God’s Rhythm

Stewardship of time / The Daily office and the Sabbath

Men’s Breakfast

February 21, 2009


Referenced and Related Bible References:

  • Genesis 2:1-2  – God creates the Sabbath
  • Exodus 31:16-17  – Celebrate as a lasting covenant
  • Deuteronomy 5:12-15 – Ten commandments
  • Psalm 119:164, Daniel 6:10, Acts 3:1; 10:9 – observed by David, Daniel, the apostles
  • Colossians 2:16-17  – Ceremonial law; fulfilled in Christ, no longer under the law
  • Galatians 4:6-9 – Sons, Known by God and Know God. “Abba, father” – expressive of an especially close relationship to God.
  • Psalm 1:2 – Delight is in the law, meditates on it day and night
  • Psalm 119:9-11 – Hid your word in my heart
  • Isaiah 65:1-2a  – God desires a closer walk with us.
  • Mark 2:23-28  – Messiah, Lord of the Sabbath
  • Genesis 5:24; 6:9 – Enoch and Noah walked with God
  • Matthew 6:5-13 – The Lord’s prayer

What is prayer?         Fellowship/communion with God, Praising God, Knowing God, Experiencing our sonship, learning to abide, etc.

Types of prayer?

  • Adoration         – acknowledging who God is
  • Confession       – acknowledging what we’ve done and repenting, turning to God
  • Thanksgiving    – acknowledging God’s love and what Christ accomplished
  • Supplication      – asking to be more like Christ, interceding for others or ourselves

Why commune with God?

  • Joy!
  • Experience God (for Him)
  • Peace
  • Rest
  • Forgiveness
  • You are who you are with, or what goes in comes out
  • Others…..

Story: Emily’s breathing, if human relationships can change us, what would happen if we spent time with the Prince of Peace?

How can we practically move toward a Gospel-centered prayer life that aims primarily at knowing God?                     Meditation and communion

Meditation is the blending of Bible study and prayer.  Not detached but meditation is praying the truth deep into your soul.  This shapes us, our thinking, our feeling, our actions.  It’s working out the truth.

St. Augustine on Meditation:

1.      Retentio – distillation of the truth of scripture.  Study and concentrate on a passage of scripture to simply understand it, so you see its truth.

2.      Contemplatio – “gazing at God through this truth”

a.       What does this tell me about God?

b.      If he is really like this, what difference does this particular truth make to how I live Today?

c.       Does my life demonstrate my knowledge of this truth?

d.      Lord, what are you trying to tell me about you, and why do you want me to know it Today?

Contemplatio is turning “knowing about” into knowing.

3.      Directio – delighting and relishing the God you are looking at.  Praise, confess and aspire toward him.

Why don’t we pray and meditate?

  • Too busy, the only prayers we sometimes do are the urgent ones requesting help
  • Too tired, after being too busy
  • Other priorities seem more important at time.
  • Feel that there is a barrier (emotional) that seems too big, too much work
  • Sin
  • Lack of discipline, resolve, routine
  • Don’t want to rush, waiting until can spend more time.

The Power of Full Engagement (book – see reference)

Two ideas:

  • More stress not less; intervals in-between every 2 to 3 hours is ideal
  • In intervals, focus on God 

If not, then a disaster hits and we don’t have the focus we need.  We need a rope.

(story from book in reference: Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzaro)

  • Book, A Hidden Wholeness, by Parker Palmer
  • Farmers in the Midwest, prepared for a blizzard by tying a rope from the back door of the house to the barn as a guide.
  • The blizzards came quickly and fiercely and were highly dangerous.
  • When their full force was blowing, a farmer could not see then end of his/her hand.
  • Many froze to death, wondering in circles, lost in their own backyard
  • Meteorologists in parts of Canada and the Great Plains still counsel people to tie a rope to their back door

Would like to propose that, God has given us a rope in the daily office and the Sabbath that offer us a rhythm so powerful that they anchor us from the blizzards that blow in our lives.

Not legalize….free from the ceremonial laws…a gift .  Find what works for you

The root of the daily office and the Sabbath is stopping to surrender to God in trust.

This is not setting aside time to turn to God for something but to be with Someone.

Daily office has 4 aspects:

1.      Stopping – God is on the throne, trust him to run His world without me.

2.      Center – “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).  

Both difficult tasks

3.      Silence – is the practice of quieting every inner/outer voice to attend to God

“without solitude it is almost impossible to live a spiritual life” – Henry Nouwen

4.      Scripture – meditation, worship songs, reading through the Bible, etc. 


1.      Stop – embrace our limits

2.      Rest – replace with whatever delights and replenishes.

3.      Delight – “it was very good” Genesis 1:31 Benediction; In God, his creation, people, etc.

4.      Contemplate – heart of the Sabbath.  Pondering the love of God. 

Like a heavy snow day.  A “no obligation” day.


Read Psalm 145


  1. What does this tell us about God, what does it reveal?
  2. How can I praise him for and through this?
  3. If he is really like this, what difference does this particular truth make to how I live?
  4. Does my life demonstrate that I am remembering and acting out of this?
  5. Lord, what are you trying to tell me about you, and why do you want me to know it now.  Today?


  1. Did the meditation help you see something in the scripture, you wouldn’t have normally?
  2. What is one thing you could do to spend more time communing with God?
  3. What support would you need in order to do this regularly?

Referenced or Reference:

  • Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzaro, Ch. 8 “Discover the Rhythms of the Daily office and the Sabbath”
  • Prayer and the Gospel by Dr. Tim Keller
  • The Divine Hours by Phyllis Tickle
  • The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz
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