Your identity, worth, meaning, and joy are in Christ alone – not in your performance or what people think of you. This is why the Apostle Paul urges us to place ourselves “in Christ” 110 times in his New Testament letters.
In Christ. What does it mean to be in Christ? Simply put, it is to enter the sabbath rest of the Lord Jesus’ Christ’s embrace.
Jesus’ arms are open to you – now and always! Perhaps the best way to appreciate this to take a “Selah.” (“Selah” is used 71 times by the Psalmist to invite us to pause and reflect as part of our prayers.)
I’d like to share with you one of a favorite little prayer that can help you to experience the blessing of knowing that your identity is in Christ alone: “In Christ alone my soul finds rest… Selah” (inspired by Psalm 62:1,5).
I invite you to pause and take a breather now. Refresh your soul in Christ. Form your heart around the desire to seek Christ alone as your source in all that you do by praying slowly, over and over:
“In Christ Alone my soul finds rest… Selah.”
A Breath Prayer
Try this as a Breath Prayer. Do you know what a Breath Prayer is? It’s an ancient way to pray a phrase (or paraphrase) of Scripture. It’s a simple way of using your body in prayer to help you engage your mind and heart with God’s Word, the risen Christ of Scripture who is in your midst.
It’s also refreshing!
Breathe in slow and deep as you whisper or think: “In Christ Alone my soul finds rest…” Then breathe out: “Selah.”
Repeat this a few times, letting your rhythm of breathing become a prayer:
Breathe in and focus on trusting Christ: “In Christ alone my soul finds rest…”
Hold your breath and focus on keeping Christ in your heart…
Exhale and focus on letting go everything but Jesus: “Selah…”
A Simplifying Breath Prayer
You can also try this as a Simplifying Breath Prayer, doing one line per breath, to help you simply to pray Christ:
In Christ alone my soul finds rest… Selah
In Christ alone my soul… Selah
In Christ alone… Selah
In Christ… Selah
Virtue and Emotions
To go farther with the prayer, try replacing the word “rest” with each of the five fruitful, virtuous states of being: “faith”, “hope”, “love”, “joy”, “peace.” Go through the whole prayer for each virtue.
This will help you to cultivate a healthy emotional make up, which is an essential part of spiritual transformation in Christ. These five godly states of being have positive, pleasant, and energizing emotions associated with them!
Another way to use a Scripture prayer like this is to ask God to help you “grow in grace” (2 Peter 3:8) as it relates to particular difficulties or challenges in your life. For instance:
- Criticism. “Dear God, it’s hard for me to be criticized. When people say hurtful things about me help me not to feel bad but to rest in your embrace. Yes, “In Christ alone my soul finds love… Selah.”
- Temptation. “Father, as I face the temptation to ______ may I instead live in the sufficiency of your kingdom, praying: “In Christ alone my soul finds joy… Selah.”
- Conflict. “Lord, as I have this difficult conversation with my friend help me to remember: “In Christ alone my soul finds peace… Selah.”
It’s easy to memorize: “In Christ alone my soul finds rest… Selah.” Then you can offer a quick Breath Prayer throughout the day to help you to practice God’s presence. What peace will be yours! What a blessing you’ll be able to be to the people you encounter.
The Bible is full of wonderful promises about your Identity in Christ.