Pray. Breathe. Recite.

It was one of those mornings. I was running late, my hair was frizzy from the rain and awful humidity by just 8:45am, and the voice message I received wasn’t a good one. I was already disappointing someone, I could tell.


It was a rough morning, and I could tell the day wasn’t going to get any better. I hated walking into this building, working in this space; this building, it’s where my attitude was negative, the Lord felt distant, and some of the people, well, they weren’t my favorite (just sayin’). I was about to spiral down, down, down into a place where negativity turned my perspective ugly, selfish, and tainted.


Pray. Breathe. Recite.

And that’s when I was reminded.

Isn’t it just like the Lord? Just when we get comfortable in our routine, in our funk, He snaps us out of it, using the words of someone we love or showing us a quote to cut through with deep truth. He boils up His Word, the words we memorized years earlier. At just the right time. His time.

And that morning as I approached that building, I felt Him remind me:

Pray. Breathe. Recite. 

[Tweet “Yes, friend. You too can do this: Pray. Breathe. Recite. “]

And so I did. I stopped. Completely stopped in the middle of the dirt path that led from the parking lot to the building. And I prayed. I asked Him to come quickly, to come near, to change me, to hold me, to clothe me.

And then I breathed. Deeply. I filled my lungs with the fresh oxygen that surrounded me. There’s something about a deep breath that just lifts my mood, fills my soul, draws Him nearer. And too often I forget to pause and reach for the bottom of my lungs. That morning He reminded me, and it added to the transformation of my mood.

And then I recited the words of truth that were spoken to me months earlier by a dear mentor of mine. She reminded me that true joy, joy that radiates and changes and hopes, it comes from the Lord, and that all else is fleeting. That all my days could be encapsulated in joy when I resided with Him, abide in Him.

Psalm 16:11

. . . in your presence is fullness of joy . . .

In His presence is fullness of joy.

And so, in His presence is where I wanted my day to begin.

And the frizzy hair and that voicemail? I happened to forget all about it. They melted away with that deep breath and the truth spoken.

In just a few moments, my day turned towards the Son, just as the sun was starting to peek out from behind the morning clouds. I didn’t spiral down into self-pity, loathing, or funk.

He rescued that day, and many since.

It’s not always easy, but digging deep with Him in the morning, remembering to invite Him in, dwell with Him, breathe deeply of Him, that’s when my days are sure to bring joy all around.

What do you do when you’re tempted to spiral in the wrong direction with your attitude?

Mandy Scarr


Mandy believes wholeheartedly that there is great beauty and strength in women who come together in the name of Jesus. Mandy serves women through building community and sharing encouragement through her written words. Mandy and her husband live in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. They have two beautiful children whom bring much joy and laughter to their home. You can find her writing at

5 thoughts on “Pray. Breathe. Recite.”

  1. Oh how this resonated with me! Praising God for you sharing this…. especially today. I work in a very busy high school office. Sometimes the demands of teachers, students, parents and administration seems to pull me in a million directions. On those extra busy days I pull myself away to the only place I am not interrupted…the office bathroom. It becomes my prayer closet and as crazy as it sounds it has brought me great peace in the midst of chaos.

  2. I’m a deep breather too Mandy. Just taking the moment to, as you beautifully expressed, “reach for the bottom of my lungs”, centers me. And with that breath always a prayer. I loved this Mandy. Great word.

  3. Thanks for sharing Mandy, indeed it is so useful to Stop, breathe and bring to our heart and mind His word, when I get frustrated or blocked in my emotions and paralized to continue my day I will include this to my excercise, about Pray and Breathe, I was practicing about stop, think and act… May His presence be real in our days as we invite Jesus to be in our lives!

  4. What a breath of fresh air 🙂 Thank you for sharing Mandy, I have had many sweet moment’s just like this with the Lord. He is so faithful to meet us right where we are~ even in the middle of our crazy lives.

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