We’ve been traveling on this Lenten path for a while. We began our journey to Jerusalem weeks ago back in February. Through the wilderness we have taken steps in and through what was then true and what is now so very differently true. The world has turned upside-down and inside-out. In so many ways, our world will never be the same.
We’ve come this far by faith. We’ve come this far by hope. We’ve come this far by prayer. Your prayer and mine, our prayers joined together have brought us to this place. They will continue to hold us and guide us. This I believe. This I hold onto. This I pray to be true.
Breath prayers are great for red lights and for walking. Now we are learning that they can companion us as we find ourselves sheltering in place. They are so very helpful for me when I am caught in mind-loops. This frustrating and stuck time when I get stressed and fixated on just one thing over and over and over again. Breath prayers can come to slow down the merry-go-round and bring it to a halt. Breath prayers can settle our shoulders and settle our souls. They can bring to the front that which will shift our hearts and quiet our minds. They can re-connect us to our spirits.
Breath prayers are two words or short phrases. The first phrase is spoken when we breathe in, followed by the second when we breathe out.
(Inhale) “The Lord is my shepherd,” (exhale) “I shall not want.”
(In) “help” (out) “me.”
“You have created,” “and are creating still.”
"Beauty," "all around."
What I keep finding over and over and over again is that the prayer is already in me, yet sometimes I need to be intention, to stop – so that I can remember to pray. Breath prayers are there to remind us to slow down. They can remind us to refocus. They are living prayers to remind us of our deepest truth: God is this close - as close as our next breath.
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Lesley is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. Her passions are listening to her sons, John Brogan and Sam sing; great conversations, long walks and baseball.