Friday, May 10, 2013

Knowing His Breath

A few weeks ago, there was a prayer gathering held for a friend of ours before her surgery for a double mastectomy. It happened at church after the Saturday night service we usually attend. A few close friends and members of our prayer team gathered to lay hands on this friend and pray – out loud – for her and her family.

Dan was serving in another area when we first started, but he arrived at the prayer group just as we bowed our heads, laid our hands on her, and closed our eyes. Dan was across the huddle from me when I last saw him before I closed my eyes. Sometimes at prayer groups like this, there are too many people and we can’t all touch the person being prayed for (would that person be called the prayee?). My eyes were closed when I felt a hand land on my shoulder. I figured it was one of the pastors beside me so I didn’t look up. And then, I heard it: a breath.

After one breath in and one breath out, I knew without a doubt that the hand on my shoulder didn’t belong to the pastor: it was my husband’s. I knew this – not because of the way his hand felt – but because of the way his breath sounded in my ears. I know the rhythm of my husband’s breath as well as I know my own.

In the midst of praying for my friend, two revelations hit me:

First: how beautiful it felt, after many years of separation in our faith, to be praying in public with my husband. He is a Christ-follower now, and I still never tire of the surprise and joy that brings me on a daily basis.

Second: have I spent enough time intimately connected to God that I could tell His presence in my life simply from His breath surrounding me? I want to be so deeply connected to my Father that I can sense Him near me just by the way the air moves when He stirs it.

Breathe on me, breath of God, breathe on me
Breathe on me, breath of God, breathe on me
I come alive, I’m alive when you breathe on me
I come alive, I’m alive when you breathe on me
Awake, awake, awake my soul,
God resurrect these bones
From death to life, for you alone
Awake my soul

(Chris Tomlin, “Awake My Soul”)

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