In the next few minutes, I prayed with her for healing. Then I asked her if she would find a quiet place every morning for the next thirty days, sit down in a chair, close her eyes, upturn her palms, and pray this one phrase over and over:
ABBA, I BELONG TO YOU.
It’s a prayer of exactly seven syllables, the number that corresponds perfectly to the rhythm of our breathing. As you inhale—Abba. As you exhale—I belong to You.
Through her tears she agreed: “Yes, Brennan, I will.”
One of the most moving and poetic follow-up letters I’ve ever received came from this sister. In it she described the inner healing of her heart, a complete forgiveness of her father, and an inner peace she’d never known in her seventy-eight years. She concluded her letter with these words: A year ago, I would’ve signed this letter with my real name in religious life—Sister Mary Genevieve. But from now on, I’m Daddy’s little girl.
Be aware, this is not sloppy sentimentality or indulgent wishful thinking. But rather a woman who dared to pray in the childlike trust and deep reverence that Jesus said would mark a disciple, and in doing so discovered the furious love of her Abba.At the end of the chapter, Manning issues the following challenge:
Prayerfully consider taking a few moments every day for the next month, closing your eyes, upturning your palms, and praying, “Abba, I belong to You.” Don’t make it anything more than that; trust me, it’s enough.
The world roars, demanding its full share of attention
and here am I bending beneath the weight of it
sifting and sorting, till exhausted I shrug shoulders,
lift hands, drop it all
the noise too loud,
black and white shifting in shades of grey
and He smiles, for with great patience
He has been waiting for this release
bringing me again and again to this point of surrender
face to face with my need for Him
taking in more of Him than I can hope to hold
declaring the only truth I know
I belong to Him
Joining the discussion at Sarah's