Tuesday, June 19, 2007

My Breath Prayer

I read a brilliant book called Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home by Richard Foster. Actually I've read it several times now and each time I am drawn by his conversation on the simple complexity of prayer.

One of my favourite suggestions he makes is to select a breath prayer for yourself that you offer up many times a day. Something that is on your heart that can be said in one breath, so to speak. How often do I intend to pray "if only I had more time". This gives me the ability to pray without ceasing on one matter that will greatly impact my day, and my heart (oh, I wish you would go and read the book. I'm making this sound an awful lot like a chore...he is much more inviting about this...)

So here is my breath prayer (it is actually more like two breaths worth, but close enough). It is Psalm 19:14.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.

There is never a time when I don't need to keep that prayer on my lips. There is never a time when my speech is so pure and pleasing that I can stop worrying about being acceptable. I will be saying this silently, under my breath, out loud with a cry, and hopefully with my children on many occassions today.

"Commenting on breath prayers, Theophane the Recluse notes, 'Thoughts continue to jostle in your head like mosquitoes. To stop this jostling you must bind the mind with one thought, or the thought of One only. An aid to this is a short prayer, which helps the mind to become simple and unified." (pg. 130 Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home)

In the meantime, you really should find this book. It is such an "open window after a fresh rain" kind of feeling.

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