Is your heart smiling? Are you appreciating that God is with you? The risen Christ is beside you as you read these words. You can see Jesus’ smiling face in your heart!

Smile with Jesus

So take a deep breath to behold Christ in your heart… Smile as you breathe out!

What joy it is to pause and appreciate Christ in our hearts! What grace comes to us and others as we pray the name of Jesus Christ! Try praying with me the name of Jesus in Psalm 73:26: “Lord Jesus Christ / Be the strength of my heart / And my portion forever.

As you pray seek for God’s Word to descend from your mind down into your heart (your will and orientation for life). You can take it deeper into your soul by meditating on it and breathing it in and out as a Breath Prayer (using your body to help you to engage your mind with Christ).

Breath Prayer Example

Here’s a rhythm to try with this Breath Prayer meditation on Psalm 73:26 (it’ll help you to appreciate Jesus’ smiling face!):

  • Wait to breathe and as you feel the desire to breathe cultivate your longing for your Savior by praying, “Lord Jesus Christ.”
  • Breathe in slow and deep as you receive God’s blessing, “Be the strength of my heart.” Then hold your breath and your consciousness on the Spirit of Christ living in your heart.
  • As you breathe out smile, “And my portion forever.” God is really enough for you so you can let go of everything else.

You might stay with this prayer for awhile…

You can try the same Breath Prayer pattern with my paraphrase of Psalm 73:26: “Lord Jesus Christ / Be the smile of my heart / And my delight forever.” (Paraphrasing Scripture is a great approach to meditation.)

A Holy Habit of the Heart

Abiding in Prayer like this for five minutes or so helps the prayer to imprint in your mind so that you can call it up for meditation as you go about your day. With practice you can learn to delight in Jesus as you rise from bed in the morning and lay down at night, as you work and play, as you wait or are driving from one place to another, as you brush your teeth and do kitchen work.

Or do you have something better than Jesus to think about?

I’m sure you want to have Jesus on your heart as much as possible! Over time if you work with a Breath Prayer in this way you might be surprised to find yourself praying it when you didn’t even intend to do so! That’s the heart habit that the Anonymous Russian Pilgrim of the 19th Century developed using the ancient “Jesus Prayer.” You’d be inspired by reading his amazing story of being transformed by a little prayer.

In the ministry of Soul Shepherding we help pastors, pastors’ wives, missionaries, and other leaders and caregivers to delight in Jesus and be renewed for ongoing ministry.

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