Trying to get four people out the door in the morning is no easy task. At 7:47 a.m., we scramble and push each other into the car day after day at my house. That’s is the latest time we can leave and still (barely) make it to our morning commitments. We never end up in the car a minute earlier — it’s always a race to the last second.
Because of the stress and scramble, I found myself grouchy and anxious before we were even all in the car, rather than starting the day with peace and anticipation for a new day. My snappy and irritated mood made everyone else grumpy. Something needed to change.
Enter the surrender novena. I had never prayed it before this year in May, when my friend asked all of her bridesmaids to pray it with her in the week leading up to her wedding. It knocked my stressed-out socks right off. Each daily prayer is different, but the novena ends with this refrain prayed 10 times in a row: Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything.
Powerful, right? Let’s get into the specifics of this beautiful prayer….
Where did it come from?
Servant of God Don Dolindo was a priest who knew Padre Pio. He died in 1970, and he heard the words of the surrender novena from Jesus. He was a very holy man, according to Padre Pio, and Don Dolindo was especially devoted to Jesus through Mary. Find out more about Don Dolindo’s incredible life here.
How can I pray this prayer?
The whole novena consists of a short paragraph of Jesus’ words to those who are struggling with worry and stress followed by the refrain prayed 10 times. You can either pray the whole novena (find it here) or just pray the “Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything” refrain to start your day. Or instead of starting your day with it, use it when something stressful shows up in the course of your week. If you struggle with wanting to control everything that happens around you, praying this regularly will be an especially helpful practice!
How will it help me?
This prayer can turn your day around because it facilitates your asking for help. It forces you to try to allow yourself to let go of things you can’t control.
Do you have a specific stressful situation to deal with today? A meeting you’re worried about? A person you feel anxious around? A situation you’re having a hard time navigating? Maybe you just have a lot to do or a lingering feeling of unease that you can’t shake. No matter what it is, this prayer is incredibly helpful. It’s great if you struggle with any form of anxiety.
God tells us He is with us always, and this is a great way to take Him at His word by handing the concrete things we struggle with over to Him from moment to moment.
Which brings me back to my morning routine with my family …
Guess what we do now after putting on our seatbelts and pulling out of our parking space at 7:48? We make the sign of the cross and say together 10 times: Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything.