Last week I posted thoughts about “my Sunday,” which you can read here. Typically, my reflections and prayers offered throughout that day launch from either the below thoughts or Psalm 92: A song. For the Sabbath day. This psalm calls us to worship the LORD, for his faithful and loving care towards those who acknowledge him.
LORD, I want to experience Sabbath, shabbat: a time where I “cease, sit, and rest” by leaving what is normal and entering into what is separate, holy, and distinct. I turn my heart towards you and “seek God for his own sake,” your face more than your hand: The Lord is my portion, “apart from you I have no good thing.” This day, may I distinctively delight and feast in the LORD but not experience freedom to my or other people’s harm. You are the Rest-giver! As I shabbat, help me also to be respectful of those who observe it differently or not at all; nonetheless, as for me and my house may it characteristically be a good day of revival, refreshment, and resurrection.
“I will praise you, O LORD. Although you were angry with me, your anger has turned away and you have comforted me. Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. With joy [I] will draw water from the wells of salvation” and call to mind that I have peace through my Lord Jesus Christ. “The LORD is good … those who seek him lack no good thing. … The LORD redeems his servants; no one will be condemned who takes refuge in him.” Today, I especially recall and remember your goodness to me.
This “Lord’s Day,” though not forsaking the “works of necessity and mercy,” may I cease my customary “plowing and harvesting” such that I may worship you, enjoy your created goodness, and love those you’ve put in my life and do so in a unique, restful and God honoring way. I say, “No!” to the bottomless to-do-list and the taskmaster’s drumbeat of “it’s never enough”; I say, “YES!” to “sitting” and fellowship with you and your people. May today be a time of community worship and your Word that free us from the weights we carry that can bring about weariness and weakness. You are Lord of the Sabbath! “The LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.” Reconnect and renew me through shabbat; please do the same for ____. Bring us deeper into your shalom (peace, flourishing).
I am the work of your hands! You alone release us from “the craving for whatever the body feels, the craving for whatever the eyes see and the arrogant pride in one’s possessions.” You have ordered my heart so your love can dwell there, which is Christ; my heart remains restless until it rests fully in you. You spoke into my darkness and created light; you continue to speak and work in me to will and do of your good pleasure: The voice of the LORD, thunders, breaks, shapes, and makes. “The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with shalom.” You are Creator! You are the one who gives victory! You are the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were. “Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening”; speak also into ____ life.
God, I desire to walk “twenty-four seven” in your “Sabbath-rest,” where my selfish passions and self-sustained work cease; yet, I’m so not there. Increase my ability to live by your Holy Spirit’s empowering presence. Blessed be the LORD, who calls me into this underserved day, this special place where everything in my life—time and space, people and things, material and conceptual, past and future, heaven and earth—can be seen better and continue to take their proper form and weight. You are the potter; I am the clay. You are the Redeemer! Reshape me, LORD. Refill and refuel me. Ah, for Christ to take greater shape in my life.
Today, I also reconsider my baptismal confession, your call of love to me, and my testimony of being buried with Christ in his death, risen to walk in newness of life. “I desire to do your will, O my God; your law [your delightful, life-giving instruction] is within my heart,” for you have poured your love into my heart. God is love! Ever more so, LORD, complete your love in us: to your decisive, formative “Yes,” I utter “Amen.” Today, I particularly refocus and recommit my life to you and ask that a week of worship and shalom arise from this shabbat.
As I grow in these things and pilgrimage to that Day—complete resurrection and new creation life—help me to leave regularly the normal and enter the holy, setting aside, habitually but not legalistically, a portion of each day, week, and year so that I might in a special way commune with you, your Word, your presence, your creation, and your people. You are the “Alpha and the Omega, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” May these times serve as wonderful oases in the midst of “dry and weary” periods but also sips of living water such that my entire life—not just a small, quiet and devoted time—may be founded upon and flow from your finished work.
LORD, you are not served by human hands, as if he you needed anything, instead in you “we live and move and have our being.” In you “all things hold together.” “Oh, the depths of the riches of God. Who has ever given to you, that you should be repaid? For from you and through you and to you are all things. To you be the glory forever!” In you alone is a life of shabbat and shalom. Blessed be the name of the LORD.
(Gen 2:2–3; Exodus 20:8–11; 23:12; 31:12–13, 17; 34:21; Num 15:32–36; Deut 5:12; Isa 12:1–6; 58:1–14; Judg 6:24; 1 Sam 3:1–10; Ps 16:1–2; 29:1–11; 34:1–22; 40:8; 62:5; 63:1; 69:9; 73:1–28; 92:1–15; 100:4; 144:10; Jer 17:22; 18:1–12; Matt 11:28–30; 12:1–13; Mark 2:23–28; 3:1–5; Luke 5:16; 6:5–10; John 1:1–14; 5:1–17; 9:13–16; Acts 10:38; 17:24–28; Rom 4:17; 5:1–5; 8:1–39; 11:33–36; 14:4–5; 15:1–4; 1 Cor 6:12; 8:9–13; 10:23–11:1; 2 Cor 2:20; 4:1–4; Gal 4:10–15; Phil 1:6; 2:15–16; Col 2:16–17; Heb 4:1–13; 8:7–13; 1 John 2: 5–6, 15–16; 4:11–18; Rev 1:8)