You did it! I’m so proud of you! We are ready to enter week 7. And, this week, we are fasting from STRESS. No, not desserts. Stress. The madness of the world. We are going to shift our focus and resist the chaos of it all.
It’s going to be a week of seven pauses a day. Seven times we stop and…breathe. Listen. Rest. Pause.
We are taking a page from the ancients who have gone before us. The seventh day was designed to be a day of rest. It is a day when we stop and recognize that we were created to simply be.
How is your life right now? Are you running on empty? When you have downtime, do you worry that you have forgotten something? Do you have multiple calendars to coordinate your family, friends, work, life?
In the fast from stress, we are going to introduce 7 prayer pauses to our schedule each day. It might mean that something else needs to wait on God. Rather than God waiting for us to stop and listen.
Here are the seven pauses we are going to recognize each day. I recommend you set seven alarms on your phone.
The Night Watch (midnight): “I am awake through each watch of the night to meditate on your promise.” Psalm 119:148
The Awakening Hour (dawn): “Satisfy us in the morning with your faithful love so that we may shout with joy and be glad all our days.” Psalm 90:14
The Blessing Hour (mid-morning): “Let the favor of the Lord our God be on us; establish for us the work of our hands – establish the work of our hands!” Psalm 90:17
The Hour of Illumination (noon): “You are the salt of the earth…you are the light of the world.” Matt. 5:13-14
The Wisdom Hour (mid-afternoon): “For me, living is Christ and dying is gain.” Phil 1:21
The Twilight Hour (dusk): “He got up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Silence! Be still!’ The wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” Mark 4:39
The Great Silence (bedtime): “The Lord will send his faithful love by day; his song will be with me in the night – a prayer to the God of my life.” Psalm 42:8
Option One: Recognize the seven pauses. They can be long or short. Read one piece of scripture. Pray for one person. Ask for forgiveness. It is simply a time to stop and lift up our eyes to the Lord.
Option Two: Use this week to set aside time and evaluate your schedule. Where are you overextended?
Option Three: Use this week to identify 7 stressors in your life. List one way you could minimize each stressor. Work on one per day.
Option Four: Get up an hour early and spend that time in prayer and reflection. You could even walk through each of the pauses/categories.
Ready? Happy de-stress week, friends! See you in the wrap-up.