeed against them. Surrendering to God works the same way.

What Does Surrender Mean In The Bible?

Proverbs 3:5–6 contains one of the best Bible verses for clearly describing the main idea of surrendering to God. “With all your heart, trust in the Lord. And don’t rely on your understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

The biblical concept of surrendering to God is to have complete trust in Him. Human knowledge and understanding are always prone to error. As a result, we must listen to and trust God’s will[1] for us because He surely will not let us down.

Several other terms in the Bible have a similar meaning to “surrender.” Matthew 10:38, for example, contains striking parallels. “And He who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.” The word “take” is defined as the act of laying hold of something with one’s hands; reaching for and holding; taking up a thing to be carried and used; to take upon oneself.

Submit, obey, and yield are words similar to surrender. In the Bible, submit means to subject oneself, to submit to one’s control, and to accept and yield to one’s superiority or the will of another.

The word “obey” refers to complying with (a person’s or a law’s) command, direction, or request; submitting to the authority of; acting by (a general principle, natural law, etc.).

Yield in the Bible means to be persuaded; to be induced to trust: to have faith in something; to believe; to listen to; to comply with; to trust; to submit; to capitulate; to succumb; to relent; to defer to a person or thing that one can no longer resist.

A spiritual surrender is an act of faith in which one offers oneself to the absolute, which is God. Surrendering spiritually means you have to give up control and trust God. It is the first step for those seeking redemption and wanting to walk with Jesus Christ.

When you surrender to Christ, you receive new hope and life, as seen in Galatians 2:20–21. “Walking with Christ entails constant surrender. And when we surrender, we accept the Holy Spirit to live within us. You will live in faith, knowing that the One to whom we have submitted can make our lives better and will not disappoint us.”

What Does It Mean To Surrender To God?

Surrender is a generic term that refers to losing or giving up in a battle. When we surrender to God, we choose to end the conflict between selfish, sinful man and God. We submit our will to God, which shows that we love God. Surrendering allows us to have a relationship with Him. We can become more filled with and directed by the Holy Spirit as we surrender more of ourselves to Him (Ephesians 5:18).

Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your way, take up your cross, and follow me. You will lose your life if you try to hold on to it. And what good is it if you gain the entire world but lose your soul? Is there anything more valuable than your soul?” (NLT Matthew 16:24–26).

When the disciples left everything and followed Jesus, they surrendered to God. They had to give up control of their plans, dreams, and families to follow the Son of God. They reshaped their identities to align with Jesus’ call and new purpose.

The disciples made such a remarkable sacrifice, for they understood how much Jesus loved and cared for them, and they trusted in His plans. When we learn to surrender to God, we abandon what we think is right and place our trust in God’s knowledge of what is right. Surrendering to God is a living sacrifice demonstrating our availability to God and our complete trust in and obedience to him in whatever he commands.

Surrendering to God entails giving up our plans, trusting God to have His way in all aspects of our lives, and allowing Him to direct our steps and decisions. As Christians, we surrender our will to God’s plan and follow Him.

As we surrender to God, we admit that what we “possess” is His. He is the source of all goodness. As stewards of God’s property, we are responsible for caring for what He has given us. Still, by surrendering to God, we acknowledge that He is ultimately in control of everything, including our current circumstances. We can live our lives without worrying.

When we surrender to God, it will allow us to let go of everything preventing us from experiencing God’s finest in our daily lives. And by letting these things go, God blesses our souls, and we obtain something more significant and more secure than control.

hands and palms open and surrender to god

Why Do We Need To Surrender To God?

God asks us to surrender our lives to be “instruments of His righteousness” (Romans 6:13), rejecting our mortal wishes for the more significant cause of Christ (Mark 8:34). When we surrender our hearts and souls to Christ, we exchange our lives for His: “I have been crucified with Christ. Christ lives in me, not I who live. And the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

The blood of Christ has redeemed us. “You were ransomed from your forefathers’ futile ways, not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.”

God is worthy of submission. Peter demonstrates God’s worth to us in 1 Peter 1:18–19 by displaying the price He paid for us. He did not simply pay “silver or gold,” but He sacrificed His own Son for our salvation. In exchange, we give up our lives for Him, growing closer to Him, attracting others to Him, and reaping eternal rewards.

