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December 29, 2017

The Prayer of Rest


As we get ready for a new year, its important for us to consider this "Prayer of Rest." Foster makes a statement that there is perhaps "no more appealing invitation in all the Bible than Jesus' gracious words, 'Come to me, all you that are weary and carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest' (Matthew 11:28). I've struggled along with so many others to live in a place of rest. To live a life free of straining, anxiety, and stress. I've come to understand rest as living in a place of trust. Its an ability to release the moment, the day, or the future into God's capable hands. Our inability to do this causes our anxiety and stress.Our release of self-striving does not lead to inactivity, but rather it "promotes dependent activity." I think this is why we have so much unrest in our churches. We all seem to be wrestling against each other, doing our own thing, and always thinking we have a better way to get God's work done than the church down the street. What would a dependent and active church look like under God's direction and control? To have that, the people who are the church need to learn how to rest in the Lord.

Spiritual disciplines help us develop the capacity to live at rest. See my December posts from 2016 for more information from Dallas Willard on these spiritual disciplines. I heard someone say onetime that Dallas Willard lived in such a place of rest in God that they "wished they lived in Willard's time zone." If we can learn to be people who know how to pray and rest then maybe we can live as an example to others. Maybe they will see in us the rest in Christ that we all so desperately need.