Daily Bread August 16

The Night Shift
Helen Long of Mound City, KS, USA

Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each one to his home, and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!” -John 16:31-33

At his yearly physical the doctor told my husband, Richard, that he should have a routine procedure. After it was over the doctor told him there was a polyp that didn’t look quite right and he needed to send it off to be checked. He said we should receive a phone call from his office in a week to tell him the results.

A week went by, and then another. Richard called the doctor’s office to check on the results, but only got a recording saying he would soon receive the results. Another week went by. I was getting anxious. I lay awake in bed worrying about what was taking so long. I talked to God a lot. It was often only a two- or three-word prayer, “Lord, keep us safe,” or “Thanks for your blessings.”

God always seems to hear and answer my prayer, but do I listen when God talks to me? As I was lying in bed one night, praying and not sleeping, a phrase came to my mind, “You will be blessed with good health.” I couldn’t believe it. Where had I heard this phrase before? After about 10 minutes, it came to me. The exact phrase had been used in Richard’s evangelist blessing forty years ago. It’s true. He does have good health. We got the results a few days later, and everything was just fine. It’s an excellent reminder to always be ready to hear when God calls. God wants to have communication with us all day, and I guess God even has the night shift!

Prayer Phrase

“… the breath of the Almighty gives me life” (Job 33:4).

Spiritual Practice

Breathing God’s Compassion

Pay attention to your breathing and let it become calmer and deeper as you focus on God’s presence. Ask God to breathe in you. Imagine each breath carrying the light of God into your lungs, bloodstream, and every cell in your body until God’s Spirit fills you. Now imagine breathing out God’s compassion and grace each time you exhale, especially into places and situations in need of loving care. Give thanks to the Spirit, source of every breath, source of life.

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

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