What Happens When We Surrender To God?

When we surrender to God, He will give us a new life and hope. He will intervene amid the tough things in our lives and help us survive them. We will grow closer to the Lord, and the Holy Spirit will lead us in the right direction. 

Our faith will strengthen, and we will find rest and peace in our minds, hearts, and souls. Dissatisfaction, discouragement, and doubt will all fade away. We will grow closer to God, and with that closeness comes the courage to face even the most difficult situations. God will protect and sustain us in ways we cannot fathom.

How To Surrender To God And Let Go?

When we surrender, let go, and let God, we submit entirely to Him. We’re letting go of anything we’ve been trying to accomplish on our own so that God can carry out his plans for us. When we let go, we clear the way for God to do His mighty work.

“Throw off everything that hinders us and the sin that so easily entangles us,” Paul says (Hebrews 12:1, NIV). Every day, we have the opportunity to renew our minds in Christ. This enables Him to remove everything impeding us from running “the race set before us.”

When circumstances tempt you to grab hold of your surrender, you have two options: worship or pray. Pray specifically for Jesus to assist you in surrendering, and look to others who have set an excellent example of how to surrender to God.

Fasting can also be used in conjunction with a prayer to surrender and allow God to be God. When we fast, our spirit will gain dominance over our physical appetites. Fasting in the Bible is always about removing distractions for a spiritual purpose; it resets our souls and renews us from within.

It also allows us to rejoice in God’s goodness and mercy, preparing our hearts for all the good things God hopes to bring into our lives and displaying our seriousness about returning to the path of godly obedience.

When trying to figure out how to surrender to God and let go of our plans, we can lose sight of the fact that we must wait on God and his perfect timing. While you’re in the surrendering stages, seek God through prayer, spend time in the word, and continue to do the last thing He told you to do.

Let go of your plans and allow God to guide you. God loves you and has had a plan for your life since the beginning; no step along the way has been overlooked. Trust Him and offer up your plans as a sacrifice to your Savior.

How To Surrender To God Spiritually?

  • Applying Proverbs 3:5–6 is also a way to surrender spiritually to God: trust Him to move you by yielding to His will. When fear strikes, lean on Him for strength by agreeing to stop fighting. Remember how faithful He has been in the past and let go of worrying about what-ifs. Praise Him even when it is complicated by relinquishing our right to be the hero!
  • Trust in the Lord with all your heart and surrender to His will. It is essential to have faith in God because trust is the foundation of any relationship we can form. You can always trust Him because He has your best interests at heart.
  • Lean on God. When trusting Him is difficult, you can rely on His strength. You must agree to stop fighting Him and rely on Him for strength. God instructs us not to rely on our own understanding. So, when God says to follow him, it is important to trust him completely. Our surrender to God and our drawing to the Holy Spirit lead to salvation.
  • Remember His faithfulness. God is faithful. He rescued us, forgave us for our sins, and was always willing to give us second chances. God’s faithfulness is true and has been demonstrated numerous times. We can see in the Holy Scriptures that God is faithful and that His Word is true.
  • Praise God. Praising the Lord entails showering Him with love and acceptance. Praise him because he deserves it. He deserves to be our delight, our reliance, and our devotion. He is worthy of being loved, praised, exalted, and followed.

Surrender To God In Prayer

It can be difficult to recognize God’s presence amid our difficulties. We are sometimes too self-centered to recognize that God is always present, and when we put our faith in Jesus, God gives us His Holy Spirit, who lives with us and in us. It’s simply a matter of wanting and committing to surrender to God, and one way to do so is to practice the spiritual discipline of prayer.

The more you pray, the more you realize that prayer is the only way to express every human experience, including glory and pain. Prayer, like the Psalms and other Bible verses, reveals God’s tenderness, speaking to our brokenness and redeeming us. We can give up everything and accept God’s love and presence.

“In you, my God, my body will rest in hope.” — Antiphon to Psalm 16, Thursday Night Prayer. We can surrender to God the care of our body, mind, and soul, as well as our entire life, by letting go of worry over things we cannot control.

