Resting in a Busy World

Person on busy street

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest.”

MATTHEW 11:28-29

So often, the world feels frantic. We wake to the sound of urgent alarms and rush from one activity to the next.

Interrupting our busy schedules can feel unthinkable—we worry we’ll fall behind. The world screams at us to buckle down, to grind, to work even harder.

But Scripture encourages us to pause and turn to God instead.

In a world that moves at such an unsustainable pace, how do we find time to rest?

Find your why.

God created us for purposeful work. But there’s a difference between doing meaningful work and letting that work become our identity. The second we cross the line, we’re caught in a vicious cycle.

Taking time to rest is the extreme opposite of what the world asks of us.

But, it’s something God consistently instructs us to do throughout the Bible.

From the very beginning, God modeled rest, and He commanded us to make rest part of our weekly rhythm.

Maybe you recognize you need to rest because you notice something in your life is becoming more important than God. Maybe it’s to prioritize your mental health. Maybe you’re simply exhausted.

Whatever it is, find a clear vision for why rest matters to you.

Schedule it on your calendar.

Time is one of our most valuable resources.

If we don’t schedule rest in advance, chances are something else will consume that resource.

One of the simplest ways to find rest is by planning when you’re going to do it. Try scheduling it on your calendar, and consider communicating the times to your family and friends.

Whether it’s 20 minutes or 24 hours, rest gives you room to appreciate and experience the things God created you to do.

Give yourself something to look forward to.

When you step back and slow down to draw closer to God, it’s likely going to feel uncomfortable or unsettling.

That probably means you’re doing it right.

When we rest, the temptation to fall into busyness becomes even greater. But true rest doesn’t always look like doing nothing.

When you schedule time to rest, plan to do something that brings you joy or peace.

This could include spending time appreciating God’s creation or cultivating a hobby God wired you to be passionate about.

Don’t do it alone.

God created us for community. We’re wired for relationships. And, those relationships can be one of the most tangible ways we experience God’s presence.

Finding a rhythm of rest isn’t something you have to do alone. Think about ways you can rest alongside your family or friends.

Resting together will help you to stay accountable when the world tries to pull you into work and activity.

Be relentless.

Practicing rest is a spiritual discipline. And, like any discipline, resting requires determination and self control.

When we choose not to rely on our own effort and let Jesus take over, we surrender our shame, striving, and expectations. In return, we experience God’s perfect peace.

Rest helps us enjoy God’s presence and realign our priorities.

Rest allows us to trust that God is working even when we aren’t.

Rest is how we trust our Savior enough to say “enough.”

Want to pause in God’s presence right now?

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What Are You Praying For?

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If something in your life is big enough to worry about, it’s big enough to pray about.

Not sure where to start? Choose one of these customizable prayers to add to your YouVersion Prayer List.


I’m worried about…

God, when I think about ______ I feel ______. Help me to fix my eyes on you when things feel out of my control. Remind me that you won’t give up on me because You care about me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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I’m hoping for…

God, You understand my deepest wants and needs. Help me to surrender my expectations about ______. As I pursue Your plans, help me to remember that you’ve already helped me with ______. Show me how to live a life worthy of the calling You’ve given me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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My relationship with…

God, I surrender my relationship with ______ to you. Guide us as we navigate this season. Help me see where I’m ______ and ______ so that I can surrender those things to You and replace those traits with Your selfless love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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P.S. After you create a Prayer, be sure to tap Share with Friends so they can pray for you!


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A Good Friday Prayer

Cross

Why is Good Friday “good”?

…He said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

JOHN 19:30

The disciples watched as Jesus cried out, “it is finished.” But what was finished wasn’t Jesus’ life—it was everything separating us from God’s love.

“God with us” became “God for us” by giving up His life to rescue us.

Jesus suffered so that our suffering world could know God personally … that’s what makes Good Friday “good.”


