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Endurance for Difficult Days...
Marc Chagall -Detail

Breath Prayers

Finding Endurance for Difficult Days...

by John J. Parsons

Jeremiah 17:14  Hebrew Text

"Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved,
for you are my praise." (Jer. 17:14)

In times of severe testing people often do not need further teaching, but rather "endurance," or what the New Testament calls hupomone (ὑπομονή), a word that means "remaining [μένω] under [ὑπο]" the Divine Presence while being tested. Suffering people do not need moral platitudes from others, but only the will to believe, the resolution to stay constant, and to ability breathe out simple prayers for help to the LORD: "God have mercy..." "Help me, O God..." "I need Thee, O Lord..." When we receive grace to faithfully suffer, we hear the Spirit whispering back to us: "Be not afraid..." "Live in me..." "Walk in the light..." "I am with you always..." "You are loved..."

If you are afflicted, troubled, or in any kind of pain, you have a great opportunity to glorify your Father in Heaven by offering Him your praise.... Praising God is the appropriate response to all of reality; the affirmation of God's glory transforms everything. "Is anyone among you feeling bad? Let him pray. Is anyone feeling good? Let him sing praise" (James 5:13). Remember that regardless of how you presently feel, your emotional life is centered in the Presence of God... As George Mueller once affirmed, "Be assured – if you walk with Him and look to Him, and expect help from Him, He will never fail you."

Yeshua taught us to abstain from using "vain repetitions" in our prayers, since our Father knows what we need before we ask Him (Matt. 6:7-8). Don't focus on the verbiage of your prayers, then, but attend to the inner groan of your heart (Rom. 8:26). "When you pray, rather let thy heart be without words than thy words be without heart" (John Bunyan). Ultimately prayer is a kind of teshuvah, a word often translated as "repentance," though it's more accurately understood as turning (shuv) to God in response to His call. Sometimes you just come and present yourself in God's presence, without words, without requests... The point, of course, is that you come to the Lord to do real business with Him, not to play games or to offer him "lip service." Are we really "showing up" when we pray?

Hebrew-English Transliteration:

Hebrew Transliteration

refa'eini Adonai ve'erafei, hoshieini ve'ivashei'ah, ki tehillati attah

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