Monday, April 8, 2013

breathe in, breathe out: pray without ceasing

"Pray without ceasing."
1 Thessalonians 5:17

Breathe in.
Breathe out.
Breathe in.
Breathe out.
Breathe in.

When I was in college, I attended a class called "Actor's Lab."  It wasn't what you'd first expect from an acting class.  We didn't spend our time pouring over scripts and marking out character choices.  Instead, we focused on body alignment, creative impulses, and breath.

Breathe out.
Breathe in.
Breathe out.
Breathe in.

Each day, we'd start out on the floor.  We'd lie fully prostrate, backs down.  With our eyes closed, we'd just breathe.  And release.  Breathe.  And release.  We'd release all of the day "into" the floor, imagining that with each release of breath, we were sending our struggles and joys from the day out of our body.  

Breathe out.
Breathe in.


Most times, we lay in silence as we performed this first exercise.  But sometimes, we were reminded of the prayer we were already taking part in.  God gave breath to Adam, and we were still breathing that same breath that God gave us.  Each breath was a prayer, whether or not we accepted it as such.

Breathe out.

And with each breath, our professor reminded us to consider what it would be like to pray... 

with. each. breathe.

Breathe in.

Jesus Christ

Breathe out.

Son of God

Breathe in.

Have mercy on me

Breathe out.

A sinner


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