Litany for Rest and Balance

Because I am a thirty-something mom whose main daily job is to take care of two small people, I end up talking to a lot of other thirty-something moms in a similar grind. The refrain I hear over and over again is: "I need rest. I need balance." We are all trying to figure out how to balance our responsibilities to our families, our household responsibilities, our relationship needs and responsibilities, our community responsibilities, our career responsibilities, and still find time for some self-actualization, soul care, and body care in the midst of it. It's tricky. I realize it's not just moms who are preoccupied with this problem either, nor is it just parents. I predict that this won't be the last prayer I write about rest and balance, but here it is, the first.
 

God, we hear your invitation to us:
“Come to me, you who are weary and heavy burdened. I will give you rest.”

We acknowledge our souls’ need for rest and quiet nourishment.
We lay down our burdens.
We acknowledge our souls’ need of connection with You.
We turn our intentions toward You now.

We confess our tendency to overlook rest as a necessary part of soul and self care.
We confess our pride in thinking that our work is so important that we may not set it down.
We confess our readiness to believe that what we do determines our worth.
We confess our obsession with productivity, results, measurable progress.
We confess our neglect of the good soil of our souls.
We confess our tendency to forget that it is in You that we live and move and have our being
   and that Your love is better than life.

We ask now for body, mind, spirit, whole-person nourishment.
  For rest and resurrection,
  For new life,
  For healing and consolation of our souls.
We ask for help managing our time and activities so that our
  In-fillings
  Keep up with our
  out-pourings.

Where we have overspent ourselves
Refresh us.
Where we have misplaced our priorities
Re-arrange us.
Where we have said yes when we should have said no
Remind us.

We thank You for meaningful work; for blessings and burdens.
We thank You for rest.
May we become present to our great need for
Daily bread: the presence of Christ in our lives.

Amen

 

Litany for Retreat

*This litany was originally written for a retreat for gathered worship leaders in the Vineyard movement, of which I am a part. The congregational refrain is the simple "hallelujah." I think this lends itself to various types of retreats for both leaders and lay-folk.

Oh God, we are reminded that You are the Author of work, rest, and play.
Hallelujah
We recognize our being made in Your image, having need of all three.
Hallelujah
With consciousness and intention, we now set aside our daily tasks and make space for relaxation, revival, and enjoyment.
Hallelujah
We breathe deeply of Your presence, and drink deeply of Your delight.
Hallelujah
We pray for open ears and soft hearts, that we might hear Your renewed calling on our lives and be willing to accept it.
Hallelujah
We soak in the freedom and joy of being among people who share in our passions.
Hallelujah
May we emerge from our respite with clean hands, pure hearts, and steadfast spirits.
Hallelujah
At the end of our rest, may we re-enter our ministries with refreshed balance, purpose, energy, and clarity.
Hallelujah

Amen