How to Surrender to God: 8 Inspiring Bible Verses about Surrender

 When you surrender to God, you give up control and yield to Him. Easy enough…no, not at all!

Learning how to surrender to God is one of the hardest but most important things in your faith journey.

Surrendering to anyone or anything feels counterintuitive and unnatural. Many see surrender as weak, a sign of defeat, and just not an option.

In sports, wars, and arguments surrender is a sign that we have lost the battle. And in daily life, you lose battles, surrender and ‘wave the white flag’ many times.

Driving into Target’s parking lot, I found the perfect spot and waited for a car to back out. Suddenly another car came out of nowhere and turned right into my spot!

I was frustrated but had no choice but to surrender the parking spot to another car. Surrender does not come easily even in parking lots. There is something about winning and maintaining control that can be deeply satisfying even during meaningless interactions.

Even if winning is not in our best interest, our emotions tell us that winning is always our best option.

Surrendering to God does not mean defeat, it means we humble ourselves and are led by God instead of our own desires.

Being competitive is how many of us are wired. My natural desire is to win or realize I am not good enough and not even try.

Growing up and crying after losing GoFish or Sorry was not uncommon. And my children struggled with the same distress after losing and surrendering to a winner.

Despite this innate desire to maintain control and win, is it possible to learn how to surrender to God?

Like most things in life, we can learn how to surrender to God and grow closer to Him; the great benefit of surrender is living free and in a confident bubble of God’s joy and safety.

cross-how to surrender to God

What Does it Mean to Surrender to God?

When you surrender to God, you are trusting Him with your soul the most significant part of your being. From that place of deep surrender, new freedom erupts.

What if we reframe what surrender to God looks like? Instead of focusing on letting go of something we focus on grabbing something better and more secure than control.

The disciples surrendered to God when they left everything and followed Jesus. They had to relinquish control of their plans, dreams, and family to follow the Son of God. They transformed their identity to become aligned with Jesus’ call and new purpose.

Why would Jesus’ followers make such an amazing sacrifice? They knew how much Jesus loved and cared for them and believed in His mission.

Most of us are not required to surrender to this level but we do have to surrender our will which can feel just as difficult.

When we learn how to surrender to God we abandon what we think is right and trust that God knows what is right.

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?”

Matthew 16:24-26 NLT

The thing about surrendering to God is that we have to keep choosing it.

Why is it Hard to Surrender to God?

As humans, we are created to protect ourselves and survive. When we are in control of an outcome, we feel better. We trust in what we see and hear and our own will.

And we have our pride. Pride is a sense of deep satisfaction in our abilities and achievements. We all have it and there is nothing wrong with feeling good about ourselves. But it is difficult to surrender to God and be prideful; we must wrestle our pride away and surrender to God.

“Everyone who is proud and arrogant in heart is disgusting and exceedingly offensive to the Lord;
Be assured he will not go unpunished.”

Proverbs 16:5 AMP

To learn how to surrender to God, we must be humble, willing to lose, be wrong, be alone, and be treated unfairly. These things happen whether we surrender or not. We just feel better about defeat if we think we controlled it.

But holding on tightly to control does not lead to freedom in your spirit.

We may be successful in many phases of our life, but control masks as a strength that is actually a weakness stealing our true freedom.

One of my favorite hymns is “I Surrender All” written by J. W. Van DeVenter in 1896. The origins of the song are rooted in DeVenter’s own journey of learning how to surrender.

“For some time, I had struggled between developing my talents in the field of art and going into full-time evangelistic work. At last, the pivotal hour of my life came, and I surrendered all. A new day was ushered into my life. I became an evangelist and discovered down deep in my soul a talent hitherto unknown to me. God had hidden a song in my heart, and touching a tender chord, he caused me to sing.”

J.W. Van DeVenter

This empowering song written by a man willing to surrender is attributed to the calling of another great man, Billy Graham.

“In the late 1930s, when popular international evangelist Billy Graham was a student at Florida Bible Institute, he studied and fellowshipped with Judson Van DeVenter, and later stated that Van DeVenter greatly influenced his early preaching. Graham subsequently popularized “I Surrender All” in his massive crusades and revivals, beginning in the late 1940”s.”

Cliff Barrows Crusader Hymns and Hymn Stories

I attended a Billy Graham crusade as a child and still recall the powerful move of the Holy Spirit as hundreds if not thousands of people worshipped and made their way to the front of the stadium embracing how to surrender to God.

