Live From Rest:
Blaise Pascal famously said: ‘All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone’
Into this frantic and addictive restlessness, the Live from Rest app offers an invitation to the practice of Biblical meditation ‘rooted in the way of Jesus’. As the app slogan puts it: ‘In a world obsessed with doing, we are discovering the ancient art of being’.
In essence the app allows you to customise a range of spoken-word meditations, with a variety of themes, backing tracks and lengths. Father and son duo Steve and Joshua Luke Smith say they created the app because ‘they needed it’. Instinctively we can find ourselves busily rushing through life to get to rest, rather than living from rest. Their burden is to help Christians ‘find and maintain a place of peace’ by discovering the ‘rhythm of rest God always intended you to have’.
I’m sure Live from Rest offers something that many readers won’t be used to. Whilst the creators are unashamed about the ‘up front’ role Scripture plays in the meditations, it is intentionally not a ‘study-based’ approach to the Bible. Passages are read out in the context of a themed reflection, and then gently explored in dulcet tones, perhaps with calming synths or birdsong in the background.
Often the meditations will also reference breathing and body positions, with a recognition that we are embodied creatures. I know evangelical friends who have found this holistic focus both refreshing and rewarding. These are bitesize and accessible and could be done on a commute, a lunch-break, or while a toddler naps.
Steve Smith is a medical doctor specialising in addiction, and one of the strengths of the meditations is the collection on ‘freedom’. There are meditations on battling shame, pornography and lust, anger, and over-eating. These include prayers of confession and repentance; the language is often framed as choosing truth and ‘breaking agreement’ with lies.
A minor quibble was that once you download the app, you have to share your email address before you can access it. As someone keen to trial the app, this rather put me off and didn’t feel too restful a welcome!
A lot of wisdom, expertise and skill has gone into the app, and it is now all available for free. Pastorally, my instinct is that, as a part of someone’s devotional practice, Live from Rest will undoubtedly holistically enrich a Christian’s life.
The Live From Rest website is here.
A version of this article was first published here in the May 2021 Issue of Evangelicals Now and is shared here with permission. EN is a monthly newspaper published in print and online, offering a biblical perspective on current issues and insight on what’s happening with God’s people worldwide. Online subscription is just £10 p/a with print & online combined for just £18. Order a free sample or subscribe here.