when you pray with every breath…

“I’ve learned a new prayer technique,” she said approaching me at church.

“Really?” I asked.

I hope skepticism didn’t drip from that one little word. I managed to keep my thoughts to myself. … A new technique to pray? Come on. Prayer is prayer is prayer. It’s not changeable, it just is. Right? Wrong.

“It goes like this,” she continued, smiling. “You breathe in through your nose while repeating scripture in your mind like this, ‘Be still and know‘ and then exhale through your mouth while finishing the verse, ‘that I am God.’ ”

I really don’t remember exactly how I responded. I hope it was something that would pass as a caring comment. I know I didn’t say what I was thinking… Whatever you need, Friend, Whatever you need.

I’m just arrogant enough to not realize that this new idea… new technique… was what I needed.

This conversation took place in the cold grips of January. Since then, I find myself drawn to this type of prayer. Praying this way when the weight of life pulls me under or the waves of worry threaten to overtake me. I pray this when my heart struggles to find peace when I pray for the burdens of others. I pray this when my heart needs a time out.

I find myself praying this far more than I ever thought.

I want a relationship with God where prayer is as natural as breathing.
I want my every inhale infused with his presence,
my every exhale an extension of his love.
Margaret Feinberg

“Do you have Sacred Echo by Margaret Feinberg?” her facebook IM asked. “I started it today and can’t help thinking of you as I read it.”

A different friend… one I’ve known for 41 years (longer than either of us remember) asked this question on Saturday. My sister read this quote and thought of me… and I wonder why?

Me… the one that scoffed at the idea that prayer can look different found out that prayer feels different when it becomes my breath. The very involuntary act that draws life into my body can draw God into my life.

The Creator of life is the Essence of life that sustains us all… by voluntarily attaching prayer to the breath I draw, I am choosing to acknowledge that my breath comes from Him and that He is in control of all things… including me.

Today, as my friend, Kim, faces more trials than seems humanly possible, I think back on that cold January morning when she taught this arrogant heart a thing or two about prayer. I am grateful.

In all things

give thanks

~*~

Multitudes on Mondays is the only blogging meme that I’ve managed to mostly keep up week after week. It has become an accountability, of sorts, for me. A time to publicly thank the Giver of all good things and to stop and remember what He has done for me.

A group of us come together week after week over in Ann’s neck of the blogging woods. Even if you don’t care to list your gifts of gratitude this week, would you consider clicking over and reading other’s lists? You may find yourself more encouraged than you thought possible as you read about the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

These, and more, are what I count as gifts this week…

… a beautiful snow storm that filled a deep void
… the laughter echoing in my yard as sleds flew down our little hill
… the world’s tallest snow man
… and a boy of 16 willing to build it with a boy of 6
… friends of all ages for my 3 Es

… a sweet meeting with the administrator of Emme’s school
… and the wisdom she freely gives
… knowing my girl is learning to work out her salvation
… and that she is finding faith even in the seemingly small

… for morning snuggles with one who is almost too big
… and these days with her at home
… for seeing her under a blanket with yet another book at her nose
… and knowing that she has finally developed a love for reading

… for the one who pushes me beyond myself
… and holds me when I freak out
… for the fact that he believes much more in me than I do myself
… and tells me often

… for a fixed wheel bearing in the slush of yesterday
… and the knowledge that he has to keep us in running vehicles
… for the joy that he has while doing the not-so-pleasant jobs
… and the work ethic he teaches our kids

… for 3 little jars of maple syrup
… and the sap that runs clear into the buckets
… for the joy she has “checking the buckets, Mom!”
… and the life lessons of working for something sweet

… for a friend who willingly shares her life lessons with me
… and a sister who knows me better than I know myself
… and a God who takes this arrogant heart and teaches it many new things

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2 thoughts on “when you pray with every breath…

  1. I loved this post about prayer. I too want prayer to be a part of my very essence, as common as breathing. Thanks for sharing this! Visiting from Ann’s place today.

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