One has to form a concept of Ishwara before one can surrender. In fact, a human being does not easily surrender to anybody or anything. Secondly, one has to know what is meant by surrender.
To surrender to somebody, a person should feel extremely helpless. Also, one should feel that the only entity that can provide help in one’s own situation, whether it be a material difficulty or psychological one. Such an entity as to be extremely profound. Generally, anything that is perceived by a human being or deduced using some reasonable logic is not considered so profound. Thus, it has to be an entity that is based on belief. That is the reason we generally say, “one believes in God” instead of saying, “one feels God or one sees God”. Thus, Ishwara is that entity which is so profound in everything, but at the same time so kind that he/she will feel pity or compassion or love towards the devotee and bless the devotee with whatever he/she could not achieve otherwise.
Surrender means giving the ownership to the other entity. Will it be an ownership of one’s possessions such as car, money, house, etc.? No. The profound entity has it all as it is the owner of everything. Isha means owner of the entire universe. Surrender is done because the devotee wants to give up the ownership. This is the ownership of the most dear possession. What is the most dear possession to any human being. One’s own identity, ego. Thus, surrender means giving up one’s ego in the name of the profound entity one believes to be the owner of the entire universe. A devotee knows that it was the ego that was so far the most precious, but it is the ego that is causing the pain. So, the ego needs to be surrender to escape from the pain. It is like a suicide of an ego. But, one survives this suicide, and with a bliss!
Now, why shall one do that. When a human being feels helpless. Helplessness is generally felt in the mind. Thus, it is the Psychological helplessness. If one feels psychologically helpless then only one can surrender.
Thus,though Ishwara Pranidhana looks like an easy alternative, it is really not an easy alternative. Singing bhajans or prayers, worshipping the idols, etc. are but preliminary devotional practices. When it comes to surrender one is totally gone… there!