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Breathe Deep (and Pray)

Today, author and speaker Brenda J. Wood is here to share her tip for moms and kids to calm down during moments of panic or craziness—or just everyday moments.

Breathe … Deep

Whenever my grandchildren panic over some little thing, their mom tells them to “BREATHE!

When I first heard her her say this, I thought to myself, “Breathe? For heaven’s sake, doesn’t everyone? What’s with that? Breathe?”

Breathe deep and pray

And then I noticed how just a moment of concentrated breathing slowed their panic just a bit. Somehow this breathing thing always calmed them down.

I’ve started to do the same thing in my own life. Taking a moment to just breathe deep and gather my thoughts together is calming. It helps me remember the really important things in life.

In fact I would even say it is a type of prayer.

In his book The Ancient Path, John Michael Talbot mentions that the fourth-century Desert Fathers “promoted the use of simple prayers of aspiration—hardly more than a breath. In Egypt, the most common theme of these short prayers was penitence, sorrow for sins: ‘Lord, have mercy!'”

I invite you to try it too. You don’t have to be in a crazy place to practice it.

Just hunker down in your favourite chair, close your eyes and breathe deep and slow, concentrating on the breath God gave you.  Relax in his grace.

As Talbot says, “The goal [is] to make Jesus the single focal point of life, and to make our prayer to him as constant as breath. Breath in: Lord. Breath out: Jesus. … It’s not mechanical. It’s not magical. It’s love. … If our prayer is Jesus, we will have him always before us.”

And just like the following Scripture says, and just like my grandchildren, you will find yourself  in a calmer state, closer to God, relaxed in his presence.

I bless God every chance I get; my lungs expand with his praise.  I live and breathe God; if things aren’t going well, hear this and be happy.  (Psalm 34:1-2, MSG)

Prayer: Lord, without the breath you give us, where would we be? Amen.

Author and speaker Brenda WoodBrenda Wood is the author of Meeting Myself: Snippets from a Binging and Bulging Mind, The Pregnant Pause of Grief and Heartfelt Devotionals: 366 Devotions for Common Sense Living, as well as a children’s book about grief, The Big Red Chair. She has written cookbooks and a Bible study and her devotionals appear regularly at Everyday Christian. You can find out more about Brenda and her books by visiting her website or following her on Twitter or Facebook.

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