Some days all we have is a moment....a second, even....to reach out for Him.
Certain hours....are so brim full that we scarcely have an instant to pause.
Much less, pray.
Yet....it's in the praying, the seeking, the focused longing - that we often times see God's glory manifested in our lives.
Last week's Lectio Devina post....about the slow and steady study of scripture - will not be bunked here. There is purpose in that practice. So much so....that we should all make a point of sitting in the Word for a while rather than high-tailing it straight through.
Does it take some discipline? You bet.
Is it a bit of a sacrifice? Yes.
Is it worth it? His presence always is.
Therefore - slow, set-aside sessions with the Lord are a must.
I am a Mama.
And I'm aware of the demands that plead after me daily....I'm aware of the chaos, and the loud voices, and the messes, and the tiredness, and the constantness of it all.
I'm with you.
But hear this:
We don't have to wait until all is quiet and well and open and free to lift up our hearts to Him.
Therefore, I humbly ask that you take a look at.... breath prayers.
I was first inspired to mention this practice here on the blog....while reading this post. And after doing a bit of research - I discovered that many of the Christian greats incorporated breath prayers into their daily living. And with each of them - there was divine reward in it, divine revelation, divine presence.
And I think we all need and want a little more of that, yes?
What is a 'breath prayer'?
It's a short petition that can be uttered in one breath's time. One inhale and one exhale of a moment - that's all ya need.
"Calm my anxious heart, Father."
"Take the rage and give me patience, Lord."
"Renew a right spirit within me, God."
"Jesus, I confess the doubt - fill me with faith"
"Rid my mind of impure thoughts and fill it with righteous ones, Lord."
"Remind me I'm Yours, God. Show me I'm sealed."
"Hush the fears, Father"
"Teach me to be genuine, Jesus."
"Speak to me and speak through me, Holy Spirit."
All these (and the plethora of others you could come up with to fit your own bents) - they can be pronounced right in the middle of our ordinary living. No candles. No knee bending. No hand folding. No retreating necessary.
While we shouldn't let these short and spontaneous prayers replace our focused and settled in sessions with the Savior - we can add them in as we journey through each packed full day.
And after a while - like breath filling and emptying the lungs - praying in this way can become automatic. Unceasing prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17) at it's finest, indeed.
These breath petitions - they can bring us back to Him....they can keep us in Him.
And as one who wonders away quite often.....
I'm in need of that.
"Breath prayer is discovered more than created. We are asking God to show us his will, his way, his truth for our present need." - Richard J. Foster in Prayer
"Thoughts continue to jostle in your head like mosquitoes.To stop this jostling you must bind the mind with one thought, or the thought of One only. An aid to this is a short prayer, which helps the mind to become simple and unified." - Foster quoting Theophane the Recluse in Prayer
"The time of business does not with me differ from the time of prayer; and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were upon my knees before the Blessed Sacrament." - Brother Lawrence