Enter into this time of prayer.

Place one hand on your upper chest and the other just below your rib cage.

Breathe in deeply and slowly through your nose. Feel your torso expand. Breathe out slowly.

Thank God for the gift of Life inside of you.

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I raise my eyes toward the mountains. Where will my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. God won’t let your foot slip. Your protector won’t fall asleep on the job. No! Israel’s protector never sleeps or rests! The Lord is your protector; the Lord is your shade right beside you. The sun won’t strike you during the day; neither will the moon at night. The Lord will protect you from all evil; God will protect your very life. The Lord will protect you on your journeys— whether going or coming— from now until forever from now.

Psalm 121

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On my best days, I believe Psalm 121 word for word. I am invincible – covered in the cloak of God’s everlasting protection. I am Teflon! Pain and suffering slide off me like pancakes from my favorite nonstick pan.

My best days occur as frequently as the leap year.

The rest of my days, I swing between a sure sense of God’s hand at my side and an even surer sense that I have been forgotten, overlooked, lost in a thicket on the hillside, like a wayward sheep. The sun and moon strike me; evil nips at my heels like a wolf to a lamb.

Maybe I exaggerate.

But the Psalmist sings us toward faith. We pray toward faith. We pray that what we believe may be true, even when we do not feel its truth. We live toward faith. We live as if we feel God’s cloak of protection covering our shoulders, even when we cannot feel it.

This I can say with confidence: I will sing, speak, pray, and live toward faith all my days, trusting that what I cannot see, God can still accomplish.

Sarah McCaslin

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God, on my best days, I shout my faith to the hillsides. On all other days, I whisper from the thicket, trusting that you will lift me up, pull me out, and carry me to everlasting safety in your arms. Amen.

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God’s one-of-a-kind job description is that God actually uses our problems to lead us to the full solution. God is the perfect Recycler, and in the economy of grace, nothing is wasted, not even our worst sins and our most stupid mistakes.

Richard Rohr in A Lever and a Place to Stand (2012)

Sarah McCaslin

Sarah McCaslin is a licensed psychotherapist and ordained Presbyterian pastor in New York City.

Come, Thou Almighty King

John Morton

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