April 16, 2020

It is a time for another session with Ron Del Bene. This topic is a favorite of mine and I did introduce it briefly during a theme conversation at Church what seems like eons ago: the Breath Prayer.

Praying in the Midst of Life – Week 5

Learning the Breath Prayer (click for video)

  1. How do you respond to the possibility of praying in this way?  (i.e., using the breath prayer throughout the day)
  2. When, during the day, could you remember to be aware of God’s presence?

Some ways to use the breath prayer:

  • find a regular time to remember the breath prayer
  • repeat often as you remember
  • try emphasizing different syllables of your breath prayer
  • your personal breath prayer may change over time, but don’t change it too often; give the prayer time to take root, and if it changes, that will probably happen naturally.
In the book “Into The Light”, written by Ron Delbene, there is a chapter on The Breath Prayer. This intercessory prayer form can be used not only in our daily routine and prayer life, but also during times of anxiety, fear, distress, frustration, during surgery, times of illness or for the dying. The Breath Prayer comes from the Hebrew word ‘ruach‘, which is translated “wind,” “breath,” or “spirit.” Delbene says, “this form of prayer comes easily and naturally as breathing, and reminds us that the ‘ruach‘ of God is breathed into all living beings.” (Delbene, p.32)
Discovering Your Breath Prayer Step One
Sit comfortably and be still and calm. Close your eyes as you enter into God’s loving presence. Perhaps you can recall your favorite passage of scripture that places you in the proper frame of mind such as “Be still, and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10)
Step Two
With eyes closed, imagine that God is calling you by name. Hear God asking you: “(Your name), what do you want?”
Step Three
Answer God directly with whatever comes honestly from your heart. Your answer may be no more than a single word such as comfort or love or forgiveness. Your answer might instead be a phrase or brief sentence, such as “I want to feel your forgiveness” or “I want to understand your love.” Whatever your response, it will be at the heart of your prayer.
Step Four
Select your favorite name for God (God, Jesus, Christ, Lord, Father, Spirit, Shepherd…)
Step Five
When you combine your name for God with your answer to God’s question of “what do you want?”, you have your own personal breath prayer.
For example:
What I want is comfort; my name for God is Jesus; and my breath prayer is: Jesus, let me know your comfort.
What I want is rest; my name for God is Shepherd; and my breath prayer is My Shepherd, let me rest in thee.
What I want is God’s presence; my name for God is Lord; and my breath prayer is Lord, lead me to the light of Christ.

Scottish Blessing from the Order of St. Luke

Scottish Blessing from The International Order of St. Luke the Physician

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