Finding Rest in difficult times

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woman sleeping on bed under blankets

Many of us have heard of the spiritual disciplines of prayer, Scripture meditation, and fasting, But what about the discipline of rest and sleep? 

What does the Bible say about rest?

When Moses becomes weary, leading his people through their trials in the desert, God tells him “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14 

Jesus tells his disciplines “Come to me all who toil and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

Peter Scazzero writes in “The emotionally healthy leader”

Jesus slowed down to make sure he was in syn with God –  that he was in the father and the father was in him, powerfully filling every crevice of his body, mind and spirit. In routinely stepping away from his active work, he entrusted the outcome of his circumstances, problems and ministry to the father. 

David talks about a sense of safety that comes from a place of rest. “In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for you alone, a Lord, make me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8

Jesus has been speaking to me lately about the importance of rest: physical, emotional, spiritual, mental. These areas are all connected. I realize that when I become still and allow my life to rest, I feel a renewal of energy and gradual clarity of perception. 

God is inviting me to create time and space to rest in Him so that He can give me peace.

I realize that I have the tendency to be a workaholic person who often feels most alive when I am in the midst of my stress. When I focus on my fears and don’t trust God it is difficult to enter into rest.

Anxiety is caused by trying to mentally or emotionally get into things that are not here yet. I also have the tendency to always rush about things, I need to hurry up and put constantly myself under pressure.


When I feel worn down and exhausted, I ask God what kind of rest I need. 

God is the source and center of rest. I need on a regular basis time to slow down, hear God’s voice, take time for self-reflection. I want to learn to be compassionate with myself, to be able to say no so that I can enter God’s rest and be renewed. 

I know that when we do not spend enough time with God we slowly loose our peace and safety. What do I let control my rest – are these things more important than my time with God?

A PRAYER FOR REST

Our loving Father, we know that You desire good things for Your children. Through the difficulties and troubles we face, we know that You are fighting for our good. We can rest securely in Your arms, knowing that Your victory is sure and that You go with us along our way. Thank you for the promise that there is nowhere we can go apart from Your presence and for Your extravagant love. 

You designed us for rest, so we pray for Your Spirit to meet us and sustain us. Rest can be hard to find as we face our daily routine, so we ask that You would multiply every minute of rest that we have. Help us to draw from Your unending resources. We ask You to teach us how to choose rest:

Teach our minds to rest in Your truth.

Teach our hearts to rest in Your love.

Teach our bodies to rest in Your peace. 

As we rest in You, we ask that You would fill us with Your joy, life abundant, and peace. We ask that Your perfect wisdom would guide us to the right decisions. We ask that You would help us to show others that we meet the way into Your presence. 

Thank you, Lord, for Your promises and Your strong hand to lead and guide us. Please teach us Your ways and lead us into rest. We love You and the way You care for us. Amen!

Sonja Stark

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