Wherever your day this Christmas Eve takes you, take a moment to breathe. It sounds easy enough, but being attentive to our breath requires practice. Anyone who does yoga is keenly aware of how important breathing is to this activity.
In those seasons when you feel overwhelmed or lost, try a breath prayer. Worried about wrapping last minute gifts or cooking the food perfectly? Try a breath prayer.
Praying is not easy for some, but the breath prayer acknowledges how easy it is to be distracted or overwhelmed by what is happening around you or in your head. Maybe you don’t pray or don’t know how to pray. A prayer can be as simple as a word of gratitude or a plea for guidance.
Intentionally slowing your breath by inhaling and exhaling deeply is a proven way to slow your pulse and oxygenate your mind and heart. It is an invitation to pause and receive guidance when you have a decision to make or to exhale a word of thanks and gratitude. It is a way to let go and invite the peace of Christ, as the living Word of God, to meet you during the many moments of your day.
Here are some sample breath prayers you can use. The first line, you breathe in; the second, breathe out. Try to repeat several times. Notice the difference in your breathing.
God is with me;
I will not fear.
Breath in Holy Spirit;
Breathe out fear.
What other prayers would you add?