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Christian Life

On Breathing (pt. 1)

flickr user: eric_torrontera (cc)Recently, some of the Saints here in SoCal were discussing prayer. We were mainly talking about how different prayer is now that we have dropped so much religious baggage.

Before, prayer was a religious exercise; something we made sure to check off our list each day. Many of us have read books on prayer and have done Bible studies on it. I, personally, remember the ACTS prayer. Maybe you’ve practiced it as well. A is for adoration, so first thing is to praise and adore the Lord. Then C is for confession, so next you confess your sins. T is for thanksgiving so after confession you spend time thanking the Lord, and then S is for supplication. So, lastly you pray for others and ask the Lord for things.

Can you imagine if all our conversations had to go through this process? Just think about it for a second. Every time you spoke with your husband you had to start by praising Him, then you had to confess anything you had done wrong, then you needed to thank Him for something, then you could ask him for something. Just imagine how remote and lifeless so much of what was said would be.

And that’s just one example of many different “methods” of prayer.

One brother used the analogy that praying is like breathing. After thinking on this for a few days it really began to resonate with me. Two things about breathing, in particular, stood out to me.

First, breathing is something we do continually and naturally. You don’t have to teach a baby how to breathe.  Nor is breathing something we do only at certain times. Now, some of you just thought of Paul’s encouragement to pray with ceasing, but that wasn’t quite what I was thinking. What my experience has been is that prayer has become just as natural as breathing. Now, prayer isn’t a religious exercise, or something I do when life is tough, but a significant part of life just like breathing. Many times I am praying without conscientiously thinking about the fact that I am “praying”.

Prayer is truly happening in me all the time. Not because I have become so super spiritual and have disciplined myself to “pray without ceasing”, but because fellowshipping with the Lord is becoming my way of life. I believe that what I am experiencing isn’t meant to be rare or something for the spiritual elite, but God’s desire for all His children.

Also, my conversing with the Lord is very similar to how I speak with other humans. There is no need for fancy words or formal talk. Think about the disciples. Do you think they spoke with Jesus in a formal way when He was in the flesh? I sure don’t. I think they spoke with Him just like they spoke with each other. So, how do you think they spoke with Him when He came in the Spirit? Did they all of a sudden change their conversation style and begin speaking all religious and weird? I highly doubt it. They recognized their Lord in the Spirit and continued the same relationship they had before, only now, deeper and more full.

I was thinking about the way I used to speak to the Lord. It actually makes me cringe a bit.

Lord, thank you for your many blessings, Lord. Thank you for my family, and my good life, Lord, and Jesus, please take care of us. Jesus, please keep us healthy, Lord….

Did I think He was gonna forget I was talking to Him? It actually makes me a little nauseous to think that I was confident to pray with others or in a group because I “knew how to pray”. Ha. Ha. Ha.

Also, how weird would it be for me to talk to another human that way? Take R.C. for example:

R.C., I love you and thank you for asking me to be your wife, R.C.. and Husband, thank you for providing for us, R.C.. Mr. Babione, please find us a nice house to live in, R.C., and please put another load in the laundry, Husband, and have the kids empty the dishwasher…

Seriously? Who talks like that in real life? No one, that’s who. So why in the world would we think God wants us to talk to Him that way? Because we don’t really know Him and we have wrapped intimacy with the God of the Universe in so many religious bows we don’t even know what true intimacy with God looks like. 

Well, guess what? He’s desperate to show us what true intimacy with Him looks like. We just have to lay down our religious trappings and bows and let Him.

Oh Saints, let’s let Him…

Have you come into a more natural way of conversing with the Lord? Have you been freed from a ritualistic method of speaking with God?

*I’ll share the second thing in pt. 2 next week

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3 Comment

  1. Reply
    May 7, 2015 at 4:34 am

    What a great thought! Praying should be as natural for the NEW creature as breathing.

    We have a mess of children and we have taught them to just talk to Jesus as if they would talk to us or anyone else. When they are little, we have taught them to begin with “thank you.” As they grow older we tell them that this is to establish an attitude–with our teen agers we remind them that the LORD is not a vending machine and what HE really desires is conversation–and it should be a dialogue and not a monologue.

    Why do we feel impressed to pray in a King James dialect? Elevated language does not impress the LORD as far as I can tell. In fact scripture reminds us that the LORD hates ritualistic prayers and instead draws close to our groans and humble cries for help.

    When I saw the articles title I was immediately reminded that the word for breath/breathing is the same word for spirit in both the Hebrew and Greek languages. My mind then goes to verse after verse that help us see that you are tapping into the vine here with linking breathing and prayer. It is a wonderful exercise to break out a concordance and search for the Hebrew and Greek words for breath/breathe/breathing/wind and see how the Lord wishes to commune with us.

    I like to start the day with a time of quiet. I start by paying attention to my breathing. I do this to quiet my mind. I then shift my focus to listening to the LORD. This seems mystical or “eastern.” Maybe it is to our “western” minds. Our LORD chose to reveal HIMSELF originally to a Eastern people–it is good to sometimes tap into an Eastern mindset to demystify the sacred.

    There is a lot to say about breathing and prayer–do a search on the interwebs on the Name of the LORD and breath–there is a lot of conversation about how the ancients ones believed that the Name of God, as given to Moses, is the sound of breathing…so, I AM, I AM in the Hebrew tongue is YHWH—break it in down Yah (inhale) Weh (exhale).

    Looking forward to your next post on this!!!

    1. Reply
      Bridget Babione
      May 10, 2015 at 1:58 pm

      Well, Rod, I don’t think I need to write part 2 now. I’ll just send people to your comment. =)

      This past Christmas we were about to eat dinner and RC’s dad asked who was gonna pray. (This used to always fall on RC because he was the “minister” :-P) Our youngest, age 9, immediately spoke up that she would. She simply thanked the Lord for a few things and then told Him she loved Him and that was it. I’m not really sure what others at the table thought, because this wasn’t the memorized “children’s prayer” that many are taught growing up, and it didn’t have the typical “our Heavenly Father” and “in Your name, Amen” that many are used to. It was simple, and familiar, and real. There was a pause by some, not sure if that was it, but then we all just started eating and talking, and I really felt like her beautiful, little prayer brought a lightness and joy to the dinner.

      Isn’t it amazing that the Lord has made calling on His name as simple as breathing?!? The group we were a part of in Gainesville, FL would occasionally go for walks and consciously focus on our breathing; fellowshipping with Him simply by breathing His name. He has brought Himself so very close to us. What a Christ!

  2. Reply
    On Breathing (pt. 2) –
    February 23, 2017 at 7:32 am

    […] p.s. There’s some more good stuff in the comments on pt. 1. […]

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