Although it is difficult to surrender to God, the impact of your decision to trust God will be felt for generations.

white flag-how to surrender to God

Bible Verses on Surrendering to God

Every time I read the Bible with an open spirit, God reveals the truth. The act of sacrificing your time to learn more about Jesus is an example of how to surrender to God.

May these eight verses help you learn what God says about you to overcome the fear of letting go and boldly surrender your life to God!

8 Bible Verses on How to Surrender to God

My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

Galatians 2:20 NLT

“If you remain in Me and My words remain in you [that is if we are vitally united and My message lives in your heart], ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you.”

John 15:7 AMP

“Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty, is divided between God and the world.”

James 4:8 MSG

 “He said to all of them, “Those who want to come with me must say no to the things they want, pick up their crosses every day, and follow me.”

Luke 9:23 GW

“And so, dear brothers, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living sacrifice, holy—the kind he can accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask?”

Romans 12:1 TLB

“Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God [set aside self-righteous pride], so that He may exalt you [to a place of honor in His service] at the appropriate time”

1 Peter 5:6 AMP

“Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him, And He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way].”

Proverbs 3:5-6 AMP

“He (Jesus) went a little farther on, threw himself on the ground, and prayed that, if possible, he might not have to go through that time of suffering. “Father,” he prayed, “my Father! All things are possible for you. Take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet not what I want, but what you want.”

Mark 14:34-36 GNT

How to Surrender to God and Let Go

Surrendering to God is an ongoing decision that never gets easy. But when we invest in our relationship with God, we become aware of our need to perpetually release and surrender.

When circumstances tempt you to grab hold of your surrender, there are two things you can do…worship and pray. From this new place of an encouraged heart, you can love and serve others.

“So through Jesus, we should never stop offering our sacrifice to God. That sacrifice is our praise, coming from lips that speak his name. And don’t forget to do good and to share what you have with others, because sacrifices like these are very pleasing to God.”

Hebrews 13:15-16 ERV

When you learn how to surrender to God, you view surrender as a gift and a pathway for growing closer to God. Don’t be discouraged if you are struggling to trust God. Spiritual growth is a lifelong journey!

Pray specifically for Jesus to help you surrender and look to other people who have set a positive example of how to surrender to God.

After surrendering to God you will be empowered to use your spiritual gifts and walk confidently in your identity.

“Surrender, when we are graced with it, is a true gift. When we finally acknowledge that we can’t do it, we give ourselves the opportunity to feel the river of life carrying us, taking us where we need to go, even though we have no idea where that might be.”

Nancy Colier

If you have learned how to surrender to God and trust Him with your life, I would love to hear your story in the comments!


Mary Rooney Armand

Mary is the creator and writer for the faith-based blog Her writing has been featured on multiple Christian websites and she is the author of the book, “Identity, Understanding, and Accepting Who I am in Christ” available on Amazon.


lady on beach-how to surrender to God

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Mary Rooney Armand

Mary Rooney Armand is an Author, Speaker, and Creator of the faith-based blog She helps others grow in their intimacy with Christ and thrive in their relationships. Her work is featured on multiple websites including Women of Noble Character, Pray with Confidence, and The Brave Women Series. Mary is the author of, “Identity, Understanding, and Accepting Who I Am in Christ” and, “Life Changing Stories” a collaboration with 34 authors sharing stories of God’s faithfulness. Besides writing, Mary leads small groups and speaks at retreats. She directed Kids Hope USA, a mentoring program for children, worked in marketing and sales, and has led mission trips to Honduras. Mary is a life coach with a Bachelor's degree in Marketing and an MBA. She and her wonderful husband Cory live in New Orleans and are the parents of four children, a new daughter-in-law, and two dogs! Connect with Mary on Instagram or Facebook.


  1. Karen on September 17, 2022 at 11:02 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this very precious and valuable message. This morning I desperately need it. It reminds me, what true multiplication really means. First, to live with gratitude, even in the midst of deep sorrow and much loss. Secondly, to surround myself with people who knows the journey of surrendering themselves, without pride. From my own personal experience, this different way can be extremely lonely, but then there is no crowd with expectations or judgements,
    that can discourage with a hopelessness. Thirdly, to let the Holy Spirit, takes all of me; my gifting and identity, to renew and position me, in a better place, that I could ever imagine for myself.

