June 14, 2012
I was at the beach recently and got to see a bunch of people swimming. Some little kids can stay underwater for just a few seconds, while others can stay under for a long time … up to 90 seconds. I once had a friend, an Olympic water polo player, who could hold his breath for three and a half minutes! But no matter how long you hold your breath, everyone desperately needs to gasp for air when surfacing from under water.
In life, so many people are slowly asphyxiating. This spiritual suffocating manifests itself in many different responses: feeling overwhelmed, lonely, guilty, unimportant, ashamed, unsafe, worthless, stupid, left out, incompetent, lost in life, never catching up on tasks, craving a drink, needing coffee to get started, seeing the glass half empty, never getting a break, feeling unattractive, eating to soothe, being passed over, picked last, picked on. Some people feel flat out hopeless, helpless, and even suicidal. Why? Because they are not spiritually “breathing.”
To pray is to breathe. When people are not praying, they are spiritually suffocating. They’re on life support, dying … or maybe they have never really lived. Just as the body must have oxygen, our spirit, our essence, can’t survive without prayer … without breathing in God. His Word is our daily bread, and prayer is our daily breath.
Prayer is an opening of our hearts to God, who already dwells within us. Praying allows us further connection and understanding of His spiritual world … then our spiritual radar starts to get tuned and tweaked to God’s settings so we breathe Him in and connect more powerfully.
You see, as we pray, we tune our radar to His frequency, which allows us to receive His communication without clutter and interference. Using His clear guidance, life becomes easier and more fulfilling. We become more Christ-like as we know and follow Him.
Have you ever experienced that scary choking feeling when something was caught in your throat? Satan wants to deceive you into thinking you have more important things to breathe in each day. But Satan’s air is really carbon monoxide. His poisonous air actually obstructs our breathing and chokes us. Satan brainwashes us to think that talking to God is wasted time, an obstruction we can’t afford in our day. Don’t be so easily tricked.
Today, stop and do this exercise for me. Hold your breath as long as you can, then breathe. The urgency and powerful way you gasp for air represents how much you actually need God … every second of your life! Pray deeply and breathe easily … or avoid prayer and choke fearfully. What you breathe in is your decision. I pray you choose well, because your life depends on it.
Dear Father, I praise and honor You, my Lord. I know You have created everything. Even though I believe in You, at times I cannot breathe. I struggle for air like a swimmer who has gone too deep. And now I am rushing to the surface to gasp for air. Today, I feel like I will not make it to the top. I am learning now that You are my only source of air, my constant source of “life.” Infuse me with Your Holy Spirit, Lord. Help me regularly dedicate time to breathe You more deeply into my heart. I pray this in the name the One who fully and constantly breathed You in, Jesus Christ – and all God’s children say, AMEN!
What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 1 Corinthians 6:19
All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. John 1:3-4
For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for? Deuteronomy 4:7