Bible Verses and a Prayer for Rest

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Well, friends, our family pushed through the month of July with all of its busyness and made it to the other side.  To August.  And to rest.

And we’re ready for rest.

I’ll be taking some time to relax with my family, to regroup and refresh.  Here are 25 verses and a prayer for rest to share with you while I’m away.

Be Back Soon!

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  • Genesis 2:2-3 ESV
    And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.  So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.
  • Exodus 20:8-10 NIV
     “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping 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, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns.
  • Exodus 23:12 ESV
    “Six days you shall do your work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; that your ox and your donkey may have rest, and the son of your servant woman, and the alien, may be refreshed.
  • Exodus 33:14 ESV
    And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
  • Deuteronomy 5:12-15 ESV
     “‘Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. 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 or your male servant or your female servant, or your ox or your donkey or any of your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you.  You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.
  • Psalm 4:8 ESV
    In peace I will both lie down and sleep;
        for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
  • Psalm 23:1-2 ESV
    The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures.
    He leads me beside still waters.
  • Psalm 62:1-2 ESV
    For God alone my soul waits in silence;
        from him comes my salvation.
    He alone is my rock and my salvation,
        my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.
  • Psalm 62:5 NIV
    Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
        my hope comes from him.
  • Psalm 116:7 NIV
    Return to your rest, my soul,
        for the Lord has been good to you.
  • Psalm 127:2 ESV
    It is in vain that you rise up early
        and go late to rest,
    eating the bread of anxious toil;
        for he gives to his beloved sleep.
  • Psalm 131:2 NIV
    But I have calmed and quieted myself,
        I am like a weaned child with its mother;
        like a weaned child I am content.
  • Proverbs 19:23 NIV
    The fear of the Lord leads to life;
        then one rests content, untouched by trouble.
  • Isaiah 26:3 ESV
    You keep him in perfect peace
        whose mind is stayed on you,
        because he trusts in you.
  • Isaiah 30:15 NIV
    This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:
    “In repentance and rest is your salvation
    in quietness and trust is your strength
    but you would have none of it.
  • Isaiah 40:28-31 ESV
    Have you not known? Have you not heard?
    The Lord is the everlasting God,
        the Creator of the ends of the earth.
    He does not faint or grow weary;
        his understanding is unsearchable.
     He gives power to the faint,
        and to him who has no might he increases strength.
     Even youths shall faint and be weary,
        and young men shall fall exhausted;
     but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
        they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
    they shall run and not be weary;
        they shall walk and not faint.
  • Jeremiah 6:16 ESV
    Thus says the Lord:
    “Stand by the roads, and look,
        and ask for the ancient paths,
    where the good way is; and walk in it,
        and find rest for your souls.
    But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
  • Ezekiel 20:12 ESV
    Moreover, I gave them my Sabbaths, as a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them.
  • Matthew 11:28-30 ESV
    Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
  • Matthew 12:12 ESV
    Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”
  • Mark 2:27 ESV
    And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.
  • Mark 6:31 ESV
     And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.
  • Colossians 2:16-17 ESV
     Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. 17 These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ
  • Hebrews 4:9-11 ESV
    So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, 10 for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.  Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.
  • 1 John 3:19-20 NIV
    This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence:20 If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.prayerrest

Why I’m Leaving

All my bags are packed; I’m ready to go.  I’m leaving on a jet plane.

Well, really the church bus, but I’ll be in motion just the same.

In two days, I’ll hear the beeping of the alarm long before my usual hour.  I’m so unaccustomed to waking with a clock instead of children that I actually don’t know where the shut-off button is.  So, I’ll pull the plug out of the wall to quiet the noise instead.

I’ll tiptoe to the clothes I’ve laid out and head for the bathroom to prepare for the day.  Then I’ll grab the bag I’ve packed and say goodbye to a husband and children still sleeping.  Grabbing my cup of tea off the counter and my keys off the nail, I’ll shut the door behind me and drive off for a two-day trip to Women of Faith.

Why am I going?  My husbands and kids are wonderful.  I’m not running away.  But I have my reasons.

Re-establish Rest:

I’m going so I’m forced to step away from the endless motion of my everyday.  Oswald Chambers wrote: “Whenever anything begins to disintegrate your life with Jesus Christ, turn to Him at once, asking Him to re-establish your rest.”

It’s all of the daily life choices and battles that chip away at our faith.  We’re distracted.  We’re annoyed.  We’re confused.  We’re tired.

Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).   Over time, I feel it, the weariness, the burdens.  They accumulate over days and months.

Daily quiet times help.  I temporarily rest at His feet and toss the bundles I’m carrying to the side.  But, I leap up from the table after time in the Word and it’s back to phone calls and emails, carpooling, activities, planning and laundry.

And the thing about daily life is that it is  . . . daily.

Shocking revelation, I know.  But it’s not just the motion that tires me over time; it’s the perpetual motion.

It’s rising every morning to empty the dishwasher and reload it . . . . again.
Making beds, packing lunches, toasting bread and pouring milk  . . . again.
Tossing clothes into the washer and grabbing towels out of the dryer . . . again.
Cleaning dried-on toothpaste off the bathroom walls . . . again.

Eventually I need more than a temporary refresher.  I need to retreat from it all to re-establish rest. In Mark 6:31, it says,

Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
I’m going away with Jesus.  For two days, I won’t wash dishes or do laundry.  I won’t rush out the door and drive to ballet.  I won’t work or plan or organize.
I’ll worship.  I’ll laugh.  I’ll learn.  I’ll pray.

Re-align My Focus:

And I’ll re-align my focus.  The thing about being bogged down in the daily is that our definition of crisis begins to distort.

In the past few months, I’ve lain awake for hours in the middle of the night over:

  • where my daughter will go to kindergarten
  • whether the local theater company will cancel next year’s theater camp
  • how our budget will work out
  • who will participate in the Christmas cantata at church
  • what Christmas crafts to make as gifts for others
  • what to do about our car now sitting broken down and beyond hope at the mechanic’s
  • what book to study for my small group
  • how many words my two-year-old can or can’t say

Patsy Clairmont wrote, “At times, trusting God in the minutia of life is as difficult as trusting him for a walking-on-water miracle.”  Each of these situations felt like a true crisis to me.  Enough to rob me of sleep and to transform me in Jekyll-and-Hyde-fashion into Grumpy Mom who sighs a lot and stomps around the house.

I’m tossing and turning at night because I’ve gripped my hand around each of these issues so tight God can’t pry my fingers off with a crowbar.  My knuckles are white.

So I am removing myself from this close-up perspective of my life where the tiniest anomaly blips onto my radar as if it’s the end of the world.  I’m putting aside the to-do list that runs my life like a drill sergeant.  For a weekend, I’ll stop staring at my life and lift my head up instead to see Jesus.

In Psalm 3, David wrote, “But you, O Lord, are a shield for me; My glory and the one who lifts up my head.”

Instead of going through life shoulders hunched, head down, eyes staring at circumstances, I’m asking that God lift up my head so I can see His face, see His eyes of love and grace, see the reminder in the palm of His hands that He’s going to do everything imaginable and more to take care of me.

In that same Psalm, David also wrote: “Salvation belongs to the Lord” (verse 8).  This “salvation” means “deliverance from the immediate pressure” he was feeling.  One of the meanings of this Hebrew word for salvation is “room to breathe.”

Sometimes the daily grind is suffocating and busyness knocks the wind out of me.  I need deliverance from the immediate pressures that monopolize my attention and salvation from the stresses that take my breath away.

I’m leaving so I can find room to breathe.

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.