To rest is to stop: stop working, striving, creating, defending … but true rest that God desires for us is more than stopping our labor, it is also entrusting ourselves to the infinite God who needs no rest.
Rest forces us to recognize the reality that human beings have limits, but rest is peaceful and restorative when we entrust ourselves to the limitless care and limitless power of God. Rest also prepares us to receive Jesus, who accomplished victory over sin and death for us because, in all our limitations, we could never accomplish it ourselves. Rest creates space for God to come in and do what only God can do. It’s the “being still” that needs to happen so that we can know and experience the reality that “God is God!” (Psalm 46:10). Living in a fast-paced world that values productivity, we can pray for God to reorient our energies and help us rest in Him.
Oh, great God, You have made me human. You knit me together in my mothers’ womb, perfectly and wonderfully, but with limits. Help me recognize my limits and turn to You for rest.
Forgive me for pushing past my limits so often. This is my attempt to control things and to resist Your control. (Take a few moments and ask God to show you any areas of your life where you are resisting rest.)
Help me to trust in Your care for my life, Your provision for my need and Your strength for my days.
(Ask God to show you areas of your life where you are worried and anxious.) God, I worry about so many things, but You have already taken care of the greatest need in my life — I can rest with You because Jesus has accomplished my forgiveness and salvation. Help me rest in this when anxiety and worry fill my mind.
God, You gave me an example to follow when You rested from the labor of creation (Genesis 2:2). Help me follow Your example and choose rest.
Sometimes I mistakenly choose recreation for rest. Help me choose truly restful things.
In rest, help me to focus my mind on Your desire and ability to care for me.
In rest, help me reflect on Your great faithfulness.
In rest, help me remember that my greatest need is connection/communion with You.
God, help me sleep and rest well each night, trusting You to watch over me (Psalm 121).
God, help me take appropriate rest from work, trusting You to provide for me (Matthew 6:25-33).
God, help me stop all the striving that makes me feel valuable and worthy, trusting that You have already given me value and worth (Psalm 139:14).
Oh, great God, help me be still and rest in Your goodness and greatness.