Matthew 11:29: “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Richard J. Foster, in his book, Prayer – Finding The Heart’s True Home, writes: “Through the Prayer of Rest, God places his children in the eye of the storm. When all around us is chaos and confusion, deep within we know stability and serenity. In the midst of intense personal struggle we are still and relaxed. While a thousand frustrations seek to distract us, we remain focused and attentive. This is the fruit of the Prayer of Rest.” ( Richard J. Foster, Prayer – Finding The Heart’s True Home, p.93).
All of us could certainly benefit from praying this “Prayer of Rest.” Almost everyone that I come into contact with is busy and struggling with the everyday demands of life. Our lives are filled with many activities and distractions that cause us to neglect our relationship with God and our own spiritual well-being. We have every intention to pause and take time to just be with God but something in our hurried lives always keeps us from setting aside some quiet, restful, and renewing time with God.
I woke up very early this morning and my mind was immediately filled with the many problems and worries of the day ahead. Instead of waking up rested and relaxed, I found myself already tense and stressed about many things that were out of my control. The world that we live in bombards us with worries and problems and sometimes it seems that God is a million miles away. I have prayed to God all week for some peace and direction in the midst of life’s many storms. And honestly, I have complained to God all week because I could not sense His presence in my life. I have prayed and prayed for God to show up for me this week and yet I still felt nothing.
Today, as I woke up feeling a certain separation from God, I decided that I would set aside time this morning to just be quiet and attempt to feel God’s presence. I turned off my phone and the television, and allowed myself to be quiet and still before God. As I began to read my Bible and a devotional book, I began to feel at peace with myself and with God. A feeling of peaceful calm came over me and in the stillness and quietness of that moment; I could sense God’s presence. There was not an audible voice or thunder or anything overwhelming. I was able to simply, yet powerfully, sense God’s still presence in that moment in time and as my body started to relax, my problems, worries and doubts all began to fade away. At least today, I have found some “rest for my soul.”
Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:29). Amen.