Everyday life is full of bumps and jolts. You lose your keys in the bottomless pit of your purse. Your car stops running in the middle of a 4 lane street, and your husband’s out of town. Your teenager is upset with you because you won’t let her go to a Pink Floyd concert in a city 9 hours away. It’s easy to lose your cool.
My days start out calm and quiet. My favorite time of day is the half hour I spend reading my bible and praying. Sometimes I feel like God is right there in the kitchen with me, and I can almost hear Him speaking to me as I read. Then my day gets started, and when the leak that we’ve already had repaired three times starts up again in the bathroom, God goes out the window. I pretty much forget all about Him and the things I heard Him say to me in the morning.
That’s why I write breath prayers.
A breath prayer is a one sentence prayer that I can recall automatically when my mind is too full to think of anything else. Most mornings during my time with God, I write a short prayer based on a scripture I read. Other days it’s a heartfelt response to whatever I’m going through. Here are a few of the short prayers I’ve written for myself:
“I love you, O Lord, my strength.” (Psalm 18)
“Lord, bless me and keep me. Make your face shine on me.” (Numbers 6:23)
“Lord, may your joy be my strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10)
“Holy Spirit, come and fill me.”
“Lord, I want to embrace the life you have for me today.”
“Not my way, but yours.”
Later during the day, as I run down the three flights of stairs in our apartment building, I remember my breath prayer. When my teenagers blow up at me, or the afternoon witching hour when I cook dinner and everyone’s grouchy seems particularly hard, it helps just to say a quick prayer like, “Come Lord Jesus, and give me your peace.” It’s my way of opening a window for God to come in.
Do I remember and use these short prayers every day?
Honestly, no. Many days I write a prayer in the morning and forget all about it until the next day. Other days my breath prayer comes to mind easily, and it really helps me to connect with God when life gets busy and hectic.
Either way, whether I remember or forget, God is there waiting for me to come to Him. He doesn’t miss a single heartbeat, whether I’m thinking of Him or not.
Can you relate to forgetting God when life gets out of control? What helps you to stay connected?