My Bible bulges with mementos—reminders of God drawing near. Most handy of these love letters, devotions, bookmarks and scribbles is a well-worn, folded piece of paper titled, “A Sabbath Prayer.” Written years ago, it prepares my heart for the gift of rest waiting for me to enjoy.
I am a Type A person down to the molecules of my DNA. Learning to surrender to God the hours of my Sabbath Rest required the grit of determined prayer and the love-kindness of our Gracious God. It was a battle field. God was determined to win, and like Jacob, I have never been the same.
The miracle of Sabbath Rest is a mysterious work. I cannot describe it and I do not fully understand it, but it does in me, through the simple (profound) act of “ceasing,” something only God can do. I am infinitely changed by it, formed, shaped and molded into something that seven days of the wear and tear will never create or sustain.
The work of rest is two-fold. It’s is a refusal to work. It is laying down all the “have to’s” that define my week, exchanging them for I now “get to…”
I exchange multitasking for the joy of a singular pursuit.
I shut down my lap top and choose time with good books and great people.
I explore places outside where God is quick to show up and show off. (Psalm 19)
I place an imaginary “closed” sign up on our kitchen counter. Cooking is work to me. For many people it is a joy. Choose joy, wherever and however it is found.[tweetthis]Choose joy, wherever and however it is found[/tweetthis]
The second job of rest is the quieting of my soul. As hard as the exterior work of ceasing is, it is nothing compared to the interior recalibration from “do and go” to “be and breathe.” For me, this is the hardest work of rest.
It’s a complex job, but there is something that set this quieting into motion for my soul each week. It is a Sabbath Prayer. Inspired by the Jewish Candle Lighting Prayer of Shabbat, which that Sabbath Keepers have been praying for centuries, this re-created, Christ-centered prayer is a portal for my soul. It transports me—ushers me from my week of work, to the day of rest prepared by God for me to enjoy.
Would you like a copy? Make sure you’re subscribed to the blog (over on top of the right-hand menu). Right now we’re sending this Sabbath Prayer to any one who subscribes to the blog – it’s just our way of saying, “welcome!”
First time here? Welcome! We are a group that gathers around the theme, “There has to be a better way.” We’re finding it in the 4-word mission statement, “Run hard. Rest well.”
- It’s a journey into the heart of God. It comes our way through an on-going exploration of four biblical rhythms that revive, replenish and restore: Sabbath Keeping, Sleep (and other simple stress-reducers), Stillness—personal retreat, and Solitude—personal retreat.
- It’s an expedition that challenges us at every turn. It convicts us in deep, tender places. It alters our priorities and plans. It’s not for the faint of heart.
- It’s an adventure at its best – as we learn to run the race, our race, God’s race in a power not our own.
- First time here? Here’s the best page to start your journey…