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Day 11 of 21 Days Of Prayer

April 18, 2024

Day 11 – April 18

Contributed by Rick Whittlesey

The Breath of Life

When I am troubled or restless and need a sense of calm and equanimity, I take deep breaths. And I pray.

Lord, thank you for being with us always, breathing life into us, inspiring and sustaining us moment by moment, breath by breath. With every breath we draw in, help us to be mindful of your ever-present faithfulness, calm us, give us peace. Breathe into us the Holy Spirit that we may be constantly inspired to follow Jesus.

God surrounds us with life-sustaining oxygen. Every few seconds of every day, each of us, without exception, inhale and exhale, unconscious for the most part of the critical significance of this interaction, connection, with the Creator.

Inspire” - to breathe in; to motivate,

encourage, give energy to.

Expire”  - to breathe out; to die.

Our breathing can comfort us in moments of stress. We focus and prepare ourselves for challenges by taking a deep breath.

We pump up.

We calm down.

Scripture tells us, early on,

“… the Lord … breathed into [Adam’s]

nostrils the breath of life, and the man

became a living creature.”  Genesis 2:7.

In 2 Timothy 3: 16-17, Paul declares that

“All Scripture is breathed out by God …. “

In John 20: 21-22, Jesus appears to the disciples after his crucifixion and resurrection and says:

Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

From Jesus, the breath of life, the Holy Spirit.

We can survive without food for 2-3 weeks. We can survive without water for 3 days. What about oxygen, that breath of life that God gently breathed into Adam’s nostrils? What if we didn’t have air?

Without air our bodily functions start to shut down in about three minutes. In five minutes, there is no coming back in any form.

We take the process of breathing for granted, more so than water or food.

Not only is breathing life sustaining, but focused intentional breathing can allow us to feel closer to God.

Gentle, slow deep breaths.

In …. Out ….

In … Out ….

This simple activity can bring a comforting calmness to our mind and body. A quiet reassurance that God is near and all is calm.

All is well with the world.

Things are under control.

Looking Ahead

from the prayer for the National Day of Prayer:

Lord, You are our lamp and shield.

Your way is perfect,

and Your word is true;

You are our Light and Refuge.

May God continue to bless our prayer journey together.

Board of Deacons

United Church of Colchester

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