• Rev. Sarina Odden Meyer

Morning Prayer: Sabbath: Rest from Productivity


Photo by marc phillips on Unsplash


This morning prayer service can be done individually or in groups in-person or virtually. When done virtually, everyone is muted except the leader so as to prevent distraction from voices talking/singing over each other. Typically, everyone participates in singing the song, the responsive psalm, the Gloria, and the Lord's Prayer; the leader leads the other parts.


The Call to Prayer

Come, let us bow down in worship; let us kneel before YHWH our Maker.

For you are our God, and we are the people you shepherd, the flock under your care.

Psalm 95:6-7


The Request for Presence

So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.

Psalm 90:12


The Greeting

I love you, YHWH, my strength. YHWH— my mountain crag, my fortress, my rescuer, my God, my rock behind whom I take refuge, my shield, my horn of deliverance, my stronghold!

Psalm 18:1-2


The Song

Everything I am, everything I long to be, I lay it down at Your feet

Everything I am, everything I long to be, I lay it down at Your feet

I lay it down, I lay it down, I lay it down, at Your feet

I lay it down, I lay it down, I lay it down, at Your feet

Oh pearl of greatest price, no act of sacrifice, can match the gift of life I find within Your gaze

Oh, what a sweet exchange, I die to rise again, lifted up from the grave into Your hands of grace

Everything I am, everything I long to be, I lay it down at Your feet

Everything I am, everything I long to be, I lay it down at Your feet

I lay it down, I lay it down, I lay it down, at Your feet

I lay it down, I lay it down, I lay it down, at Your feet

Matt Maher, William T. Brown, Frederick Jamel Tipton


The Refrain

If YHWH doesn’t build the house, the builders work in vain; if YHWH doesn’t guard the city, the sentries watch in vain.

In vain you get up early and stay up late, sweating to make a living, because God loves us and provides for us even while we sleep.

Psalm 127:1-2


A Reading

The story is told of a wagon train on its way from St. Louis to Oregon. Its members were devout Christians, so the whole group observed the habit of stopping for the Sabbath day. Winter was approaching quickly, however, and some among the group began to panic in fear that they wouldn’t reach their destination before the heavy snows. Consequently, several members proposed to the rest of the group that they should quit their practice of stopping for the Sabbath and continue driving onward seven days a week.

This proposal triggered a lot of contention in the community, so finally it was suggested that the wagon train should split into two groups—those who wanted to observe the Sabbath and those who preferred to travel on that day. The proposal was accepted, and both groups set out and travelled together until the next Sabbath day, when one group continued while the other remained at rest.

...The ones who kept the Sabbath reached their destination first. Both the people and the horses were so rested by their Sabbath observance that they could travel much more vigorously and effectively the other six days of the week.

Marva J. Dawn

In Keeping the Sabbath Wholly, pg. 65-66


The Refrain

If YHWH doesn’t build the house, the builders work in vain; if YHWH doesn’t guard the city, the sentries watch in vain.

In vain you get up early and stay up late, sweating to make a living, because God loves us and provides for us even while we sleep.

Psalm 127:1-2


The Psalm

I will extol you, my God, my Ruler, and I will bless your Name forever and ever!

Every day will I bless you, and I will praise your Name forever and ever!

Great you are, YHWH, and greatly to be praised; your greatness is unfathomable.

Generation after generation praises your works and proclaims your mighty deeds;

they’ll speak of the splendor of your glorious majesty, and I will meditate on your wondrous acts.

They’ll discourse the power of your awesome deeds, and I will declare your greatness.

They’ll celebrate the fame of your abundant goodness, and I will joyfully sing of your justice.

YHWH, you are gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.

YHWH, you are good to all and compassionate toward all your creatures.

All your creatures will praise you, YHWH, and your holy people will bless you.

They will tell of the glory of your reign and speak of your strength.

You make known to all humankind your mighty acts and the glorious splendour of your reign.

Your reign is a reign for all the ages, and your dominion endures from generation to generation.

You lift up those who are falling and raise up those who are oppressed.

The eyes of all look to you in hope, and you give them their food in due season.

You open your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing.

YHWH, you are just in all your ways and loving toward all that you have created.

You are near to all who call upon you, all who call upon you in truth.

You fulfill the desires of those who revere you; you hear their cry and save them.

You watch over all who love you, YHWH, but you’ll destroy all who are corrupt.

My mouth will speak your praise, YHWH,

and may all creation bless your holy Name forever and ever!

Psalm 145


The Refrain

If YHWH doesn’t build the house, the builders work in vain; if YHWH doesn’t guard the city, the sentries watch in vain.

In vain you get up early and stay up late, sweating to make a living, because God loves us and provides for us even while we sleep.

Psalm 127:1-2


The Gloria

All glory to Almighty God

for love so deep, so high, so broad!

The Trinity whom we adore

forever and forever more.

15th c. Latin, translated by Benjamin Webb

PCC Hymn #205 O love, how deep, how broad, how high


The Lord’s Prayer


The Prayer Appointed for the Day

O God of peace and rest, help us to remember that you, indeed, are God, and that we are not. Sometimes we think that we must keep working or everything will fall apart. But this way of living denies your sovereignty. Help us to deepen our faith and trust in you so that we can keep the sabbath. As we find ourselves falling from exhaustion, let the words of Psalm 145 be true: that you lift up those who are falling. Help us to let go of our work and entrust it into your care so that we can receive the gift of refreshment and renewal that you give us on a day of rest. Thank you for being faithful and trustworthy. Thank you for the gift of the sabbath. Amen.


The Concluding Prayer of the Church

Almighty and everlasting God, you have brought us in safety to the beginning of this day. Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome with adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purposes; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Phyllis Tickle



Inspired by Phyllis Tickle’s The Divine Hours, Pocket Edition

Scripture translations either from the NRSV or The Inclusive Bible

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