Breathing is the simplest prayer taught to me by a 5 year old.
As a 5 year old I remember standing in my bedroom and singing “He’s got the whole world in His hands…” (some of you know the song I’m talking about) adding gestures and movement to every phrase as I passionately belted out the words. I remember thinking about how God might even have me in His hands and my little child’s mind said ‘wow’ as I became enthralled with that mystery.
Later that night laying in bed by myself, somehow I knew I wasn’t really alone. I actually remember becoming aware of my breathing. I felt fearful at first but with my eyes closed I breathed slowly in and out…the fear dissipated into calm and after a time (who knows how long for to a child even 5 minutes feels like forever) I fell asleep. Looking back on that now I believe the Spirit of God reached into that little child and taught her how to pray.
Several decades of living have gone by so quickly and here I am. I awaken in the middle of the night with a number of serious issues on my mind. Singing “He’s got the whole world in His hands” is quite far removed and is certainly not part of the ramblings in my head. Finally I realize all the worrying disguised as ‘thinking things through’ will not impact anything except my lack of sleep. I try to pray but the words sound like noisy chatter echoing back at me.
The dark stillness of the night reminds me I am by myself…but I am not alone. The silent word ‘yes’ rises out of my breath and I remember…simply breathe. As I breathe in I fill my lungs…my mind…my heart with the ‘yes of God’…as I breathe out I release all that is not ‘yes’ within me…all that is burdening me…all that is fear…I breathe in life and I remember the prayer God brought me to when I was too young and innocent to doubt and analyze…consciously breathing…true prayer connecting me with the Presence…and the peace which surpasses all understanding and all circumstances fills my heart and mind.
Who is Maria?
Maria Gullo is the founder of The Deeper Connection, a ministry dedicated to bringing individuals to inner peace. She is an ordained minister and has spent the past twenty-plus years delivering the message of contemplative Christian spirituality through centering prayer, retreats, workshops, and lectures. Maria’s guided prayer and meditation tools include audio downloads and CDs, available here online as well as on the Insight Timer mobile meditation app. Learn more about Maria.
Maria offers virtual online and private one-on-one Spiritual Direction sessions to help individuals develop a deeper connection, clearer understanding and authentic relationship with God, self and others.
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