    • Mary Rooney Armand on September 19, 2022 at 10:19 am

      Karen, thank you for stopping by and encouraging me with your wisdom! May the Holy Spirit continue to surround you with peace and guidance. Many blessings!

    • Cerita on February 4, 2024 at 11:38 pm

      I so needed this.
      Thank you for sharing.

  2. Martina on September 20, 2022 at 8:03 am

    Wow! I am going through a really tough time in my life right now and woke up this morning wondering when do you give it all to God and when is it giving up. Your article was soooo timely and a gift from God.
    Thank you!

    • Mary Rooney Armand on September 23, 2022 at 1:46 pm

      Martina, Don’t you love how God works? So happy you were guided to God’s wisdom through the article! Many blessings and thanks for commenting, Mary

  3. Pat Bossier on September 20, 2022 at 10:03 am

    Very timely today but can be every day.
    Thank you for your posts and God bless you for stepping out to help others on our journey in this life.
    I am sure you put a lot into this ministry.

  4. Colleen on September 22, 2022 at 3:02 pm

    Thank you again for wisdom,And how to surrender a fresh every day.

    • Mary Rooney Armand on September 23, 2022 at 1:45 pm

      Colleen, thank you for reading and encouraging me with your comment! Many Blessings, Mary

      • Robert on December 2, 2023 at 5:08 pm

        Trying to give it to God to heal chronic anxiety that has come back…very physical and overpowering..but many believers state healing and freedom came through surrendering it to God. Does surrender require me to give up medication? I need to have a lot more faith and trust as this has held me back for years and cost me so much. God has used me for evangelism in great ways…but i burnt myself out over worry. Now I need Him as i cannot save myself from the situation.

  5. Paula Short on October 2, 2022 at 3:10 pm

    Mary, this is such a wonderful message. so beautifully spoken. I love your insights and encouragement within.

    • Mary Rooney Armand on October 3, 2022 at 10:34 am

      Paula, thank you very much! I am always encouraged when my words inspire others!!

  6. Jane Gomes on December 7, 2022 at 6:53 am

    Now i am struggling with my personal problem. I am 31 years old a divorced girl,with lots of matters which knock my life down. Most of time i feel broken with critical situation.I met a guy in last year. Again i feel broken about him,its drive me crazy. But i this journey i need to surrender this brokenness to my Lord. your message give me comfort…! Pray for me .
    Jane Gomes

    • Mary Rooney Armand on December 7, 2022 at 9:46 pm

      May you draw closer to God and find His sweet comfort and direction in all things. Many blessings!

  7. […] rhythms and connect with new people to replace what you lost through the change. This will help you surrender to God and move on with renewed […]

  8. joy on January 22, 2023 at 7:00 am

    Thank you for this very insightful article / piece as I grow stronger in my faith by way of my prayer life I am finding myself having more questions and in that have come across significant research in terms of answering some of the questions that come up to mind. Thank you for sharing ! I certainly have come away with some greater knowledge and understanding in my faith walk/ journey

  9. […] But surrendering to the Holy Spirit allows God the opportunity to show people His limitless, unmatched care. […]

  10. Cassandra on February 21, 2023 at 7:35 pm

    Thank you for such a detailed and relatable article on surrending. I’ve recently resurrendered my life to God and I momentarily felt discouraged but this article has helped me find confidence in God’s word and his promises. Thank you!

    • Mary Rooney Armand on February 22, 2023 at 4:15 pm

      Thank you for sharing your confidence in God and His promises! He never lets us down although most things do. I pray you find peace and love in His word and find a church community where you can grow and find support. Many blessings!!

  11. […] I doing a good job as a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, church member, writer, and Christ-follower? Am I doing enough? My life feels too small to make a big difference, yet I want it […]

  12. […] is a declaration of dependency. We approach God telling Him that we know He alone has the power to save us, sustain us, and take […]

  13. Mera on November 18, 2023 at 5:12 pm

    While sitting outside a Starbucks on my Sabbath day, I asked the Lord to guide me in drawing closer to God. I did a quick search on Google re. @Surrendering to God,”, and your article came up. Wow! Full of insight. Soft in its wording, yet instructive in its punchiness to encourage reflection on what I have read. So I re-read. Passing it onto a friend too.

    Where can I read more on your thoughts on “Identity in Christ”? Share a link if you desire.

  14. Kristofer Habbas on February 29, 2024 at 1:52 pm

    Thank you for explaining each piece of the Armor of God with such detail.

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