Early in the pandemic, Kristin and Neil shared prayer practices in the Tuesday emails. These are practices that you can do while staying in your home. Some of them are shared below.
I have found Breath Prayers to be a particularly helpful practice for me in anxious times. They help me to slow down, center myself, and to remember who I am – God’s beloved, a person of love and peace, even in difficult times.
What is a Breath Prayer?
Breath Prayer is an ancient form of prayer, dating back to at least the sixth century. It is a practice that can help make prayer as natural as breathing and it can be easily adapted.
The most common form of breath prayer is known as the Jesus Prayer. You would do this:
Inhale: Fill your whole self with breath.
And then say (either internally or out loud): Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God.
Exhale slowly and fully.
Say: Have mercy on me
Keep repeating this practice. A good start would be 10 breaths in and out, with the words.
How to center yourself before beginning
Become aware of your body. Sit in a way that’s comfortable. Plant your feet firmly on the ground. Close your eyes.
Then pay attention to your breath.
Breath is spirit and life.
We remember how in Genesis God blew into us the breath of life.
Breathe slowly and deeply.
Quiet your mind.
Inhale with the intent of inhaling God’s spirit. Exhale what is not of God or that which stands between you and God.
Now that you’ve settled in, you can begin adding a few lines of the prayer you’ve chosen. There are many options. I will list some below.
Inhale: For God alone
Exhale: my soul waits in silence.
(From Matthew 11:28-30)
Inhale: Humble and gentle One,
Exhale: you are rest for my soul.
(From Psalm 46:10)
Inhale: Be still
Exhale: and know you are God
(From Romans 8:38-39)
Inhale: Nothing can separate me,
Exhale: from the love of God.
(From Psalm 23)
Inhale: I will not be afraid
Exhale: for You are with me.
(From Psalm 46:1)
Inhale: You are our refuge
Exhale: and our strength.
(From Mark 9:24)
Inhale: I believe
Exhale: help my unbelief.
(From Philipipans 4:7)
Inhale: Peace of Christ,
Exhale: guard my heart and mind.
Praying in Color
Every Tuesday, I’m going to share a prayer practice. Right now I’ve heard people say “I don’t know how to pray.” And sometimes we don’t have the words to name our emotions, our pain, or our longings.
If you are word-weary, easily distracted, or just in need of a new way to pray, try “praying in color.” All you need is paper and a drawing device (pen, markers, colored pencils, or crayons).
1. Draw a shape.
2. Put the name of a person or thing you are praying for inside the shape.
3. Add lines, squiggles, and dots.
4. Add color.
5. Think of each stroke as a moment of prayer.
Or make it up. Doodle or draw as you feel moved. No words are necessary. No artistic skill is necessary, only a longing for the presence of God.
This website has more information: prayingincolor.com
Coloring can also be done as a prayer. Go here to download a coloring page from Illustrated Ministry.