A Good Friday Prayer

Jesus,

I grieve that the torture and sorrow You endured on the cross were necessary to save humanity. You didn’t want us enslaved to fear, anxiety, or sin—so You sacrificed Yourself so that Love could win.

It’s Love that hung upon the cross and gave up everything to rescue us. “It is finished” was a cry of victory, because You defeated everything that held us in captivity.

Because of Your sacrifice, I can experience intimacy with You forever. Thank You! Show me how to share Your love today and every day.

Use me to reach the world You died to redeem.

Amen.

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A Prayer for Ukraine

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As the world watches the events unfolding in Ukraine, we want to remind our global Community of the power they have—the power of prayer.

Prayer brings hope.

Prayer unites.

Prayer strengthens.

Let’s join together and ask God to comfort, protect, and provide for the people of Ukraine.


God,

We need You—we always have.

You are our source of strength, and You tell us to give You all our concerns.

Bring protection and healing to the people of Ukraine. Show them that You are with them, and that You hear their prayers.

Please strengthen anyone who is feeling hurt, alone, or broken. Replace any feelings of anxiety, fear, and uncertainty with Your peace and hope.

Draw near to us as we draw near to You.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen.


Save this to your Prayer List so you can continue to pray.

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We recognize that this time has created feelings of chaos and uncertainty around the world.

Wherever you are, remember that God promises to never leave or forsake those who draw near to Him. His children are never alone. You are not alone. And your future is held securely in His hands.

What is Lent? 4 Different Ways to Practice

Mountain sunrise

Pause for a moment and look outside. What do you see? What makes you smile?

Whatever you just described, think about this: what you saw was always there — it was just waiting for you to pause and notice it.

That’s the basic purpose of Lent: to create space in the middle of life’s responsibilities to appreciate what’s always been there: God’s presence.

“…You are worried and troubled over so many things, but just one is needed. Mary has chosen the right thing, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Luke 10:41-42

What is Lent?

Lent is a 40-day period of making space for God leading up to Resurrection Sunday. Based on Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness, Lent is an important tool that can help you stay attuned to God’s voice as you reflect on His sacrificial love.

“Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.”

Psalm 46:10

While Lent does include personal sacrifice, the goal of this time isn’t to “better” your life, but to center your life on what matters most: the One who made you and died for you.

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.

Isaiah 53:5

Lent begins today. However you choose to practice it, we hope you’ll spend the next 40 days creating space in your soul to reflect on Jesus’ sacrificial suffering and the power of His resurrection.

Together, let’s make space for what matters.

4 Ways to Focus on God During Lent

1. Memorize the Verse of the Day

Our outlook on life changes when we get God’s Word inside of us. If you’ve always wanted to memorize Scripture but were never sure where to start, commit to memorizing the Verse of the Day for 40 days!

If you start today, you’ll know 40 passages by Resurrection Sunday, and you’ll be well on your way to establishing a lifelong habit.

View Verse of the Day

2. Try Guided Prayer

Prayer is simply an honest conversation between you and God. And, it’s a great discipline to begin during Lent. Becoming a person who prays confidently may take some practice, but you can get started by committing at least 10 minutes a day to prayer.

When you want to talk with God but you don’t know what to say, Guided Prayer can help you get started.

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3. Start a Lent Plan

One of the best ways to draw closer to God is by spending time in His Word. If you’re not sure where to start, pick a Lent Plan and complete one Plan day, every day, for all 40 days of Lent.

To get the most from your Plan, set up daily reminders in Plan settings. Then, invite a few trusted friends to join you and reflect together on what God is doing in your lives.

View Lent Plans

4. Practice Generosity

God modeled what generosity looks like when He sacrificed His greatest treasure for us. During the next 40 days, draw near to God through generosity.

There are lots of meaningful ways you can give financially to what God is doing throughout the world. Take a moment and ask God to show you how you can bless those around you.

Learn More About Generosity