Thursday, October 11, 2012

Offer Yourself Up Prayer by Elisabeth Elliot

I treasure my over thirty-five letters from Elisabeth Elliot. Soon I will do a blog series on them. You may have read in yesterday's blog that she befriended me as a listener to her "Gateway to Joy" radio program in what began as a writing correspondence (one of the few times in my life I can really call myself a "listener," I earned it by default because the radio couldn't talk back! Something I want to get better at!) The Bible tells us to be slow to speak and quick to listen! Ouch! 

In her very first note to me, she sent me this prayer on a card:

Loving Lord and Heavenly Father I offer up today all that I am, all that I have, all that I do, and all that I suffer, to be Yours today and Yours forever.  Give me grace, Lord, to do all that I know of Your holy will.  Purify my heart, sanctify my thinking, correct my desires.  Teach me, in all of today’s work and trouble and joy, to respond with honest praise, simple trust, and instant obedience, that my life may be in truth a living sacrifice, by the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the name of Your Son Jesus Christ, my Master and my all. Amen

I keep it in a little acrylic easel on my desk, so I can say it to the Lord in the mornings sometimes by itselfand sometimes just before I begin my Bible reading and quiet time. I remember exactly where I was sitting when I opened the mail with her handwritten address to me on the front. We had just returned from being out of town, and my little children were all around me in the sunroom. As I read the prayer, tears streamed down my cheeks. 

Those tears fell not only because the prayer was so beautiful and that I knew I would make it my own, but because I had chills at the power of a mentor in my life. I've never forgotten the surge of encouragement that literally ran through my body. Now it's my turn to be that person in someone else's life. Maybe that person is you.

I truly believe the Lord passed the baton to me to be willing to put myself "out there" so-to-speak to be willing to share what God has taught me, and continues to teach me daily. 

Elisabeth Elliot is now eighty-five! She, her husband, and her caregiver where on the way to our home to spend a couple days as they were in route to Texas to take Elisabeth's caregiver home. I had supper totally ready, the table set, fresh linens on their bed, and flowers on their nightstand—but it was not to be. Right at the time they were due to walk in, I received a phone call. They had been in a terrible accident four hours away from my house, and the car flipped over. Elisabeth turned out okay, as was her caregiver, but her husband had to have neck surgery. I was so sorry that happened to them, and so sorry I was unable to see them.  

For years when my children were small, I kept it on the wall in my closet with other important prayers (which didn't keep John from taking a bite out of the top right hand corner of the prayer when he went through a paper eating stage. I guess I needed to feed him a little more!) She later sent me a second one which I have in the acrylic easel, but I actually treasure the first one that I can see John's teeth marks in!
My Alex (18) on left and my John (20) on right. They are at the same university,
which I am thrilled about! John no longer eats paperhe loves Mexican food!
When we moved into a bigger house, I moved my quiet time out of the closet and into a bedroom and other places around the house like the kitchen table!  I actually loved having quiet time in the closet—no one could find me in there! 

Elisabeth Elliot once stood in that closet and I asked her if she thought I should take the time line down that I had in there for my kid's history lessons. I told her it was so "pretty" I hated to take down the timeline, but needed to. I'll never forget what she said. "It's not that pretty. Why do you have it in here?" 

I loved her no-nonsense directness that those who love her came to expect! I took it downit had served it's purpose for several years! It had Jesus' resurrection with the symbol of a cross in the very centerwith everything before or after it.

 ❧ ❧ ❧ ❧ ❧ ❧ ❧ ❧ 

Make sure you have a place set aside to meet God regularly in prayer and Bible reading! It will make all the difference in your day, and in your life!

Walk by Faith, 


  1. I had a copy of this prayer and I at one time for my ladies bible study in Louisiana, made some bookmarks with this on it and a small watercolor of palmettos for them. I am seeking right now to become in a more intimate place with my Lord, and remembered this prayer. In looking it up (no easy task) I came upon your blog. How delightful that you not only knew Elisabeth, but also were able to have a correspondence with her. I wrote her a letter once and rec'd a nice reply from Lars. I reared my children clinging each day to Elisabeth's radio program message. I'm so happy to have found your page! Please continue--there are some of us out here who long for the straightforward teaching found in E.E.'s work! And any word of her! Thank you!

    1. Oh, please go to my home page at www(dot)juanamikels(dot)com and then click on the photo of Elisabeth Elliot near the top of the page (I am giving her a kiss). These are all my posts where I write about her, and in some she came to our home, and in the most recent, we visited her in her home in Massachusetts last August, and it was a dream come true for me. My daughter Mary went with me. Also, please look up my first book, it is over on the far righ and is called "My Book" on the far right. The book is "Choosing HIm All Over Again: A Story of Romance and Redemption." I have MUCH teaching from Elisabeth in it, and she kicks the story off!!! Love to you, Juana I wish I was in your BIble study and got the watercolor bookmark. What a dear thing to do for your Bible study!!!


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