Surrender and the Power of Prayer

If I could share 500 words to inspire, this is the important wisdom I'd want to pass along to others...

  • Normally, we think of surrender in one way. For example, I don’t know how many of you have seen the movie Life of Pi, but in it, the main character finds himself in the middle of the ocean without food, without water, and with nowhere to go. Eventually, in his desperation, he calls to the Creator and he says, “Okay! I give myself to you! I surrender!”

    That’s one kind of surrender. But that’s not the surrender I’m talking about. There’s another form of surrender-aggressive surrender- which is when I can say to myself, “I’m prepared and I’m willing to do whatever I have to do in my work to learn how to get to spiritual elevation, to apply the tools, and to not fall back on my old habits of being a victim and saying things ‘just happen.’ “Because the truth is that things don’t ‘just happen.’ There is no such thing as a coincidence.

    The kind of surrender I’m talking about is having the certainty that if we dot all of our i’s and cross all of our t’s and we are on a spiritual journey doing spiritual work, and then life suddenly throws us a curveball, we need to understand that where we are is where we need to be in this moment in time—whether it’s because of something we did when we were younger or in a former lifetime, or because this specific situation will help us become something better than we are.

    This isn’t the surrender that comes from a point of failure, although that’s the surrender that most people make. After all, when do most people come to the Creator? Usually it’s when they are missing something, when something happens to them, or when something occurs in their life that they don’t understand.

    Dr. Larry Dossey is one of the world’s foremost experts on prayer research. The study I recently heard about consisted of a group of people who came together in a hospital setting to pray for the health of ill patients at that hospital. In this study, the researchers found scientific evidence that the people who were prayed for healed faster than the ones that weren’t prayed for.

    The researchers said, “Okay, we get the concept. Prayer works. Let’s see if it works if we have people pray for patients from a distance, with nothing but concentration and a picture of the people they are praying for.” Guess what they found out? It worked! Almost the same result occurred whether the people who prayed were present or absent from the patients they were praying for. So distance didn’t matter.

    Then the research team asked what would happen if instead of praying for healing, each of the participants prayed in his or her own way for “whatever the will of God might be.” They followed up on that line of research and amazingly, they found that the patients healed even faster.

    Aggressive surrender means having certainty in spite of the darkness. It’s the certainty to know that even when we see or experience difficulty, such as sickness, bankruptcy, a souring of family relations or whatever the problem might be, we can get the energy and perseverance to say, “I accept and surrender my being to a higher power that will drag me from this into something better.” Even if we may not know all of the reasons for the situation, we surrender with certainty.

    Karen Berg

    Karen Berg is the spiritual director of Kabbalah Centre International and a globally respected teacher of Kabbalah who has touched millions of lives around the world. Her goal is to provide people with spiritual tools based on Kabbalistic principles that can be applied to improve their lives, regardless of their religious beliefs, and by doing so, make the world better.

    She is the founder of Spirituality for Kids, a free on-line program that provides spiritual lessons for children – helping them develop a sense of purpose so they can make better choices; and Kids Creating Peace, the initiative that teaches spiritual skills to children who are caught in war-torn areas of the Middle East. She is author of God Wears Lipstick: Kabbalah for Women, and Simple Light, a collection of insights on Kabbalah. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband Rav Berg.

    For more information, please visit

    Recent Releases

    View all posts by Karen Berg.

    What Do You Think?

    What Do You Think?