Being on Twitter has allowed me to discover some new blogs with good prayer resources and helpful reflections for spiritual encouragement. One such discovery is the blog Knoxpriest by Anglican priest Jack King, in Knoxville, TN.
He’s posted an excellent reflection / prayer resource: Meditative Prayer for the Weary and Burdened
Here’s an excerpt:
Some of the most comforting and beloved words that Jesus ever spoke in the Gospels are found in Matthew 11.28-30.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
One of the reasons these verses speak comfort to the heart is the invitation that Jesus extends to us. Christ calls us to accept this invitation in exchange for the peace and rest he gives.
I believe the best way to read the Bible is to pray the Scriptures. These well-loved words of Jesus can become a form of meditative prayer for us, a way of presenting our troubles to Christ as we learn the Lord’s way of bearing burdens.
Here’s a suggested rhythm for meditative prayer adapted from Matthew 11.28-30.
1. Place all circumstances and situations that burden you before the Lord
The first step is actually accepting the invitation to approach Christ with honesty about our heaviness of heart. Just as Hannah ‘poured out her heart’ before the Lord when she was burdened about having a child (1 Sam. 1.15), so we are invited to pour out our hearts before the Lord. A sense of rest may come instantaneously, it may not. Receive Christ’s promise regardless: ‘I will give you rest.’ Receive that promise in faith, whether or not you have accompanying emotions or feelings of peace. The peace of Christ is present even when we don’t feel it.