Last year, Karen Baker and her family moved back to the U.S. after serving for three years as EMM missionaries in a rural area of Guinea-Bissau. Here are some of her reflections since coming home.
I've always been the early riser in our family. When the kids were really little, I would try to wake up before them, rising at 4:00 in the morning only to hear the pitter-patter of their little feet soon after I woke up. I came to enjoy that time one-on-one with them, and I would often read God's Word out loud, determined (often desperate) to read some Scripture before the chaos of our day started.
The only thing I can think of is, "Lord, I need you."
When we lived in Guinea-Bissau, it was an obvious need. I needed God to get through every moment of every day. I needed Him when my muscles were weak, but I needed to draw water. I needed Him when I would try to school my children with my yard full of other children wanting to play and a constant flow of interruptions. I needed Him to help me understand the language, to be able to speak back and for communication to take place. I needed Him when I led Bible study. I needed Him all the time.
Here in America, I understand the language, water comes from a tap, children aren't constantly in our yard fighting and screaming, and there are rarely interruptions. Initially, I found myself wondering how I needed God. I knew I needed Him, but the need seemed different. This morning God whispered that need to my heart. I need God to help me school my children, to help me to be an example to them. I am a missionary to my children and I need God to help me every moment of every day.
But it is more than that. A breath prayer for me is my breath. God is my breath, my life. I need Him to function.
I have struggled and tried to push Him away and stand on my own, but that is when my life crumbles. That is when I have nothing to give my family and no joy in my heart. As a missionary, the dependence on Christ seemed so obvious. But here the dependence is just as urgent. We live in a sinful world and we need to commit every breath to Him. It is God who gives us breath. What is your breath prayer? Are you breathing for Him?
This article was adapted from a blog post on the Bakers' blog, "Bakers' Beans."