Episode #87 Exiles, Waiting, and Unexpected Hope- Noticing God

4 Minutes Read

Rest More Resolution

From Today's Episode:

Welcome! We're in our Breath Prayer Series and today's topic is Psalm 23:6 Goodness Follows You.


Psalm 23:6

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Breath Prayer Options

Inhale: I am safe
Exhale: in your loving care.

Inhale: Your goodness and mercy,
Exhale: they follow me.

Here's the episode transcript

Breath prayer has become this simple little practice that pops up in so many areas of my life. I've actually found breath prayer to be a fun habit to incorporate in times of exercise. I am not a runner, but I do sometimes attempt to run. It's not uncommon when I'm trying to start that habit again, that I find myself out of breath. And I will simply talk to the Lord. And I will repeat over and over again, Inhale: Jesus. Exhale: I love you. Inhale: Jesus. Exhale: I love you. And so if you have been engaging with us, through this series, I hope that breath prayer proves to be as helpful and fun and engaging for you as it has for me.

We're wrapping up this series today as we conclude in Psalm 23:6 which says,

"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever." (Psalm 23:6)

There are two different versions of breath prayers that I have pulled from this verse. And maybe for you, it's an entirely different prayer. So as you've grown familiar with this practice, I encourage you. Find whatever prayers are resounding in your heart. Maybe it's even as you read through the whole of the psalm, you find yourself drawn back to a different passage. Or as you consider verse 6 here, there are certain words that jump out at you differently than the ones that are highlighted for me.

Talk with God about them. There's no special formula to the way that we approach this prayer. It's simply a practice of calming down, of focusing our attention on God and using simple phrases, using words from scripture to help us center our attention on him as we engage with the God who knows and loves us.

And the two prayers that jump out at me today, the first one is kind of what I consider my own personal summary of the whole of Psalm 23. And that summary is, I am safe in your loving care. As I reflect on God as my Good Shepherd, my caregiver, who guides me through, who sustains me through, who is my safety and my close companion as I navigate life. I love this opportunity to repeat that back to God as I breathe. I am safe in your loving care.

And the second prayer that is highlighted for me is the prevalence of God's goodness and mercy. The visual I see in this verse is really God's goodness before and behind and inviting us always.

We begin the whole of the Psalm with the Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want. He leads me. He makes me lie down. God goes with and God goes before. And then we end the Psalm with his goodness and mercy following me, coming behind me. And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever, that I come into the place where God's spirit dwells and I get to, live and rest and thrive in God's presence.

God before me, God behind me, God around me.

The breath prayer that reminds me of is really focusing on what comes after me. Your goodness and your mercy follow me.

As God guides us through life, as we learn to walk and rest and receive and eat and be with him, his goodness and his mercy follow behind us. Even in the times when I'm not aware of it, or it may be harder to recognize in my day-to-day life, I know that his word is true. So I know that his goodness and mercy follow me. I can ask him, God, let me see that of you. Let me know that of you more fully.

And so as we close out this episode and wrap up this series, I'm going to leave you with your options for what you want to talk with God about. I'll repeat these two different breath prayers, and I encourage you to engage in what stirs within your own heart as a way to connect with God.

As a quick housekeeping item, next week, we're actually going to be having two more encore episodes. If you're familiar with those episodes, I encourage you, don't just skip them, engage with God through them again. Bring it afresh into your experience with God and seize this opportunity to connect with God in a new way.

And so we're closing out this episode with two different breath prayers. The first one is:

Inhale: I am safe

Exhale: in your loving care.

And our second one,

Inhale: Your goodness and mercy,

Exhale: they follow me.

Have a good talk.

And if you've been encouraged by this content, please share it with a friend and help them grow in their conversational relationship with God too!

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