INTRODUCTION: We continue our two week focus on prayer with a WOD on Breath Prayers.
OBJECTIVE: Identify a personal breath prayer.
“Prayer can never be in excess.” — C. H. Spurgeon
READ: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-25
REFLECT: The Thessalonians were a community of new believers that lived under the constant threat of religious persecution. The persecution in Thessalonica was so intense that Paul, Timothy and Silas were not able to stay in the city very long.
This letter was written to encourage the Thessalonians in their faith walk (their JESUSrhythm you could say) and one of the directives they are given is to, “never stop praying.” You could translate that as, “be in a constant state of prayer.”
- Do you tend to think of prayer more as “here and there petitions” or “an ongoing conversation“? Explain.
- How does the phrase in verse 24, “He who calls you is faithful,” speak into your prayer life?
RHYTHM CHALLENGE: Identify a breath prayer and integrate it into your inner dialogue. Breath prayers are short, simple, repeatable prayers that are often taken straight from the Bible. The goal is for this constant prayer to become so natural that we aren’t even always aware of it; similarly to how a song can get stuck in our head! It is to pray as naturally as we breathe.
Repeating this prayer, keeping it ever in front of us, will help train our minds to be constantly conversing with Lord. We want prayer to become our first reflex and our constant companion. Think about our first reflexes. For some of us, the first reflex to pain is to swear; the first reflex to conflict is to run; or our first reflex to victory is pride. We want to develop a rhythm in which our first and ongoing reflex to the world around us is prayer.
Examples of Breath Prayers:
- All things for your glory.
- Lord have mercy.
- Abba, I belong to you. (Brennan Manning’s breath prayer.)
- All of me, all for you.
- Holy Spirit, lead me.
- Open my eyes to see more of you.
- In Christ alone my soul finds rest.
Great Scriptures to Use for Breath Prayers (finding a song version really helps them stick):
- Speak Lord, your servant is listening. (1 Samuel 3:9-10)
- Bless the Lord, Oh my soul. (Psalm 103:1)
- The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. (Psalm 23:1)
- Father, into your hands I commit my Spirit. (Psalm 62:1)
- To live is Christ, to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21)
Remember to stay consistent with the 14|15 Challenge
*Share your thoughts in the Comments.
“But the love of the Lord remains forever
with those who fear him.” Psalm 103:17
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