breathing amidst the dangerous presence of God...
Often our prayers become confined to only what we have to say to God. But prayer, like an incarnation of our relationship with God is about more than what we say; it is also about what God might have to say to us. Still more, it is about what we do that facilitates an awareness on our part, as to the reality that God is already and always present in our lives, and would like us to embody an awareness of such Presence by what we do and what we leave undone, how we relate to others, how we simply decide to be present, ourselves, in this relationship throughout every circumstance of our lives. Be aware, such a powerful attentiveness to God’s presence as this is wonderfully dangerous, because it is in such intimate relationship as this that God will transform us, even radically, but slowly, until who we are can be nothing but the person God wants us to be.
It is also important to know, though, such a way of being on our part requires a life-long, consistent and ongoing practice. One of the wonderful ways to enter into such a life of prayer is to intentionally schedule appointments with God on your calendar. Do it weekly, at least. Start with just ten minutes at a time. Make sure you can be undisturbed during these moments. Find a quiet place, even if it means closing the door to your office, placing a “do not disturb” sign on the door, and dimming the lights. Take off your shoes for you are about to become more aware of the holiness of your relationship with God in which you are grounded. Sit comfortably in your chair; good posture, both feet flat on the ground, hands held together and turned upward in your lap in a cupping position, as if you are about to receive a full measure of God’s grace. Close your eyes.
Then, simply begin to breathe. Let any stampede of thoughts and distractions move freely through your mind. It is alright they are there, but do not block them. As they flow in one side let them move freely out the other, like a fast flowing stream scouring out the silt of decay. Do not dwell on these thoughts; simply breathe.
As you breathe, and with each breath, think to yourself, “breathing in God feeds my spirit; breathing out God cleans my soul.” Breathe through all the distractions that attempt to steal your focus. Acknowledge your own agenda for this time and then let go of it. Breathe deeply. Let God’s presence become present to you. Don’t dwell on what might be said, or how God’s presence should be, rather enjoy simply being aware of God-with-you. Each time you get distracted, don’t dwell on your distraction, it is alright; simply breathe back into awareness of God’s presence: “Breathing in God feeds my spirit; breathing out God cleans my soul.” Let your breathing be slow, but natural. Let your breathing be relaxed and deep. Enjoy being present to God; enjoy your awareness of God’s presence with you.
Just remember, you will never be the same again. And, remember, if you are changed, so will your church be changed, in wonderfully, dangerous, ways.