Practice: Breath Prayer
by Rev. Aune Carlson
Genesis 12:1-4a 🌿 Psalms 121 🌿 Romans 4:1-5, 13-17 🌿 John 3:1-17
In the Romans passage, we hear of Abraham’s being saved by faith, not by works. In John, we witness a conversation between Nicodemus and Jesus. In both passages, the prevenient grace of God is on display as a testament to God’s initiation of a relationship with us – drawing humanity to Godself and through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. All were set in motion before we were even aware of our need for salvation and reconciliation with God.
Where does our help come from? Psalm 121 reminds us that our help “comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth”… the one who never slumbers or sleeps. Our peace comes from knowing we are not alone. Not only is God with us, but we are not alone in our human efforts to be peacemakers as we respond to injustice and oppression.
Today’s practice is simply known as a breath prayer. The exact words of the prayer are less important than the heart of the one praying the words.
The essential elements are to breathe and pray. First, find a quiet and peaceful place to be still. Before beginning, spend a minute settling yourself. Allow yourself to feel present in your body.
Next, determine a simple phrase to pray. Perhaps from today’s Scriptures, one of the following:
INHALE: My help comes from the Lord, EXHALE: Who made heaven and earth. INHALE: He will not let your foot be moved; EXHALE: He who keeps you will not slumber. INHALE: For God so loved the world, EXHALE: He gave his one and only Son.
As you inhale, silently pray the first half of your selected phrase.
Pray the second half of the phrase as you exhale.
You may find yourself slowing your breathing and losing track of time altogether. May God meet you in this space and envelope you with perfect peace.