David had a breath prayer that kept him rooted to reality. Some call such a prayer ‘self talk.’ The difference between them is where your confidence lies; Are you reminding yourself of God’s truth or are you trying to convince yourself you can handle the situation? A breath prayer is not a talisman that wards off harm. It is reconnection to God’s word of love and promise.
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1
David was in danger. He knew it. Fear was out there, lurking, ready to distract him from his purpose. He counters fear’s tactics by facing it head on, naming the aspect of God’s character he needed at that moment and reframing his relationship with fear. He could have prayed, “God, I’m so afraid, save me.” Such a prayer gives fear power, makes him fear’s potential victim. Instead he announces, “God is my light, salvation and stronghold, whom shall I fear?” The answer is no one. His confidence is bolstered by this truth.
I have to go to a dinner party tonight. Anxiety about meeting new people, making interesting small talk and looking ‘good’ is out there, lurking. I could pray, “Lord, help me to be confident in who you’ve made me.” or I could declare, “God of love, you love me, of whom shall I be afraid?”
What is your breath prayer du jour?