“Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly of heart: and you shall find rest unto your soul.” (Matthew 11:28-29)
The Bible says, “You do not have, because you do not ask” (James 4:2), as if to say that if you’d only been praying for what you need, you’d already have it by now ….
But has that been your experience? Is it really true?
Well, I’d say that depends on what you’re asking for. You may be asking God for lots of stuff and not seeing answers, but if you’ll ask Him for the right stuff, your prayers would be answered so fast and so fully that you’d wonder why you didn’t start praying this way years ago …..
What kind of stuff? Well, I could pull any number of examples from Scripture, but let’s go with this one: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Do you ever feel that way? Weary? Weighted down? Burdened under the heavy loads of life? I know I have. And it’s horrible. Debilitating. Yet, I can categorically assure you, based on the authority of God’s Word, that if you’ll get alone with Him, kneel down before Him, seek His face, and consistently ask Him to fulfill the promise of this verse in your life, He will give you relief from your many cares and burdens, and your spirit will be refreshed …..
I guarantee it. God is not a man that He should lie. Just as it is written: “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivereth them out of them all.” (Psalm 34:19), and that is a promise ….
But it means asking for rest the way Jesus said to ask for it: “Take my yoke upon you . . .” The yoke, you probably know, was a harness that fit around the neck of an ox as a farmer was plowing his field. The interior of the yoke contained a series of barbs or spikes, so that if the ox felt any inclination to go in a different direction than where the farmer was leading, a stab of pain would indicate the foolishness of that choice. The ox could only go straight ahead ….
Also written is: “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, ‘This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and to the left.” (Isaiah 30:21).
And we all should know the beautiful promises in Proverbs 3, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart: and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
I would ask you today, are you willing to wear that yoke? The yoke of Jesus? During His life on earth, Jesus demonstrated what His yoke entailed: no pride, no self-importance, no expectation of others, no disappointment when people failed Him. He “made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant” (Philippians 2:7). His life was one of complete and total selflessness ….
And if you’ll prayerfully get inside that yoke with Him, where He says you can “learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart,” you’ll be given “rest” for your soul. You’ll feel the heavy burdens lifting off you. You will have what you ask for, because you aren’t just asking for peripheral, pointless, selfish stuff. You’re asking for the right stuff, the good stuff, the deeper stuff that takes you to the end of yourself and to the edge of something greater …..
Prayer is not only the process of getting something from God. Prayer is the process of getting to the place where you’re asking for the will of God, and you’re asking it for the right reasons. Prayer is the process of becoming spiritually fit to receive what God is already willing to do — like giving you rest, comforting you in your labors, and enabling you to live for Him alone, as His own Son did ….
But how many people are actually willing to pray for that?
I can assure you, you’ll see your prayers answered if you do. I have witnessed countless miracles in my own life as a result of faith and obedience. I challenge you today to come; to lay your burdens at the feet of Jesus, and simply breathe, simply rest awhile ….
Let us pray ~
Lord, thank You for caring about the weighty concerns and many pressures that I am carrying right now. And thank You for Your Word and Your promises which bring me hope and assures me that Your desire is to carry my burdens for me, to give me a rest, the only true rest that comes from a selfless heart. Help me to live with a truly Christ- centered perspective, and help me walk with a confident trust in Your ability to keep me upright, empowered, and able to serve You. I come today, fully surrendered to this yoke, and expecting the freedom that You’ve promised me. In the matchless name of Jesus I pray, Amen …..