A set of Sabbath prayers frame my observance. Other things come and go – these three remain. I may ebb and flow in every other Sabbath observance, save these three prayers. They also follow the ancient practice of praying at evening, at morning, and at noon.
Sabbath evening – Book of Common Prayer, “In the evening,” p. 833 (1979)
“O Lord, support us all the day long, until the shadows lengthen, and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then in thy mercy, grant us a safe lodging, and a holy rest, and peace at the last. Amen.”
Sabbath morning – from Into a Larger World by Howard Hovde, p. 68
“O God of all Joy, Thank you for the gift of rest and of time to play. You are kind to remind us, weekly in the Sabbath and yearly in the holidays, who we are. Give us faith that brightens life and lasts right into the Great Rest that is ever more life with You. Through Jesus Christ the Lord of all True Resting, Amen.”
Sabbath noon – from “Remember the Sabbath” by Eugene H. Peterson, www.thehighcalling.org, adapted from Praying with the Early Christians: A Year of Daily Prayers and Reflections on the Words of the Early Christians
“Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy.” Exodus 20:8
“Sabbath” means quit, stop, take a break. Spend the day not doing so that you become aware of God, his will, and his glory. Our work is not the most important thing. Sabbath interrupts us in the midst of unfinished work and insists that we attend for a while to God’s finished work.
How do you observe the Sabbath?”
PRAYER: Merciful, gracious, and holy God, help me to keep a good Sabbath this week: getting out of the way so that I can realize your way, stopping the frenzy of my activity so that I can see and appreciate your great work, being quiet long enough to hear your still, small voice. Amen.”