Day 36: Introducing Sabbath
Our breath prayer for today: As you inhale, whisper, “We enter into…” As you exhale, whisper, “…Your rest, O Lord.”
Slowly read aloud the following Scripture passage
[And God said,] Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. (Exodus 20:8-11, ESV)
For further exploration:
Heavenly Father, we thank You for the nations and people of the world. Thank You for being Yahweh Shalom, the Lord God of wholeness and restoration. Thank You for being Emmanuel, God with us, among the nations. Lord, we, Your children, long for You as the deer longs for streams of water. We thirst for You, the living God. Father, all that is within us will wait quietly for You. You alone are our rock and our salvation. You are our fortress where we will not be shaken. Our victory and honor come from You alone. Lord, You are majestic and we bless Your holy and righteous Name.
Eternal Father, let Your Kingdom come and Your will be done around the world. We confess that in the places of distress, war, and disaster around the world that the people who are suffering will realize that You are mighty to save and that You loved them so much that You gave Your one and only Son, so that whoever believes in Him would not perish, but have eternal life. Lord, raise up and strengthen those who follow Jesus around the world that they will be bold in their witness of You and compassionate to those who might persecute them. You have not given Your people a spirit of fear but a Spirit of power, love and self-control. We call forth justice to run down like water and righteousness to be spread abroad among the nations and that the hearts of oppressive leaders will be turned to You.
Holy Spirit, the world needs Your salvation. We cry out “Even so Lord Jesus quickly come!” Touch the hearts of the global community to seek justice and to love mercy rather than the vanity of riches at the expense of lives and caring for Your creation. Lord, touch the hearts and minds of world leaders to seek You and to walk the path of righteousness for You Name’s sake and for the sake of the people they are meant to serve in the nations around the world.
Merciful Father, please forgive all of us for our many sins. Forgive us for disobedience, rebellion, unbelief, forms of idolatry, shedding of innocent blood, and the rejection of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Forgive those who prey on people in tragic circumstances. Forgive those Christians who live among the nations for not adequately praying and for not consistently sharing Your love and Your Word. Lord, forgive me for (list any sins that you have committed.)
Holy Spirit, remind us of those we need to forgive and help us to be quick to forgive. As for me, Holy Spirit, bring to my remembrance those I need to forgive. (Take a moment and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you names or faces of people that you may need to forgive. As He reveals them say, “I forgive name of person(s).” Now, trust the Lord to heal any wounds in your soul caused by unforgiveness.)
Holy Spirit, help us not to yield to temptation but deliver us from the evil one.
We worship You, O Great Deliverer! All praise belongs to You. You are the Lord God of Israel who alone does such wonderful things. You are praised among the nations! We will praise Your glorious Name forever. Let the whole earth be filled with Your glory, Amen and Amen!
Scripture References for the Written Text: Judges 6:24, Psalm 42:1-2, Psalm 62:5-7, Matthew 6:10, Isaiah 59:1, John 3:16, II Timothy 1:2,
Amos 5:24, Proverbs 20:18, Matthew 6:13, Psalm 72:18-19
Concepts to Consider
In our world where productivity is valued almost above everything else, Sabbath is God’s life-saving gift to us. It’s a day we are bidden to cease from “doing,” trust God for His provision and just be. We have an opportunity to inhale the “joy of our salvation” and to exhale the cares of the week. It is a day to prioritize God and people over things and schedules.
In Scripture Shabbat ( שַָׁבָּת shah-BAHT]) is derived from a word that means “to cease” or “to stop and rest.” Shabbat is mentioned in all five books of the Torah, the Prophets, all four Gospels, and in the books of Colossians and Hebrews. The frequency of its mention (150+ times) at the very least indicates how important taking a day to stop is to God! Traditionally, Shabbat was observed by the earliest Jewish followers of Jesus (Friday evening–>Saturday evening) and they also celebrated the “Lord’s Day” (Sunday) in honor of the Resurrection of Jesus. Over time these two observances were melded into our Sunday worship observances.
As we discussed last week, it is still vital to gather physically with the assembled Body on a regular basis to celebrate the Lord’s day and it is equally important to observe a day of cessation. A “Sabbath Rest” and corporate worship may occur on the same day, but they don’t necessarily have to, especially if you work on Sunday.
God designed the human person to need this “rhythm of life” where we work, then stop and rest at regular intervals. We do not operate well physically, emotionally or spiritually when we don’t make time and space to rest.
This week we will explore some of the practices and teachings surrounding Sabbath and how we can live more fully as God intended. If you think about it, we were made to be “Sabbath People” who are called to live into the shalom that God is bringing to the earth through us, the Body of Christ, empowered by the Spirit of the Risen Christ, who is the Lord of the Sabbath.
- Personal Reflection: What do you want to know more about concerning “Sabbath?” What is something you read today that piqued your curiosity?
- Kingdom Reflection: Sabbath was first given to the People called Israel, but in Jesus Sabbath and all it means is extended to all people. Take some time to pray for Sabbath Shalom to become a reality in the world. What is on your heart to pray for in the world today?
Optional Time of Centering/Soaking:
If possible, take some time, perhaps 5 to 15 minutes, to get into a comfortable position and simply allow the Lord to minister to you at a deep level (Psalm 42:7). Turn off or put down all distractions. Close your eyes. Hold in your thoughts a meaningful word, phrase, or image from the Scripture passages you read today. Release all other thoughts and concerns into the Presence of the Lord. If your thoughts wander, that’s okay, just gently return to your Scriptural word, phrase, or image. You may want to set a timer.