Today’s Word: ‘Prayer” as in… breathing Spirit as prayer while walking.
Our staff was invited to a prayer walk around our reimagined campus. So off I went to pray while walking around our crazy cool new digs.
Full transparency… almost immediately I wondered what to say.
I didn’t have words for this. I was walking, sure, but on a prayer, walking is only about 50% of the deal. Not knowing what to say felt like way more than half of the issue. I’m a guy who loves words. I can turn of phrase almost without trying. Yet, there I was, wondering what to say.
You know how it is with lovers when they’re together and the silence around them embraces them and they don’t need to say anything to understand each other? I felt like this moment of walking should be like that. I felt the power of the moment and yet I was trying to fill it with phrases that started with “Be with so and so…“ Watch over those people…” “Please give me…” or “Can you…”
It all felt really inadequate.
I know that speaking our prayers can be powerful. prayers reveal our hearts and minds. But there are moments when I’d much rather be silent and just let the silence speak.
This was one of those moments. So I walked in silence.
That’s when I began to notice something I usually take for granted, something I often overlook, something I miss a good deal of the time.
I noticed my breathing. I noticed my breathing. A breath in. A breath out. A breath in. A breath out. I noticed a couple things: almost without thinking about it, I began to sync up my breathing pattern with my steps! Then two things happened in that moment: first, I discovered the rhythm of four steps while breathing in, then four steps while breathing out, then four steps while breathing in again, then four steps while breathing out.
And second, I began to connect my breathing—the breathing of breath in general, and then the gift of each breath in particular. That’s when I settled into how each breath—without a word spoken was becoming my prayer.
My breath, a gift from the Divine, the Spirit within me that had set in all breath in motion to begin with, became the way of communication with the one who gave it to me.
Breath. Spirit. Prayer. Walk … Breathing Spirit as prayer while walking.