Tag Archives: Rest

21 Day Experiment-Day 15

I often go to God with big prayer requests. My big ask. For family, friends, people who need help. I believe God answers prayer.  The Bible encourages us to ask God for what we need—to go boldly with our heartfelt desires.

But in John 15, Jesus calls us to a relationship with Him as the starting point for prayer. He calls Himself the “true vine.” He reminds us that we’re His “branches.” Branches can’t bear fruit apart from the vine.

I’m likely to blow right past that relationship with Jesus in my quest for answered prayer. But Jesus stops me dead in my tracks with these words:  If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you (John 15:7 NIV).

Remain is from the Greek word meno, which means “to abide, or dwell.”  I’m to make my home with Jesus.  To plant myself in Him. To plant His words in me. When I remain in Him and His words remain in me, I’m more likely to be praying His will—a prerequisite to answered prayer.

Powerful words. Powerful reminder. Do I really get that? I’m struck by the fact that Jesus uses the word remain eleven times in the first ten verses of John Chapter 15.  If I tell my kids something eleven times, you can sure as heck bet I mean it!

Here are the same words from Jesus in a different version—my watchword for today: If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you (John 15:7 ESV).

What does abiding look like for me practically?

  1. I carve out time with the Lord each morning.  I like to plant the seeds of His Word first thing.
  2. I try to pace myself throughout the day to keep in step with His leading.
  3. I remain alert to the voice of the Holy Spirit.
  4. I’m fierce with my “Sabbath.” Humans need to come apart or we “come apart.”  Rest is vital if we want to remain in Christ.
  5. I seek wise counsel from those who have learned the secret of resting, reflection, and abiding in Christ.

Prayer: Lord, it’s all about the relationship with You—answered prayer is just a by-product. And like any habit, the pay-off of abiding is long term. Help me to be faithful in the “dailyness.”


30 Days of Hopeful: Day 5

Sometimes I make the mistake of thinking that hope comes through self-effort. That it’s up to me to keep hope alive. That I’m the one holding onto my hope. But God’s Word reminds me that hope actually holds onto me. Hebrews 6:19 puts it this way: “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” Last time I checked, it’s the anchor that does the holding. Not the boat.

That’s good news. Especially when we’re exhausted by overwork, disappointment, or grief. Life hurts. And we all become battle weary at times. Humans are not machines—we have our limits. “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall” (Isaiah 40:31).

That said, let’s remember that hope is not passive. We don’t get to simply numb out, give up, walk away from God and expect Him to come running after us to revive our hope.

No…I need to trust God, even when I no longer trust myself. Rest in Him and wait upon Him.  Hope in Him, especially when I don’t have the strength to fight any more. “But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] will gain new strength and renew their power; They will lift up their wings [and rise up close to God] like eagles [rising toward the sun]; They will run and not become weary, They will walk and not grow tired (Isaiah 40:31 AMP).

Just what does it look like to wait for the Lord? It could mean that I simply rest for a while. Or take baby steps out of my exhaustion to listen to praise music; or soak in the promises in God’s Word; or go for a walk and breathe in His beauty.  Perhaps I share His love with one who’s broken.

I might even turn aside from my dream for a little while, but only after placing it squarely into God’s hands for safekeeping. I call this my time to “pray and walk away.” Just for a season. What’s more, God promises He’ll give me new strength to mount up on wings like an eagle.

But until strength comes, I can rest secure knowing that if my dream is truly from God, He won’t let it go. And He won’t let me go. He won’t let my hope die—for He gave it to me as the anchor for my soul.

Day Six: Fasting Gives Rest

Your commitment to the 21 Day Fast for Pastor Saeed could be life changing.  Especially if you decide to make fasting a regular part of your prayer life.  It matters that we go the distance with our prayer and fasting for Saeed.  God is faithful any time we set our minds like the prophet Daniel to seek Him wholeheartedly (Daniel 10:12).

Fasting is a powerful discipline to add to your prayer life.  Ouch! There’s that word discipline.  As one friend put it,  “The idea of fasting is a little scary.”  Too often, we approach a new discipline  like fasting with such fury that we quickly burn out.  And we vow never, ever to try it again.  I’ve learned that getting adequate rest has helped me avoid burnout and sustain a habit of regular fasting.

God built regular times of Sabbath rest into the lives of His people.  “Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.”  The Bible says more about the commandment to keep the Sabbath than the other nine, so it must be important.

Sabbath rest is for our benefit, as well as God’s glory.  The Sabbath was made for man, said Jesus.  It’s to be a delight (Isaiah 58:13).  Keeping the Sabbath helps us stick close to God.  Our focus on Him.  We entrust our work to Him while we rest.  Keeping the Sabbath also keeps us strong for the long haul.

When we fast, it’s like a mini-Sabbath. Work is an idol for many of us.  Fasting requires that we depend upon God to give us strength to get our work accomplished.  Even when I go about my normal daily routine during fasting,  I move at a little slower pace.  I’m more observant, more alert and watchful.  Thus, I’m more receptive to those inner nudges to pray for Pastor Saeed, as well as the other areas of my own life where I need a breakthrough.

Fasting  can deepen our relationship with Jesus.  To rest is to abide, so fasting actually helps us to abide in Christ.  Jesus spells it out clearly:  “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7 ESV).  When I fast, and rest, and abide in Jesus, I’m more likely to be praying His will. Powerful words. Powerful promise.

I encourage you while you are fasting and praying to get extra rest.   You’re going to need it to make it to the end of the 21 Day Fast for Pastor Saeed.  Today, on this Sabbath,  I’m beside a warm fire with a cozy blanket.  I am praying.  Writing.  Listening.  Asking God to speak to me.  Today, I am all ears.

A favorite memory verses about rest is Isaiah 30:15a:  “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.”






Ask! What’s your “big ask?” How often I go to God with big prayer requests. For family, for friends, for places and people who need God’s help. I believe God answers prayer.  The Bible encourages us to ask God for what we need.  We’re to go boldly and often to God with our heartfelt petitions (Philippians 4:6,7). Continue reading