When I was in my junior high years we lived in the small town of Sherrill, NY, on a street with nine guys within a year of each other in age. We had a lot of fun and got into some innocent trouble together. A great time in life!
Catch a Breath and PrayI have recently found myself praying with the wind knocked out of me. You know those times. It’s when things are not going well and you’re attacked on every side. Every little thing goes wrong, and you feel like you can’t catch a break (or a breath). How do you pray and walk in faith during those seasons? How can you pray in a way that allows you to catch your breath, get up, and move forward? Some people would advocate praying the Psalms during this time. Nothing wrong with that remedy. But for me, in this situation I go to a passage from one of Paul’s letters:
Just as I had to force myself to try to breathe when I got the wind knocked out of me, I force myself in these challenging times to rejoice. I think of the good things I have, the things that are going well—and I begin to praise Jesus for those things. It is amazing how this simple practice can fill your spiritual lungs with air again. Try it. You’ll breathe again! –Jonathan Graf is the publisher of Prayer Connect and a popular speaker on the subject of prayer. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.orgRejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things (Phil. 4:4–8).