Practice Sabbath

You are here because you have decided to possibly try the Sabbath. That is great.

It is good to remember that this is not something we have to do, but it is a useful practice in helping us remember who we are, who God is and how we can trust Him. So as you step into practicing the Sabbath, be sure to give yourself grace and to have fun with it.

Look at it as an experiment.


The first thing you will want to do is to set a time period where you will try the Sabbath. As with any practice, you will want to start where you are, not where you want to be. You don't start bench pressing 200 lbs your first day in the gym, you start with an empty barbell and work your way up. So maybe a whole day does not seem feasible. Start with 4 hours or half a day.

But also commit to doing your Sabbath every week for at least a couple of months. This will get you through the initial uncomfortable period, into the blessing an joy that Sabbath can become.

Figure out your Ritual

Here is a video of a pastor from Portland describing his family's practice. There might be things from his practice you want to incorporate, you might want to do something totally different. But it is a good place to start the conversation.

So how do you build your own Ritual? Practicing the Way, a website that is focused around Spiritual Disciplines like this gives us this guide.

If you read the wider Sabbath literature, some of which is as old as the New Testament itself, you discover there are 12 common activities that fill up a traditional Sabbath.

1. Lighting the candles

2. Blessing the children

3. Eating a Sabbath meal

4. Expressing gratitude

5. Singing

6. Worshiping with your church

7. Walking

8. Napping

9. Making love to your spouse

10. Reading, especially Scripture

11. Spending time alone with God

12. Spending time with family and friends in conversation and celebration

This is not a “to-do list,” but more like 12 best practices that you are invited to grow into over time as your heart desires. They recommend you pick at least 3 to start with.

Try it out

Now that you know when to do it, and what to do, go for it.


For more thoughts on this, check out these resources:

Sabbath by Dan Allender

Sabbath by Abraham Heschel

A Conversation between John Mark Comer and Andy Crouch

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