Daily Bread July 09

Find Rest for Your Souls
By Larry McGuire of Chandler, AZ, USA

Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. -Matthew 11:28-29

A Benedictine monk, St. Anthony of the Desert, famously said, “Each day I begin again.” I’m thankful for this saying because it seems I need to start over a lot.

Living under the expectations of others can be a burden for many. It seems that in each relationship we have, there is some expectation. I don’t know about you, but many days I feel like I let one of those relationships down, and so I have to begin again.

Jesus invited people in the passage from Matthew to come to him, accept the yoke he gives, and learn his way. I have come to understand this passage as an invitation from Jesus to work alongside him, in tandem with him. Jesus then invites his listeners to “learn from me; I am your model.” He walks alongside us, giving us shared strength and appreciation for being engaged in Christ’s mission together.

When I let go of the burden of failed expectations I have for myself or that others have for me, I hear Jesus inviting me to come, receive, and learn.

God, where will your Spirit lead today?
Help me be fully awake and ready to respond.
Grant me the courage to risk something new
and become a blessing of your love and peace.

Prayer Phrase

“Awake, my soul!” (Psalm 57:8 NRSV)

Spiritual Practice

The Prayer of the Heart

Early Christian disciples desired to take seriously the scripture mandate to pray “without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). The prayer of the heart invites us to pray “continuously” by repeating and returning to a prayer phrase planted for intentional reflection and deepening. Choose a word or phrase (from scripture, hymnody, or personal reflection) that has meaning for you. The Jesus Prayer is one form of the prayer of the heart: “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me” (Luke 18:35-43). Invite this simple phrase to repeat in your heart throughout the day, awakening your soul to God’s presence.

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

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