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…
11 thoughts on “A Sabbath Prayer”
“For many [people] cooking is a joy” — not for me. But, oddly enough, doing dishes and cleaning my kitchen are a treasured part of my Sabbath keeping. In retrospect, it stemmed from Christmas (and other) holidays as my husband and child headed to the model train room and I had the tranquility of “puttering” in the kitchen, church responsibilities accomplished, and now having the peaceful time for our own family celebration. I eventually realized to transform that into a relaxed weekly occurrence (as opposed to the weeknight have-to-do-the-dishes-now). (Keeping the Sabbath Wholly helped in that application, I recall.)
Yes to the unique, quiet rhythms that bless our lives. Much of our Sabbath Keeping is mindset.
Keeping the Sabbath Wholly is the book that launched my whole adventure, as well!
I already subscribed. If I do it again, I will get two emails. Will I get a copy of the prayer?
Brenda, what you say is so true. Changing mind set from do to get….that a biggie. When I look at all I “have to do” I become frustrated and overwhelmed. When I look at the chore as “get to” they become a joy. I chose joy.
Hi Betty, I pray you are doing well. I have had to re subscribe more than once; new lap top; changing between browsers, accessing through my phone. I still get only the one email each time a new blog comes out. Joy is a wonderful thing to choose. Have a blessed week!
How did you know I was thinking of you. I’ve been having a bit of a rough time….physically and emotionally. Life just seems to be that way at times. It has made me slow down and stop and really look for the Lord in all my days. Some days the pain is more then I can handle. I would love life to be this nirvana we hear about, but as long as there is a devil, there will be struggles. I am so grateful that we have a God Who is more loving and powerful and gentle when the trials come. He is bigger then the devil. In fact, He defeated the devil. So I pull back and let Him hold me.
Every day we need to allow Him time to hold us. Hold us very close!
My old bible was highlighted and well loved. Bits of paper stuck out of it from every direction. I thought someday it would serve as tool to show my grandchildren how much I loved my bible. That was until I gave it away. So now I have this new bible, not yet so loved, not yet so fragile. I have work to do to make it look like the last. I have to sit my butt into a cushy spot and dive right in as I raise my hands to God praising Him. Sabbath rest is most definitely the best rest.
I know what you mean. I’ve used my e-reader to study scripture. With cataracts it’s hard to see the small print. I go from one to another. I don’t think I’ll ever have an old used Bible like I once did. That is sad.
I do miss my old bible, but the person who received did not have one of her own. I don’t know if it will be read again anytime soon, but I do know His Word is there for her when she needs it. My new bible is crisp. Oh I have managed to bend a page or two. I have dropped once or twice (I am a Klutz). Too I have fallen into just going to the web or using an e-reader to find a verse.
Google makes it too easy! Once I had to rummage through chapters to find a verse, perhaps two. Now I only need to type in a few words on a giant search engine to bring multiple verses that have similar meanings. I wonder I am taking in less, this is too easy. Rummaging through chapters had me reading more. After all a verse is only a sentence that relates to a chapter; the chapters relate to the whole Book. I should really start diving in to chapters after I find the verse.
Betty, I was thinking of you too.
Erin – Praying for the one who finds your Bible living in her home — may it, like it did in you — find a place in her heart!
Here’s to tush on the cush!