This Eastertide I’ve decided to take a deep honest look at my prayer life, which has felt a bit battered and bruised from this disorientating pandemic. My desire is to breathe resurrection life and renewal into my life with God. To help me with this, I purchased a book recently called A Rhythm of Prayer – A collection of meditations for renewal edited by Sarah Bessey. It is an amazing book full of diverse voices. One particular chapter I found really helpful to steady me. It’s called a prayer to breathe. ‘Breath prayer is an ancient form of prayer easily adaptable for anyone. Simply choose one or two lines to meditate on, and inhale and then exhale these Jesus prayers:

(From Matt. 11.28-30)
Inhale: Humble and gentle One,
Exhale: you are rest for my soul.
(From John 15)
Inhale: True Vine and Gardener,
Exhale: I abide in you.
(From Rom. 8.38-39)
Inhale: Nothing can separate me,
Exhale: from the love of God.
(From Psalm 46: 10)
Inhale: Be still
Exhale: and know that I am God.
(From Matt. 6.10)
Inhale: On earth
Exhale: As it is in heaven.
(From Psalm 74: 16)
Inhale: Both day and night
Exhale: belong to You.
(From 1 John)
Inhale: There is no fear
Exhale: in your love.
(From Phil. 4:7)
Inhale: Peace of Christ,
Exhale: guard my heart and mind.

Start with ten good breaths in and out, with the words that are most meaningful or steadying to your soul’. (Bessey 2020, p.59). Becoming aware of our breath can aid prayer. God is with us. God is as close to us as our breath. The in-dwelling presence of the risen Christ. As you seek to renew your own prayer life this Eastertide, may you hold fast to this quote from Teresa of Avila, ‘Prayer is nothing else than being on terms of friendship with God’. Prayer really is that easy and natural. So in the words of poet Maya Angelou, ‘Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good’. Happy Eastertide everyone!

Revd Catherine Duce