A photograph capturing a person kneeling in prayer, with their hands clasped tightly, eyes closed, and a serene expression, symbolizing the act of surrendering one's heart to God.

How To Surrender Your Heart To God

Do you long to draw closer to God but feel blocked? Surrendering your heart is the key to opening yourself up fully to God’s love and presence. By letting go of control and giving God your whole self, you can live in the freedom, joy, and purpose He desires for you.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Surrendering your heart to God involves humbling yourself, repenting of sin, trusting Him fully, and following where He leads. Practicing spiritual disciplines like prayer and Scripture reading helps us align our will with His.

In this guide, we’ll explore what surrendering your heart looks like and how you can take steps to surrender yourself more fully to God each day.

What Does It Mean to Surrender Your Heart to God?

Acknowledging His Lordship

Surrendering your heart to God starts with acknowledging that He is Lord over every area of your life. This means inviting Him to sit on the throne of your heart and submitting to His authority. It’s recognizing that your plans, desires, and dreams are secondary to what He wants for you.

As you choose to obey God even when it’s difficult or doesn’t make sense, you’re declaring that you trust Him more than yourself.

Letting Go of Control

A huge part of surrender is letting go of the need to control. When you cling tightly to directing your own life, you shut God out of the driver’s seat. But as you release your grip, God can begin to steer your life in new, exciting directions.

Surrendering control doesn’t mean passively waiting around; it means actively pursuing God’s best by walking in obedience and trusting Him fully with both the known and unknown.

Trusting His Plans Over Yours

The Lord promises in Jeremiah 29:11 that He has good plans for you. But in order to walk in these plans, you must be willing to let go of yours. Surrendering your heart means exchanging your blueprint for how life should go and embracing God’s vision for your life instead.

This requires cultivating a deep trust that God’s way really is the best way, even when it feels uncomfortable or scary. As you choose daily to lean on His understanding rather than your own, you’ll experience the profound peace and joy that only comes from resting in His perfect plan.

Why You Should Surrender Your Heart to God

It Allows You to Experience God More Fully

Surrendering your heart and life to God enables a deeper connection and relationship with Him. When you let go of control and truly make Jesus the Lord of your life, you become more open and receptive to God’s presence and working in and through you.

This makes it possible to know His heart, hear His voice more clearly, and understand His will and purposes for your life.

The Bible says in James 4:8 that if we draw near to God, He will draw near to us. Removing the barriers of self-will and pride positions you to encounter God’s grace and peace like never before. You will find a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit who will lead you into new realms of God’s glory.

The Joy of the Lord will be your strength as you walk in sweet surrender of all that you are into the loving arms of your Heavenly Father.

It Frees You From the Burden of Self-Reliance

Trying to control your own life and figure everything out in your own limited strength is utterly exhausting. But Christ invites us to step into His rest by surrendering our cares, plans and dreams to Him.

This act of yielding and trusting in God’s sovereignty sets you free from the vicious cycle of worry, anxiety and stress.

According to research, more than 90% of things people worry about never happen. But by releasing everything into God’s capable hands, you can experience supernatural peace and faith, knowing that He works all things together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).

The strength of self-effort is nothing compared to the life and joy of trusting in God’s best with an expectant heart of faith.

It Aligns Your Life With God’s Purpose

We were created for God’s glory and pleasure. But self-will and sin have separated humanity from that high calling to live for something greater than ourselves. As we surrender every aspects of our lives to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, we come into proper alignment with our created purpose.

God’s plans and thoughts for us far exceed what we could imagine or orchestrate in our own finite mind (Isaiah 55:8-9). His purpose for each of our lives is good, pleasing and perfect in helping to establish His Kingdom on earth.

As we yield to the Master Potter, He molds our life into a unique expression of His image that powerfully glorifies Him and advances His work in this lost world.

How to Take Steps Toward Heart Surrender

Humble Yourself Before God

The first step to surrendering your heart is to humble yourself before God. Recognize that you are a sinner in need of His grace and forgiveness (Romans 3:23). Make a conscious effort each day to submit your will to His and seek His guidance in every decision, big or small.

Spend time daily in prayer and Bible study to grow closer to God.

Confess Any Known Sin

Examine your heart and confess any sins you are aware of. Repentance prepares your heart to be fully open before God. King David cried out to God, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.

See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24). Allow the Holy Spirit to reveal any areas that need cleansing.

Pray for God to Reveal Areas of Your Life Not Surrendered

Ask God to show you any parts of your life that you have not fully surrendered to Him. These may include relationships, habits, thought patterns, possessions, career, dreams for the future, etc. Write down areas the Holy Spirit impresses upon you.

Even small areas of resistance can hinder the flow of God’s power and purpose in your life.

For example, you may discover you have withheld forgiveness toward someone. Bitterness has poisoned your heart, and you need to release it to God. Or perhaps you sense God prompting you to serve in the church nursery but have resisted due to fear. Make a list of anything not fully surrendered.

