Lent Practices – Week 4 – 3.8.2018
THEME:Subtracting Consumption, Gaining Love
BREATH PRAYER: Jesus, replace my desire for consumption with Your consuming love.
This command I gave them, “Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people; and walk only in the way that I command you, so that it may be well with you.”
- In a journal, note the day, time, and place you’re sitting.
- Open with silence. Set a timer for 1, 3, or 5 minutes so you can be free to rest and breathe deeply.
- Complete the following sentence in your journal: Today, I feel ________________.
- Read the centering verse above slowly (aloud or silently).
- Pause for a few moments of silence, then pray this week’s breath prayer.
Strive. Consume. Repeat. This is a seemingly endless cycle that is extremely pervasive given the times in which we live. That is why the practice of Sabbath is so important. Sabbath breaks that cycle by forcing us to cease from striving and acknowledge that we do not run the universe. When we cease from striving, we are able better receive the Lord’s unmerited love and know that He is God.
Prepare for the upcoming Sabbath by prayerfully thinking through the following:
- Choose a day that you will stop and rest from your labors. This may require some coordination with your spouse or family.
- What must be done ahead of time to leave space for a restful Sabbath? Purchasing food? Housework or yardwork? Errands? Loose ends at your job?
- What life-giving activities might you want to include in your Sabbath? Hobbies and play on the Sabbath are okay. Labor, not so much. Ask the Lord to help you know the difference.
- Plan these things and put them in your calendar. Defend this time faithfully, but not legalistically. Remember that “the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”
Some other tips:
- During your Sabbath, you may experience a time of “lowness.” This is a perfectly normal experience for anyone who normally goes hard and fast. Allow yourself to continue resting throughout the lowness trusting that God is using this time to restore you.
- If you have reached this point in the practice, and you are disappointed that you haven’t actually done anything yet, here is something that you can do today: Plan a 15-minute mini-Sabbath right in the middle of your day. Not at the beginning or end, but somewhere in the middle of the flow of your day. Do nothing but rest in God and His goodness. Take note of your heart’s posture before and after this time.
- If you are still disappointed that you have not done anything as part of this practice, then ask the Lord to guide you through these 2 questions:
- Is accomplishment necessary for spiritual growth?
- If so, how might a proper Sabbath challenge that notion?
Summary: Write in your journal a brief summary (five sentences or less) of your practice.
Closing: Jesus, replace my desire for consumption with Your consuming love.