Two Weeks of Praying Grace

Devotional

Praying from Rest


For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience. (Hebrews 4:10–11 NASB)

Adam and Eve’s labor to create fig leaf garments to cover their shame represent mankind’s very first religious work. Cain’s rejected offering was the second, and that rejection led to the first murderous rage.


From the Tower of Babel, to the meticulous rules and regulations of the Pharisees, to all the other world religions, right up to our modern day—fallen man’s impulse has been to work or earn our way back into the Garden of Eden.


The coming of the Son of God to earth revealed that the Father had a very different plan for restoring us to His fellowship and blessings. One which would require nothing from us except the humility to recognize that we had nothing to contribute to our redemption, that our best attempts at righteousness were disgusting, smelly rags, and that all we could do is receive, enjoy, and share His blessings with others.


The writer of Hebrews compared this to God resting on Day Seven after six days of creation work. And, those who refuse to rest are compared to those Israelites who refused, through fear, to enter the Promised Land. We are exhorted to be extra sure—to “be diligent”—that we, too, have rested from our futile work.


Such diligence is necessary because it’s so easy to slip back into works mode. We’re surrounded by well-meaning people who try to make us afraid that we’re not doing enough to earn or qualify for God’s favor. Don’t do it. Remain at rest. Pray from that position of rest.


Prayer of Declaration:


Father, I recognize and accept that I have nothing to contribute to my redemption. Forgive me for ever trying to “sew fig leaves” to cover my shame or build my own tower back to You. I repent of trying to work or earn my way back into the “garden” of Your presence and to the sweetness of Your fellowship.


Today, I cease from my futile efforts to merit or qualify for Your acceptance and favor. I recognize that I have nothing to contribute to my own redemption. Instead, I choose rest. I rest wholly and completely in the finished work of Jesus. I celebrate it. I accept and receive restoration to the full fellowship of Your presence and a good life in the land of promise.


I will diligently remain at rest. I’ll not slip back into works mode. I choose not to listen to the well-meaning voices of religion that would try to make me afraid that I’m not doing enough to earn or qualify for Your favor.


Father, from this position of rest, I humbly and gratefully receive and enjoy Your blessings and share them with others.