“Because with the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption; Israel indeed, he will redeem from all its iniquity.”— Psalm 130:7, Wednesday Night Prayer. I surrender to God’s timing in bringing all souls to himself and release myself from impatience and the false desire to be someone else’s savior.

We can surrender to God and hope for abundant redemption with him. “Know that he, the Lord, is God. He made us; we belong to him, we are his people, the sheep of his flock.” — Psalm 100:3, Friday, Morning Prayer, Weeks I and III.

We can surrender to God with the understanding that we are His. God is the creator. He created us, so we are not independent but belong to Him. As a result, he is worthy of our submission, and we can let go of our reliance on ourselves.

“The Lord is faithful in all his words and loving in all his deeds. He is close to all who call him, who call on him from their hearts.” — Psalm 145:13b, 18; Friday, Evening Prayer, Week IV. God consistently uplifts the oppressed, sustains the fallen, and provides for all. We need to surrender to God and ask Him to take control of his plans for us.

7 Ways To Surrender To God

1. Acknowledge God

God said to His disciples after He had summoned the people to Himself, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me” (Mark 8:34).

By admitting your need for a Savior, you are acknowledging that you cannot do things on your own or without God; in fact, you need Him to live. Thank God for being your Father and Savior every day, and pray to him.

2. Pureness And Sincerity Of Your Heart

Therefore the Lord said: “In as much as these people draw near with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the commandments of men” (Isaiah 29:13).

Only you and the Lord know if your heart is pure and if you have a relationship with the Lord. Jesus promised that those sincere in their devotion to God would see him. You may have asked God for control, but nothing will happen no matter how much you praise God in words if your heart is not sincere.

3. Prayer

“Now, this is the confidence we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him” (1 John 5:14–15). Prayer is an essential part of our communication with God. Prayer enables us to learn what God wants us to do in specific situations, guiding and empowering us at all times.

4. Renew Your Thoughts

Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing, and perfect will” (NIV).

5. Recognize God’s Word

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, observing everything written in it. You will then become prosperous, and you will succeed (Joshua 1:8).

You must fill your mind with God’s wisdom. Spend time in God’s Word to be refreshed and reminded of the only truth. It is also a means of bolstering your faith to live a meaningful life with Christ.

6. Let Go And Let God

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me, you can do nothing. If you remain in me, and my words remain in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this, My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples” (John 15:5–8).

Obedience is a way to surrender to God. Furthermore, surrendering to God requires relinquishing control and asking God to take control of our lives and provide us with everything we need.

7. Worship The Lord

“God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24). Our response to God is to live a surrendered life to Him, which includes praise and worship. Singing songs of praise to the Lord with a grateful heart redirects our thoughts and feelings.

woman raising arms in desert and surrender to god


If you are used to a back-and-forth battle for control in this world, it is time to let go of your own way, your old self, and renew a life filled with the Holy Spirit. Make a complete surrender to God, who is both faithful and powerful.

Accept Him with open arms, let His will be done, and put your faith in Him. When you surrender to God, you will feel empowered and confident, and you will never be alone because the Lord God will accompany you wherever you go.

12 thoughts on “What Are The Ways We Can Surrender To God And Why Do We Need It?”

  1. Lord, I’ve been fighting my whole life and I’m so tired. I will surrender. This is hard for me to give up control. Please guide me.

  2. Lord, you have heard my prayers, know my thoughts and struggles. Please give me the spirit of humility to know your ways are just and merciful. Let me know that giving you surrender and control will release me from the weariness I have become accustomed to. Thanks for the gentle reminder of what I need to do daily.

  3. This was so inspiring. A Google search after reading Romans 7:15-25 brought me here. It’s literally a constant battle. Treating everyone I encounter with kindness ALL the time. Being patient. Slow to anger. Yes, I believe Jesus is my Lord and Savior but living it everyday, in the type of music I listen to, what I watch on TV and socal media, it’s hard. So HARD. I’m asking God for my evidence. I want to marry my God- ordained husband and start my own family. I want to progress in my career. I want to find my purpose in this life. And all I need to do is surrender. I’ll get there. God has not left me yet. To God be the glory. AMEN

  4. God spoke to me last night about surrendering and sticking to His purpose. And it created some turbulence in my soul and I looked for a prayer this morning and God led me to this page which is talking directly to my heart.


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