Saturday, January 6, 2007

Reflection, Jan. 7, 2007

Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of January 7, 2007


As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press, here is a selection from our book of daily
devotions, "Living as the Beloved: One Day at a Time," by the Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.

Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's meditation. We hope you will be blessed.

Thank you for forwarding this to your friends.

Breath prayers

"Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving."
Colossians 4:2

Today I feel spiritually exhausted. I am weary of "doing prayer." Too many words feel like a grocery list to God. Why can I not simply be in holy presence without words? The ancients understood "God is closer than our breathing, nearer than our hands and feet" (Wuellner, Flora Slosson. "Prayer and Our Bodies," p. 36. Wuellner describes this as "beautiful words of an old prayer." She does not attribute the phrase to any particular person.) Perhaps answers are found in simple breath prayers of the heart. Sometimes all we can do is breathe. When life is chaotic, confusing, and painful, anything else is too difficult.

I have heard it said that there is no such thing as a little prayer. Oh God, teach me to pray! I sometimes wonder if God hears and if prayers make a difference. I wonder how to pray, for often I feel so inadequate even though I own dozens of books about prayer. The Internet also offers many spirituality Web sites eager to tell me how to pray. Why must prayer be so confusing? How can it be simplified? I think the answer is through breath prayers.

We must breathe everywhere we go. Breath prayers can travel with us everywhere, and help create an awareness of the inner chapel of our hearts. Through breathing, we can invite the Spirit to go deeper and help us in our prayers. By paying attention to our bodies through breathing, the healing breath of life from God can enter with each inhalation. Breath prayers help us hear our hearts beating with God.

Meister Eckhart has been credited with saying, "If the only prayer we ever pray is thank you, that would be enough." Perhaps the secret of devoting ourselves to prayer with an attitude of thanksgiving is found through a breath meditation used by Thich Nhat Hanh when he is with little children. Wherever they go, he teaches them to breathe in the words, "Yes, yes, yes." And to breathe out, "Thanks, thanks, thanks" (Hanh, Thich Nhat. "The Long Road Turns to Joy: A Guide to Walking Meditations," p. 36.) He believes this prayer helps them respond to life, to society, and to the earth in a positive way.

Yes, yes, yes. Thanks, thanks, thanks. Amen.

Grace and peace,

Chi Rho Press

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