Every day is a great time to pray so why are we focussing on Sunday prayers?
Well, for many Christians, Sunday is an important day and is often seen as the Sabbath. It will often include a church service or gathering, which involves worship and fellowship with other Christians.
Another big part of it is prayer. It is through this that we connect with God, the source of life.
We’ve got some Sunday prayer ideas below but first it might be a good idea to look at what the Sabbath is and why rest and prayer are important.
What is the Sabbath?
The Sabbath isn’t exclusive to Christianity. It is a Jewish custom that was adopted and adapted by the early Christians.
In Judaism the Sabbath typically takes place on a Saturday – the seventh or last day of the week. This is seen as representing the seventh day of creation, when God rested.
But with the resurrection taking place on the first day of the week – Sunday – as well as the significance of new life, the early Christians switched the Sabbath to Sunday. This was also partly influenced by the increasing number of Gentile converts who were keen to move away from Jewish tradition.
The meaning of Sabbath also changed as it was adopted by Christians. For Jews, the day of rest involved literally no work. It meant abstaining from things requiring effort including writing, construction, starting a fire and more.
For Christians however, it became a day of celebration, with communal and congregational prayer, worship and preaching becoming more common. This is more like the typical Christian Sunday we see today. That said, it should still be a day of rest, and many would argue we have forgotten how to rest well.
It also doesn’t have to be on a Sunday. Many Christians have their Sabbath on a Sunday because that’s when it is easiest for them to do it. This won’t be the case for everyone, including church leaders and pastors who are working on this day and will often have their Sabbath on another day.
The importance of rest and Sunday prayer
Whenever your Sabbath is, it’s clearly an important part of any Christian’s week.
Scripture relating to the Sabbath is found in the ten commandments in Exodus. There is a clear instruction in Exodus 20:8-11 about what the Jews should do on the Sabbath; that is, they should keep the day holy and free of work.
Like many of the laws that God gave us, over time, legalism crept in. Instead of the Sabbath being about God’s best for us, it was about abiding by rules and laws. The true purpose of Sabbath is for our benefit and restoration. Although work is good, we aren’t meant to do it all the time and it is in our nature to rest.
Our lives are unsustainable without rest. A true Sabbath includes time spent delighting in God’s presence and the gifts He has given us and this includes spending time in prayer.
Praying on your Sabbath day
Let’s assume that your Sabbath is on a Sunday. You’ll probably go to a church service, but you may also want to spend time on Sunday prayer.
Here are some ideas for prayer around different themes.
Sunday Prayers and Blessings
Father, I welcome You here in this place. Mighty Creator, thank You for being trustworthy and a solid rock on which I can build my life. Thank You for bringing me to this point. This week, for all its blessings and struggles, has been better for having You in it.
I’m glad and grateful that I can now rest after a hard week of work. Whatever challenges I have faced I can now put them aside because I have this time to rest. This is a great blessing.
As I reflect on all that you have given me this week, I thank You for Your faithfulness. I think of the good things I have at home and in nature, that I can enjoy this Sunday. Thank You for the comfort of my house and thank You for the opportunity to consider the beauty of Your creation, good food and the company of friends and family.
I commit this day to You, in Jesus name, Amen.
Merciful and Holy God, forgive me for the times I have not put You first this week. I’m sorry for when I have chased after worldly gains and desires; when I have sought comfort, not from You, the unchanging, overflowing source of life, but from worldly, temporary things.
I’m sorry for the words that have come out of my mouth that have not reflected You or shown the best in me. Forgive me, Lord and grant me peace and a fresh perspective.
On this Sabbath day I come before You acknowledging that I haven’t always kept this day Holy. I have let the busy-ness of life get in the way and I haven’t prioritised time with You. I haven’t acknowledged the good gifts You have given me and I haven’t taken time to pause and recharge. This is something I am trying to change.
Lord, I know You delight in a repentant heart. In Your mercy, hear my prayer.
Hope and intercession
Lord God, let Your kingdom come. As you taught us to pray, ‘Your will be done, as it is in heaven’. In some small way, Lord, would this Sabbath day be a foretaste of Your coming kingdom – a glimpse of heaven. In my home and in my community, would Your light shine in the darkness.
Help me to be Your hands and feet this day. Whatever I set my hands to, would it glorify and honour You. A pleasant and sweet offering to You. This time I have is not for my own self-indulgence but to delight in You and in what You have given me. It is to acknowledge the creator of all things and to use what I have for Your glory.
Above all, Lord, let this be a day when I draw closer to You and have a greater sense of Your presence. I pray that I would know You more deeply and get an insight into what You want for my life. There is nothing greater than Your presence. There is nothing more comforting than knowing You have a plan.
Holy Spirit, come and have your way. Rest on me, I pray. Amen.
For more Sunday prayer ideas and devotionals to use this Sunday, head to the Glorify app.
Featured Image: Jon Tyson