[Editor’s Note: Kodiak here. I proofread all the blog posts that go up here (and Dash proofreads mine). I was not expecting this post today, but WOW did I need to read it. I’m going to have to come up with my own breath prayer!]
Back in February, Judy, Elisa and I attended a women’s conference run by the Christian camping association of Ontario. The theme was “Unhurried”. I remember laughing at the title and writing below it on the handout: “But my name is Dash!” For me, summer camp season is equivalent to hurrying. And to be honest, I love the excitement of scurrying about. I get a rush from rushing.
Now, sometimes the hustle and bustle of camp is just the regular chaos of a widespread game of Bible Smugglers. Sometimes it’s just the mix and mingle of transitioning from one activity to the next. This outward flurry of motion can be fun in an of itself; what the conference was bringing to our attention was the effect on our souls in all that.
A hurried soul builds tension as the activity levels rise. A hurried soul sits on the edge of panic. A hurried soul turns inward on itself for answers and finds to its disappointment that it falls short.
An unhurried soul, on the other hand, has the peace of knowing that the weight of the world does not actually rest on its shoulders. An unhurried soul does not have a Saviour complex. An unhurried soul seeks God before itself and finds rest in seeing that He is more than enough.
One of my biggest takeaways from that conference was a practical tool for stopping my soul rush. It’s called “Breath Prayer”. Essentially, it’s a mini prayer with two parts. The first part is naming a title of God in the amount of time it would take to draw in a breath; the second part is making a request of God in the amount of time it would take to let out a breath. For example, the breath prayer I created that day was “God of the universe…do Your work”.
The power of this little prayer has been enormous for me. Hurried thoughts have a way of taking over, making it hard to think of anything else. But the breath prayer, in its simplicity and truth, has a way of breaking through all that. Repeating it over and over creates a well-worn path in my head that becomes easier and easier to travel on. Knowing that the God of the universe has His world and His work under control gives peace to my world and my work.
Whether you will be participating in our busy camps this summer or not, we all have seasons where the rush threatens to take over. I encourage you to have a breath prayer, based in the promises of Scripture, to help you navigate that season.
God of the universe, do Your work!