Freely you have received; freely give.
- Matthew 10:8
The basic rhythm of the Christian life is receiving God’s grace and then sharing it. Many Christians through the ages have practiced a simple form of prayer that reflects that rhythm. Often it is called the ‘breath prayer’ and it goes something like this: Throughout your day when there’s a pause in the action or you are between things or if you have a minute to gather your thoughts, practice slowing down. As you breath in, say to God “Fill me” and then as you breathe out, say “Use me.” It’s that simple. It can be a rhythm that you practice 100 times a day as a simple way to remember to stay connected to God by freely receiving and freely giving.
So today, choose one (or two or three!) of these options to seek to stay connected to God in the quietness of your heart.
Commit to pray the breath prayer at several points of the day. You may want to write yourself a reminder and put it on your car dashboard or your refrigerator, or you may want to set your watch to beep on the hour as a reminder. Whatever works for you, breathe in with gratitude, simply saying “Fill me” as a way of asking God to fill you again with grace, strength, and love. Then, as you breath out, say “Use me” (or a similar phrase) to signify your desire to serve and love and give yourself away.
Set aside a little time to pray the following prayer. Say each line quietly to yourself, taking a nice long pause in between. At the end of the time, take a few minutes in silence (it might work best to set a timer for the whole thing so you don’t get antsy, wondering if you’ve spend ‘enough’ time). As you go through this prayer just clear your mind - and don’t get frustrated when other thoughts, tasks, or people show up uninvited in your thoughts - just gently bring yourself back to the next line in the prayer, whispering it softly to yourself, enjoying God’s presence. So here’s the prayer - again, take a nice long pause at the end of each line.
Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know that I am.
Be still and know.
This option is simply about taking a walk around the block as a spiritual practice, silently praying through one question for each side of the block. (If it doesn’t work for you to walk, consider taking 5 minutes in silence - set a timer if you need to for each question)
If you can walk, get outside taking one side of the city block to ponder each of the following questions. Let this be your practice for the week.
God, will you help me remember my belovedness and my connection to you?
God, will you help me connect to my own heart - what’s really going on inside of me today?
God, will you help me see what you are up to in my life today?
God, will you help me look forward through the rest of this day and to talk with you about what is coming up?