I desire to view my relationship with God as a rhythm, not a religious ritual.
Even if I find time in my morning to pray, read His Word, meditate in solitude...by 10 am I am dry again.
The constant demands, noise, chaos, needs, spills, duties empty me of the joy and peace I found in the early morning. By 5 pm, I am completely and utterly spent. Not only is the peace not felt but anger rises. My words sting hearts. My impatience is palpable. I'm ready for the day to be done.
What can I do to stay in the rhythm with God throughout my day? To not just feel His presence in the early morning but remember His goodness and provision throughout the day?
"Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1Thessalonians 5:16-18
I have 3 young children begging for my attention all day long. How do I pray continually?
It's as simple as breathing.
I can call on a "biblical name or image of God"** that has personal significance for me. Such as: "Lord Jesus", "Heavenly Father", "Most High", "Merciful God", "Abba Father", "Jesus, Son of David", or "Shepherd".
Then I can breathe out a "simple God-given desire"** Such as: "have mercy on me", "give me peace", "help me see as You see", "help me", "give my soul rest", or "lead me by still waters".
Put them together for a "breath prayer" such as: "Jesus have mercy on me"; "Abba Father help me see as you see."; "My refuge give me security."; "Lord focus my mind on truth."
A breath prayer makes it possible to: "Think often on God, by day, by night, in your business and even in your diversions. He is always near you and with you; leave Him not alone" (Brother Lawrence)
Here's an example of when you may pray a simple breath prayer during the day:
-Children are fighting while you are doing dishes. You feel your emotions rising. "Lord Jesus grant me peace."
-Your toddler refuses to be buckled in his car seat while your preschooler is asking you why the sky is blue and your phone is ringing. "Lord Jesus grant me peace."
-Dinner is on the stove. Your son just fell and his knee is bleeding. Another child is asking for help on a puzzle. "Lord Jesus grant me peace."
As personal as breathing...
When choosing your "breath prayer", consider the following:
- Spend a period of time in prayer and His Word.
- Seek your personal "name" for God
- Consider your request. It should come out of something God is teaching you or that you are going through at this moment.
- Your prayer should be something that "centers" your life back on God.
- Your breath prayer may change over time as what God is teaching you changes.
- Consider praise & worship songs or scripture
(particularly the Psalms) for inspiration.
- Stick to one sentence that you can remember throughout your day.
Lord Jesus grant me peace.
**"Spiritual Disciplines Handbook" by Adele A. Calhoun