As we’ve been going through this Monday series on Sabbath, I’ve shared a brief overview of why we all need a day off, what Sabbath is, and how it can be adapted into your life today or this week. It saddens me so much to continually see friends, family members and coworkers stressed, exhausted and burnt out from their pace of life. While I certainly don’t believe a Sabbath practice on day a week, ceasing from work all together as God originally insisted, is a flash in the pan, fix everything solution, I do believe it has powerful implication when practiced consistently and diligently.
Today I want to share one last tool to help get your Sabbath started – a written prayer. This concept of a prewritten prayer may be foreign to many, but I love them. They certainly don’t make up the entirety of my prayer life, but at times when I’m at a loss of words, uncertain what to pray or how to seek God through the messiness of life, I turn to the words of someone else and make them my own. In the same way we may reach for a meaningful or comforting song, singing the lyrics of another artist, these prayers can mold and shape our prayer life in profound ways.
This prayer is from Shane Claiborne’s book Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals
Lord of Creation,
create in us a new rhythm of life
composed of hours that sustain rather than stress,
of days that deliver rather than destroy,
of time that tricks rather than tackles.
Lord of Liberation,
by the rhythm of your truth, set us free
from the bondage and baggage that break us
from the Pharaohs and fellows who fail us
from the plans and pursuits that prey upon us
Lord of Resurrection
may we be raised into the rhythm of your new life
dead to deceitful calendars
dead to fleeting friend requests
dead to the empty peace of our accomplishments
To our packed-full planners, we bid, “Peace!”
To our over-caffeinated consciences, we say, “Cease!”
To our suffocating selves, Lord grant release
Drowning in a sea of deadlines and death chimes, we rest in you our lifeline.
By your ever-restful grace,
allow us to enter your Sabbath rest
as your Sabbath rest enters into us.
In the name of our Creator, our Liberator, our Resurrection and life we pray. Amen.
// It’s a quick prayer – one that doesn’t take much time if you rush through it. Yet, there is much richness and things to contemplate and invite God into in this prayer. May I encourage you to carve out some time this week to pray this prayer, pausing for reflection and listening to what God might whisper to you about?