Breathing In, Breathing Out

Day 2 of “31 Days of Journeying with the Jesus Prayer”

Lord Jesus Christ, merciful and loving Savior, make me ever mindful of your constant, gracious, empowering Presence and your heart of tender affection toward me.

Many who know me are aware that I’m frequently besieged by intense feelings of guilt—guilt that bombards my heart, mind, and soul, guilt that leaves me seemingly unable to fight back.

My counselor friend says this could be what psychologists call “magnification.” Others say it could be a form of spiritual attack. Perhaps it’s both. Regardless of the label, though, getting caught up in an overwhelming awareness of my sins, faults, and failures has a debilitating and paralyzing effect on me.

In fact, last night I awoke in the wee hours of the morning to find myself in just such a grip of guilt.

Enter my “Jesus Prayer” and a few lines of Matt Redman’s song “Your Grace Finds Me.”

Matt Redman sings of “breathing in God’s grace” and “breathing out his praise.” Last night, as I lay there wide awake in my all-consuming guilt, I slowly and deliberately began “breathing in” the grace of God’s mercies and “breathing out” my gratefulness for his forgiveness and for his tender, compassionate love toward me.

In Lamentations 3:19-23, God’s Word paints a picture of this same kind of exchange.

“I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.”


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