Saturday, October 1, 2011

Sabbath Moments - Prostrate Before God

Sabbath moments are a way of taking time to rest in God, to enjoy God in silence or in nature. The word sabbath comes from a Hebrew word meaning "cease." And that is what we need to do sometimes, cease our activity and live in the moment and breathe in God.

Priests do it during their Ordination Mass.

Moses did it for 40 days and 40 nights interceding for God's mercy for the Israelites as recorded in Deuteronomy 9:25.

Judas Maccabees and his companions, who with "Help from God" (2 Macc. 8:23)freed Israel from the oppression, tryanny, and injustice of the Hellenists, did it as recorded in 2 Maccabees 10:4.

My first sabbath moment this week was Wednesday after work, when I stopped in our church between leaving work and picking up my children from school.  We have one of those numeric code key boxes, so we can get in anytime to pray.  I didn't bother with the lights.  The sanctuary candle was lit, and there was light coming in through the stained glass windows.

It had been a very frustrating week and a half at my new client.  Most of all because of the laptop they issued me.  I was having one problem after another with it.  I would give you the geeky details but you would go into scan mode or bounce away fast.

Oh,  forgot to mention that at 4:30 p.m., after I abandoned my laptop to the PC tech, as it would no longer boot up, I was assigned to have a presentation ready for "Senior Management" by 11 a.m. the next day.  "Senior Management" titles at this company end in "of North America".

The bigger problem eating at me was the coldness that was creeping into our married life.  Don't want to expand on that more, but you can imagine it was a double whammy situation going.  Between the home situation, and the zero productivity situation at work, I was having a hard time.

Well, I went into the church, and went right before the sanctuary, and went down into prostrate praying position.  I usually begin my prayer, when I have solitude in this church, by going down into the prostrate position that is more like the child pose in yoga.

This was no child pose prayer moment though.  Earlier in the day, I am not sure now of the source (well I am sure of the Source, source, but not where I read it), I came upon Philippians 4:5-7

5Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.
6Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
7and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
When I am really in a situation where I am clearly in need of divine intervention, or someone else I care about is, or I am praying in profound gratitude after God has acted, then I go to the full prostrate position, more like the priests in the top picture.  To me it is the most whole-hearted prayer posture of realizing my nothingness, sinfulness before God, and my desperate need of his love, and active hand in my life.

I laid my problems out, yes even the laptop problem--yes seems like small potatoes.  I prayed for my marriage too.  I prayed in confidence that I knew he loved me, that I adored him, and would he please help me according to his will, when He willed to do it.

God heard my prayer.
  • It seemed that later that night we were past whatever the disagreement was that left the prolonged coldness going on at home.  
  • I was able to wake up at 4:30 a.m. and get the presentation in decent shape on my own laptop, before the kids were ready to eat breakfast before school.  
  • When I got into work, the PC tech, who was a bit cold toward me the prior 4 times I stopped by the lab, had my laptop ready and it was working like a dream.  He even, without me asking him, put large fonts on everything for me, and made the color scheme more neutral and consistent.  I don't know why he thought to do this, i had a few larger fonts, and he and I are around the same age where eyes decline, but it was better than I could have hoped for.
  • The presentation was done and reviewed at 11 with no suggested changes by the VP that needed to present it later.
  • I found a new fresh water filter for our turtle vivarium in a saltwater only shop, and it was on clearance.  Our other filter had a hairline crack and has been leaking water for weeks.  This new one stays on the inside of the tank, and is much quieter.
  • A man in a hobby shop soldered a new battery for just $5, that shipped from China two years ago but has sat in our garage receiving monthly comments from my husband as to when it was going to be taken care of, or "Should (he) just throw out the toy jeep?"
  • I was asked to be the head basketball coach for the girls JV and Varsity basketball teams at my daughter's high school.  This is a major miracle, but this post's length as it is, I'll have to go into it another time.
I thought it was one of the best days of my life, and I had a giddy joy on the drive home that God had acted on my behalf. 

Am I just being simple attributing all these good things that just happened to happen all in a row within a 24 hour period to God?

Was it just luck, or good fortune, or whatever a non-believer would term it?

Or was it the God of Joseph:

And the Lord was with him, and he was a prosperous man in all things:  and he dwelt in his master's house:  Who knew very well that the Lord was with him, and made all that he did to prosper in his hand.  (Genesis 39:2-3)

Or the God of Daniel, who he faithfully served, praying on his knees three times a day even after the decree that no one pray except to the king. The God who saved him from the lions and then prospered him ever after.  
There are some very holy and faithful people that are poor and struggling. There are other men and women of faith that were not saved from martyrs' deaths. Still I am thankful that God worked things out to my benefit.
He did hear my prayer. He is the great I AM!

I stopped into a church closer to home a little over 24 hours later. As it was the Holy Hour, and there were a number of folks praying the rosary, I did not do the full prostration in front of the monstrance. I did though do the child pose like version of a prostration, on the side, in the back, to thank my Lord and God for his favor and love.  

It was the second Sabbath moment of the week. Thank you to Colleen at Thoughts on Grace for hosting.


  1. I just love this. Sometimes God just answers our prayers so quickly that we are just caught unawares. Like really, Lord, you were really really listening?
    I heard once that prayer does not change God's mind. Prayer changes our minds. Sometimes our whole attitude gets changed around and solutions then come to us. Or we see things in a different light. Whatever. God is good.
    Prostration is such a symbol of humility. I am always so moved by it when I go to an ordination. When my husband was ordained a deacon, I had all I could do not to weep out loud!
    This comment is turning into a post!
    Great post, Colleen. Thanks for joining me in Sabbath Moments!

  2. This is a great comment, Colleen. Now when I look at the top picture I think it is an ordination of deacons, not priests, because of the diagonally placed stole. I know priests are deacons when they are ordained, but I don't think they are wearing the deacon stole when they are ordained. You probably know!

  3. I am praying that all is well with you and your family.

    God bless.

  4. Thank you for your prayers, Victor. God Bless You, Too!