5 Peaceful Prayers to Rest in the Lord
- Amanda Idleman Contributing Writer
- 2020 14 Dec
Rest is hard to come by when being busy is a badge of honor we love to tout. Somehow us saying “I’m just so busy” has become a way to say “I am just so important.” Yet, we do our best work and live our best lives when periods of rest and periods of productivity are balanced.
Technology has made it possible for us to be plugged in from dawn to dusk. Many of us are now working at home which can equal working literally all hours of the day. If we aren't careful we will find that the constant pull of those unanswered work emails, that newsfeed to scroll, and the million other tiny things we feel that we have to accomplish in a day can steal away our peace.
How do we begin to reclaim our time in order to live our lives from a place of rest? Notice that even Jesus, whose ministry was compacted into a very short three years, stole away from time to time to rest and pray (Luke 5:16). When he performed his culminating miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead he was not hurried. Jesus waited three days before returning to the place Lazarus was buried and then called Lazarus from the grave (John 11).
It is easy to feel like there are not enough hours in the day to fulfill our purpose, but the Bible reminds us over and over that rest is an important part of how we best fulfill our purposes (Genesis 2:2-3, Exodus 23:12). Rest is a part of God’s design for our lives. Let’s pause and seek God in prayer, asking him to “cover us with his feathers” so we can find rest and refuge in him (Psalm 91:4).
Here are 5 Prayers to Help You Rest in the Lord:
A Prayer to Rest in the Lord from the Psalms
The Psalms offer us the true and heartfelt verbiage that many of us are looking for when we begin to pray. Pray these words as both a reminder to you that God is a place you can always go to find rest. Pray these words as an invitation to God’s Holy Spirit to be at work on your behalf.
Psalm 91: 1- 6
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
and see the punishment of the wicked.
A Prayer for Rest When Your Mind Is Racing
2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
Father, I thank you that your Word reminds me that you have given me the power to be brave and to control my thoughts. I ask that in this moment where my thoughts feel like they are out of control, would give me a sound mind. Allow me to capture every thought that would want to cause me to have a spirit of fear. Remind me to think on what is good, true, noble, right, lovely, and admirable (Philippians 4:8). Empower me to cast down any thought that would want to cause me stress, anxiety, or fear. I thank you for all the good gifts you have given me in my life. Help me to remember them rather than fixate on the things that trouble my mind. I thank you that I can trust in you with all my heart and that you promise to lead me on your straight path (Proverbs 3:5-6). Direct each of my steps. Grant me wisdom so I can move forward with peace. Amen.
A Prayer to Relax When Life Feels Overwhelming
1 Peter 5:7, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”
God, at this moment I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders. Things in my life feel like more than I can handle on my own. I come to you as my place of refuge and lay all of my cares at your feet. I thank you that your word reminds me to come to you when I am feeling weary and that you promise to bring rest to my soul (Matthew 11:28-30). Help me to walk in your rest... to be able to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living (Psalm 27:13). Remind me of all the ways you have been faithful to me in the past so I can look forward with confidence, knowing you will take care of me! I declare that I trust you with every detail of my life and give all my cares to you. Your word says that you know every hair on my head (Luke 12:7). You care about the big things in my life, the little things in my life, and everything in between. I do not have to be afraid! You are my safe place. Allow me to find the strength I need to move forward in you. Amen.
A Prayer for Renewal in the Lord When You're Weary
Galatians 6:9, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”
Lord, my mind, body, and spirit feel tired and worn down. I need you to give me the strength I need to not give up. Things in my life feel impossible but God your word says that all things are possible with God (Matthew 19:26). By your grace, allow me to find rest in your shadow (Psalm 91:1). Shelter me from the storms of life. Give me wisdom so I am able to take the right next step forward. Strengthen my weary mind, body, and spirit. Help me to run and not grow weary, to walk and not grow faint (Isaiah 40:31). I thank you, God for being my ever-present help, anytime I face troubles (Psalm 46:1). I can’t make it without you. Thank you for carrying my load so I can continue to do the good you have called me to. Amen.
A Prayer to Rest in the Lord This Busy Holiday Season
2 Thessalonians 3:16, “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.”
Lord, as I enter this busy holiday season, I ask that you would help me find a rhythm that allows me to enjoy time to rest in your presence. Remove distractions from my view and give me the ability to fix my eyes on you. Give me wisdom so I am able to create rituals, traditions, and celebrations that remind me of the gift of Jesus this Christmas. As I go through the motions of baking, buying, and more would you be with me through it all. Tune my ears to hear your still small voice that reminds me of who you are. Renew a sense of joy in my heart that will infuse new life into these weary bones this Christmas. Help me to take time each day to rest in the truth of your scripture and to embrace the comfort that comes when I lay my burdens at your feet through prayer. Let me set aside all the expectations that come with the holidays and instead seek to please you with the ways that I spend my time and money this year. I thank you for the gift of your Son and the peace he brought both me and made available to all who believe in our world. Amen.
Why Do We Need to Rest in the Lord?
Rest allows us to be people that live with the fruits of the spirit. Galatians 5: 22- 23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Tired people are less likely to be patient, kind, self-controlled, and joyful and more likely to be short, rude, in a hurry, and volatile. Taking time out to rest is a practical way to protect and make room for the Holy Spirit to be evident in the way we live our daily lives.
Rhythms of rest strengthen our families and home life. Routines that prioritize strategic pauses in our days for prayer, reflections, reading, and even just togetherness makes space for us to share our faith with our children. When we prioritize rest, we are modeling for our kids what intentional living should look like. Much of what our kids learn is caught not taught! Doing what we can to develop habits that make space for unhurried time spent in God’s presence is an important way that we share our faith with our children.
Resting in the Lord refreshes our hearts! Exodus 23:12 says, “Six days do your work, but on the seventh day do not work, so that your ox and your donkey may rest, and so that the slave born in your household and the foreigner living among you may be refreshed.” God takes His example set in Genesis and turns it into a command for His people. This command has a purpose though, which was that they would be refreshed. God’s commands are not about God setting restrictive rules, but they set boundaries as a part of His way of looking out for us. He knows that tired people become grumpy, unhealthy, and unhappy. He wants you to make space for rest so that you can live joyfully!
If our desire is to live a life in relationship with Jesus then we must make time to seek God through prayer, praise, and time in his word. Resting in the Lord helps us to focus our attention on Jesus. Resting in the Lord could look like attending a church service, reading the Bible, singing worship songs to God, praying, being in nature, creating, connecting to a community of believers, listening to an insightful sermon, or any other practice that centers your thoughts on God. God speaks in a variety of ways, but we are able to hear him best when we commit time to focus our hearts on him.
Psalm 51:12 says, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” Prioritizing rest is one of the ways God “restores the joy of our salvation.” It’s a chance to set aside distractions and allow God’s presence to restore your soul.
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/Prostock-Studio
Amanda Idleman is a writer whose passion is to encourage others to live joyfully. She writes devotions for My Daily Bible Verse Devotional and Podcast, Crosswalk Couples Devotional, the Daily Devotional App, she has work published with Her View from Home, on the MOPS Blog, and is a regular contributor for Crosswalk.com. She has most recently published a devotional, Comfort: A 30 Day Devotional Exploring God's Heart of Love for Mommas. You can find out more about Amanda on her Facebook Page or follow her on Instagram.
The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.
Video credits for audio, video, photos: Soundstripe, Storyblocks, LightStock, ThinkStock, GettyImages; Voiceover by Stephen Sanders
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