November 20, 2017

Breathe In, Breathe Out by Joylene M. Bailey

I can’t say I have a strategy for prayer for my writing. I am not in the habit of praying in a specific way before each writing day. But I do usually start my day with the prayer: Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.

I believe that when I am in an attitude of listening for God’s voice, for the Spirit’s nudging, then whatever I do, whether writing or doing the dishes, it is done with a heart open for God to work through me.  

Prayer is a little like breathing.
Breathe out – LORD, use my words.
Breathe in – God speaks.
Breathe out - May your love, your heart flow through me onto the page.
Breathe in – God directs, nudges, affirms.
Breathe out – Thank you for Your guidance and Your wisdom.

Yes, there are times when I do spiritual battle over a piece of writing, and then I get very specific in my prayer for that writing at that time. But the breathing kind of prayer is such that anything can happen in any moment.

It is such an unconscious thing at times that an idea will seem to come from nowhere (but of course I know God has sparked it). This was very clear when I wrote a poem for Christmas one year. I didn’t know I would be writing a poem but suddenly there was this rhythm in my head. First came the rhythm, then came the idea, then came the hard work of finding and fitting words to the rhythm and to the theme. During that whole busy week, in which I had little time to write, the rhythm and the words came stronger and stronger. It was hard work but it was work I knew I wasn’t doing alone. As I wrote, it seemed that God was right there, looking over my shoulder saying, “Uhuh, uhuh. No that word doesn’t work, try something else. Very good! That’s coming along.” He gave the rhythm. He gave the idea. I did the work, with His constant blessing. None of that would have happened if I hadn’t been in an attitude of listening for His voice.

I do often hear those other voices Glynis talks about, and I often succumb to self-condemnation. However, God’s voice is never condemning. That’s how I know it is His. I have found that if I ask God to speak and really open my heart to listen, He will lead in whatever I do.

Photo by Pixabay

Joylene writes at Scraps of Joy.


  1. I like the way you use just the right word... must be God over your shoulder!

  2. Thanks for this encouraging blog, Joylene, that reminds us that praying is like breathing and that God is our greatest encourager if we just tune into what he is telling us. Prayer is a conversation with God. You make it clear that the listening is as important as the speaking.

  3. I agree wholeheartedly on the breathing in, breathing out. I think the subconsciousness of it all is how His spirit gets so intertwined with our being ... I think that is how it is meant to be when Christ dwells in us. I really connected with this post. Was hoping you might have included the Christmas poem as well :) Thank you.


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