40-Day Challenge: The Prayer (Day 1)

Happy Ash Wednesday!  Ready to take up the 40-Day Challenge?

“Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” These are the words that fall on our ears as the ashes are placed on our foreheads today. Life here on earth is temporary — we have a limited time to learn and do and become everything God wants before our lives are over.

For many of us, God provides a partner — a spouse — to expedite the process. Through his loving eyes, we see reflected the beauty and gifts God wants us to share with the world. When those eyes are filled with other emotions — sadness, or frustration, or anger — we understand just how far we have to grow in love.

For the next 40 days, we will be inviting God into our homes, to rejuvenate both our hearts and our marriages. Now, when God shows up on our doorstep, do we keep Him waiting there on the porch, or do we invite Him inside?  And once inside, do we rush about, closing doors and hiding laundry in the tub?

Guess what? He already knows about the laundry.

So then, the only thing to do is to throw open the doors and say, “Let me give you the grand tour.”  And that, dear friend, is what we are about to offer:  the “grand tour” prayer. 

In the interest of full disclosure, it isn’t actually my prayer — I first heard it in seminary from one of my professors, who got it from St. Charles de Foucald.  (I’m not sure that he got it directly . . . probably not, as he wasn’t that old.)

And in the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you that the first time I heard this prayer, it terrified me. Especially since the priest who gave it to us said that not only should we pray this prayer every day to God, but that we should consider reciting it to our spouses as well, if we wanted to really rejuvenate our relationship.

“Yeah, right,” was my immediate response.  It was one thing to offer this prayer of surrender to the Almighty, perfect in every way. Quite another thing to say it to … well, almost anyone else. Including the man I love. That’s a lot of power to give someone.

But as we start this 40 Day Challenge, let us begin this day and every day with this prayer in our hearts.  Let’s trust God to work a miracle in our hearts, to help us to surrender even the hard stuff with love and trust.

For the next 40 days, we will begin with this prayer. You may want to write it down and tape it to your bathroom mirror or over the sink, as a reminder of your intention.

I abandon myself into your hands; do with me what you will.
Whatever you may do, I thank you:
I am ready for all, I accept all.
Let only your will be done in me, and in all your creatures.
I wish no more than this, O Lord.

Into your hands I commend my soul;
I offer it to you
with all the love of my heart,
for I love you, Lord,
and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into your hands,
without reserve,
and with boundless confidence,
for you are my Father.

Charles de Foucald

This entry was posted in Lent, marriage and tagged , , by hsaxton. Bookmark the permalink.

About hsaxton

Heidi Hess Saxton is an adoptive parent of two children, and converted to Catholicism in 1994. She is adoptive parent columnist at CatholicMom.com and CatholicExchange.com. She also writes for the Parenting Channel at AnnArbor.com. In her spare time, she is finishing up her Master's thesis at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit.

11 thoughts on “40-Day Challenge: The Prayer (Day 1)

  1. Though, my husband and I are currently separated because he wants this, I am standing for my marriage and the belief that God made us one flesh I am excited to do this 40 day challenge. Everyday I am praying for my husband to come home, please pray for us. Thank you for having this challenge.


  2. Lorie,

    Praying for you and your husband too, for his return to you and your daughter.

    Thank you for leading me to this site.

    I believe that our sacrifices, our pain, offered to the Lord will be glorified one day.

    I pray for a miracle, for the Holy Spoirit to enter the hearts of our husbands and enlighten them.



  3. Angel,

    I am praying for you too! I know God will send us our miracles, because I believe He keeps his promises!


  4. Heidi, The prayer of Charles de Foucauld was written by him as part of a personal meditation on the words of Jesus at his death: “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”


  5. Lorie have you watched “Fireproof”?? the movie and the book may of interest to you.

    Prayers for you and your husband.

    Thanks Heidi for this, I checked out the book…$60 at Amazon!!! Is that right?

    I’ll follow your 40-days instead!



  6. $60? Wow… I’m guessing that must be an autographed copy or something. I got mine from the seminary library.

    Don’t worry, you don’t need the book to do the “Challenge.” Actually, there’s no direct connection between the book and the study. It was just a free-association thing for me. I thought about SoG Sheen’s three “moments” of marriage, and tried to imagine how to get from “crisis” to “grace.” The Challenge is what I came up with… Time will tell if it works!

    Blessings, Heidi


  7. Jenna: Thanks for that information — I had heard it was based on the Lord’s Prayer. The prayer YOU mention makes even more sense!


  8. Yes, both my husband I went to the theater to watch it when the movie came out. My husband loved the movie. It is hard to believe that a man of faith as my husband was, is now the man who is letting satan control his life. My husband use to get upset with those men our stepped out of their marriages and into affairs, yet here he is today doing the very thing he detested. Ladies, satan is out there to break up all marriages and families. We had a great marriage, and my husband could not sit down and tell you what was so wrong with our marriage for this very reason. We did not argue, we were respectful and caring to one another, and genuinely enjoyed each other. Were we perfect, no, we still did small things that hurt each other feelings unintentionally, we still didn’t meet expectations we each had at certain times, but we had a great marriage. The problem??? We became very complacent about God’s place in our marriage, and satan walked right in the another woman. Ladies, pray for your husband’s daily! If you have not read “The Power of a Praying Wife” I suggest you get it and oray for your husband’s every day. Bless you all and Heidi for doing this challenge.


  9. Lorie,

    The same with my husband. He used to always say he was a family man, and was not like others who cheated on their wives. Now he is racked with guilt, knowing he is hurting me and our daughter.

    He prayed that he would be able to feel the same for me, but failing that, is now starting to doubt God. This hurts me so much, and although he still goes to church, I feel his faith wavering. I never was the one who was very faithful then, in our younger days. Now it is the other way around.

    I will keep praying for our husbands. Our faith will lead us through the desert of our life.


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