Inner rest affects prayer authority and enjoyment. It would be easy in a perfect world, but ours is a world of unrest. Trouble (and its assistant, bad news) is constant. Meds and treatments to cope with living is big business. If inner rest could be bottled and sold, it would be a global winner. But we need much more than a survival tonic. We need a supernatural, inner wellbeing beyond man’s ability to replicate or explain, one that allows us to fully enjoy being the Lord’s agents of change through prayer.…. in both the smooth and the rough parts of our journey. Which is why are given the right to share in his restfulness.
Daily life is our classroom, and the Spirit of Christ is our Trainer for the journey of learning inner rest.
Rest is more than quiet after a storm; it’s an inner stillness during it. Inner rest isn’t subject to our circumstances, because God isn’t. But, it’s not an auto-download. It’s a journey of learning that includes growing in:
Trust – faith resting on what the Lord says about himself.
We’re not immune to trouble or stressful happenings, but they don’t arrive unnoticed by the Lord. He anticipates them and opens a ‘from strength-to-strength’ pathway for us through them (Psalm 84:6,7).
Whatever the form or strength of the next difficulty, the Lord usually prepares us for it by telling us something about himself, a truth that strengthens trust. For instance, he loves speaking to us about his faithful love, or his constant goodness. It’s not always a fresh word just before trouble’s arrival. Sometimes, we might have to scan scriptures that we read over the past few days or weeks to pick up that relevant, trust-building truth. The difficult situation then becomes an arena of encounter for us, where we experience that truth about the Lord in ways we might have missed outside the arena of trouble.
That truth will encourage us and strengthen hope. But, it also comes to change us. Our heart’s grasp of that truth will often mean letting go of ‘old’ thoughts or behaviour that are not in agreement with it.
We don’t wait for trouble to reach a high-water mark before taking the strength to strength pathway God prepared for us. Some storms arrive suddenly; others build gradually, almost unnoticed. But at the earliest signs of turbulence, it’s important that we revisit what the Lord has been telling us about himself.
Celebration – sharing in the Lord’s joy at what he has done to make the above truth real to us.
Giving thanks will forever be a top celebration of his kindness to us. When trouble hits, our thanks offering might initially be without a glad dance. But when we respond to what God has said about himself, our emotion will be drawn into our spirit’s slipstream.
Stillness – reining in our thoughts and emotions to exclude panic and striving.
Instead, we enjoy the quietness and contentment of agreeing with what the Lord has said about himself.
Stillness in a storm is powerful, but fragile. Thoughts or behaviour that conflict with what he has said can hinder our enjoyment of his peace.
By praying our trust and celebration, peace replaces inner unrest. Prayer is at the heart of inner rest. I shared some of these thoughts in an earlier post and ended with a guide for praying from rest; praying trust and celebration from Isaiah 46:4. I encourage you to click on this link, Pray in the Rain – Rest and use the short guide at the end of that post for conversations with the Lord.