Commit Each Day Afresh to Following Wherever He Leads

Surrender is not a one-time choice but a daily process. Each morning as you begin your day with God, surrender your plans, dreams, relationships and future into His hands. Pray as Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Not my will but Yours be done, Lord.”

Trust that His way is perfect, pleasing and good (Romans 12:2).

Living a surrendered life is challenging in our self-directed culture. But it brings tremendous freedom, purpose and joy as you walk in step with the Spirit. He will guide you into His best and align your heart with His will.

Spiritual Practices That Help You Surrender

Solitude and Silence

Setting aside regular times for solitude and silence can help us quiet our busy minds and open our hearts to God (1). Finding a quiet place to sit, free from devices and distractions, allows God’s voice to be heard more clearly (2).

This practice helps us let go of our daily worries and surrender them to the Lord, as we rest in His presence. As Dallas Willard said, “Hurry is the great enemy of spiritual life.”

Contemplative Prayer

Contemplative prayer focuses on listening to God rather than bringing Him our agenda. As we fix our minds on Scripture or simply sit quietly before Him, we make space for the Holy Spirit to speak truth into our hearts. This opens us up to see where we need to surrender more fully.

Contemplative traditions like centering prayer or lectio divina help bypass our thoughts to connect directly with God at the heart level. As Thomas Merton said, “Prayer and love are learned in the hour when prayer becomes impossible and the heart has turned to stone.”

Scripture Meditation

Immersing our minds in God’s word renews our thinking and reveals areas not yet surrendered. As we slowly read a passage, allowing certain phrases to resonate deeply, the Spirit often highlights attitudes or behaviors needing realignment. Releasing control to God in these areas brings freedom.

Regular scripture meditation has a way of exposing the strongholds we still cling to, if we let it. As the writer of Hebrews says, “The word of God is alive and active, sharper than any double-edged sword” (Hebrews 4:12).


Fasting is a powerful way to bring the body under submission to the spirit. By denying ourselves food or other things we depend on, space is created to focus on God like never before. In weakness, His strength and comfort become magnified. Fasting reveals just how much sway our appetites have over us.

As we yield areas of self-indulgence to God through fasting, dramatic breakthroughs often happen. Surrender becomes easier as our spirits grow stronger, no longer bullied by the flesh. According to Bill Bright, “Biblical fasting always focuses on God.”

What Complete Heart Surrender Looks Like

Letting Go of Your Plans and Agenda

Surrendering your heart to God means humbly placing your goals, dreams, and desires before Him to align with His will (Got Questions, 2023). This requires letting go of your personal plans and agenda and allowing God’s perfect plan to unfold in your life instead.

A key aspect is acknowledging God’s sovereignty and trusting that He knows what is best for you. As Proverbs 3:5-6 reminds us, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths.”

Full surrender may be difficult, but God promises it will lead to abundant life (John 10:10). Walking in obedience to Him brings freedom from fear, worry, and frustration when things don’t go as expected.

Obedience Even When It’s Costly or Uncomfortable

Complete surrender to God means following and obeying Him even when it’s difficult or uncomfortable. It may require giving up things you enjoy, pursuing holiness rather than worldly pleasure, or acting counter to popular culture.

For example, Abraham obeyed God when told to leave his homeland for an unknown destination. And according to Matthew 19:16-22, the rich young ruler chose not to obey Jesus’ command to sell his possessions.

While challenging, obedience brings the blessing of close fellowship with God. As He told Abraham in Genesis 22:18, “Through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.” Walking in surrender grows your faith and brings eternal rewards.

Trusting God’s Timing and Purposes Even Without Understanding

Human wisdom and logic are limited, but God sees and knows all. Surrendering your heart means trusting His timing and purposes even when you don’t understand the reasons behind them.

For instance, Martha and Mary didn’t understand why Jesus delayed coming right away when their brother Lazarus was sick (John 11:1-6). Yet in the end, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, displaying His glory more boldly.

God’s plans go beyond what you can perceive in the moment. As His ways and thoughts are higher than yours (Isaiah 55:8-9), continue to trust Him even when it’s hard.

Following God’s Lead With Eagerness and Joy

The more your heart is surrendered to God, the more clearly you’ll discern His voice guiding you. And your response should be one of eagerness and delight to follow Him.

David beautifully models this responsive heart in Psalm 63:1, 8: “You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you…I cling to you; your right hand upholds me.” We too can cling to God with deep affection as we follow where He leads.

The surrendered heart runs happily to obey God like a child running to their father. There is no room for resentment, stubbornness, or obligation. Only joyful obedience flowing from genuine love for Him.


Surrendering your whole heart to God is a process that invites you into deeper intimacy and purpose with your Creator. As you humble yourself, confess sin, pray, practice spiritual disciplines, and take steps of trustful obedience each day, you’ll find yourself more aligned with God’s heart and desires.

Releasing control to the One who truly knows and loves you is the pathway to the abundant, joy-filled life He longs for you to experience.

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