A Sabbath Day Prayer for the Weary
By Kristine Brown
“He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” –Psalm 23:3 ESV
I look forward to Sundays. Singing along to praise and worship music from my favorite playlist, enjoying an extra cup of coffee. Catching an early morning sermon online or making plans with family to meet for lunch after church. But this past Sunday, things didn’t start as usual. Unexpected circumstances got in the way of the respite I’d grown accustomed to.
Stress took over first thing in the morning as I worked through a difficult situation. I tried to squeeze in some afternoon rest but couldn’t. My mind would not wind down. I ended the day exhausted, with a headache for an added bonus. I missed my Sabbath, which I feared would affect my entire week.
We can do our best to honor what God modeled for us when he rested on the seventh day, after bringing all of creation to being in six days. “So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.” (Genesis 2:3) But sometimes things happen we can’t control, and our need for rest may get pushed back.
Maybe our people need us or something urgent requires our attention. There are a hundred reasons or more why our usual Sabbath Day may not look the way we planned. And missing a time of rest in the Lord can leave us weary and struggling to face the week ahead. So what do we do when life happens, and we unintentionally skip the Sabbath?
The psalmist David spoke to our need for replenishment in Psalm 23:3 where he wrote these beautiful words, “He restores my soul.” David’s praise can be our heart’s cry today, or any day we feel weary. The God of creation will restore us with strength, joy, and peace. All we need to do is sit with him and allow these words to lead us in a time of prayer and worship. Whatever day of the week and whatever time of day, God is ready to meet us there and begin his restorative work in our hearts.
Sometimes I forget that Sabbath rest can be enjoyed anytime. I get used to my routine. Some of us observe the Sabbath on Saturday or Sunday, but in Mark chapter 2, Jesus revealed a mindset shift regarding the Sabbath when he said, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27) Just as the Israelites practiced keeping the Sabbath Day holy, we can practice holy rest through Jesus. So, after the rough day I had on Sunday, I made time on a Tuesday to pray, read my Bible, and sit in God’s presence. I could sense God restoring my soul and knew I was experiencing Sabbath rest. He comforted me in my weariness and gave me strength. What a precious time it was.
If you’ve started the day exhausted or worn out today, let God meet you for a time of Sabbath rest. Let’s begin with this Sabbath Day prayer for the weary and spend a few moments with him. He is our Master Restorer.
I am weary. I’ve tried to make time to rest in your presence, but life seems to get in the way. Forgive me for not observing the Sabbath in a way that pleases you. You are the only one who can restore my soul.
I need you, Lord, but I know restoration will not happen if I don’t make time for Sabbath rest. When I spend time with you, I just feel better. It’s hard to find even an hour of quiet time, but I know you will help me as I seek to put you first in my life. Open my eyes to pockets of time where I can enter into Sabbath rest and allow you to refresh my spirit. I want more of your restoring presence, God. You are my Healer, my Comfort, and my Strength.
Thank you for your promise to give me rest when I come to you. (Matthew 11:28) That is a precious gift, and I am so grateful for it. And thank you for the gift of a Sabbath Day. May it always remind me to honor you. In Jesus’ holy name, I pray, Amen.
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Marinela Malcheva
For more spiritual growth resources, check out the 5-day email study Walking with Rahab by today’s devotion writer, Kristine Brown. You’ll find weekly encouragement to help you “become more than yourself through God’s Word” at her website, kristinebrown.net. Kristine is the author of the book, Cinched: Living with Unwavering Trust in an Unfailing God, and the companion workbook.
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