A Prayer for those Treading Water

Do you have a regular prayer that you repeat over and over?

Margaret Feinberg shared in her book Wonderstruck about a time she become so weary in spirit that all she could pray was:

God is good.
God is on the throne.
Breathe in.
Breathe out.

These were the words she whispered while making snow angels in the crumbs on her kitchen floor. It’s such a vivid picture of crying out to God.

Sometimes we get to seasons that just sap us. The weight of our burdens is too heavy. It’s not that we forget how to pray. We just don’t know what to pray anymore. Words elude us. Eloquent speech isn’t possible.

A simple stanza can help, not just to recalibrate our faith and focus, but also to force us to be still and know that He is still God.

As my kids get older, as I get older, my most common breath prayer comes from Psalm 90.

The short version: “Teach me to number my days that I may gain a heart of wisdom.”

The longer version:

Lord, become my dwelling place.
You are everlasting to everlasting.
Teach me to number my days.
Grant me a heart of wisdom.
May your favor rest on us.
Establish the work of our hands.

The writers of Scripture have given us so many beautiful affirmations of God’s character! We don’t need to be original. We don’t need to know what to ask for or how it all should end. We can borrow these ancient phrases, breathe them in and out, letting the truth sink into our being. Trusting our great and faithful Father to hear; trusting Jesus the Son to intercede on our behalf; trusting the Holy Spirit to translate the indecipherable mutterings of our hearts into the precise petitions that match our needs.

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