Christmas Anxiety Series: Breath PrayerThu Dec 23
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Hey Sandals Church. Sometimes when we’re dealing with stress and anxiety our bodies can fail us. Our minds cannot run away from us, we might get like heart palpitations, our heart starts to race, or we just feel like our body, our minds are out of control. A great practice when dealing with stress and anxiety in a way to really bring the body back to the control is through the practice of what’s called breath prayer. And it’s simply this you’re praying and tying your prayer to the cadence of your breathing. It’s very simple. Breath prayer is typically an expression of some sort of heartfelt desire that you want from God in that moment while also pre-cleaning who God is to you in your life. So let me give you an example, when I was dealing with stress and anxiety, I gravitate a lot to the first few verses of the 23rd Psalm, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.” These are such important verses to me. And so what I would often do, especially when I’m practicing breath prayer is I would do this; I would start by taking a deep breath and usually to the count of four or five. So, and then a big exhale long slow breath out, usually the count of like eight or 10, just to exhale and get all that breath out. And I do that back and forth and just get my body and my mind use that cadence of a deep breath in and a long slow breath out. And then what I would do is I would tie a part of the verse from the 23rd Psalm, one of the verses from the 23rd Psalm to my practice of breathing. So in this case, I would do something like this, the Lord is my shepherd on a big deep breath in proclaiming who God is, who God is to me, who God is to us. I shall not want for anything, long, slow breath out. So big breath in, the Lord is my shepherd, long, slow breath out, I shall not want for anything. And I would do this over and over and over again, sometimes multiple times throughout the day. And sometimes I would do it just for a few seconds just to kind of get control of things. And sometimes I’ve practiced it for minutes on end until my mind stopped racing, my heart stopped racing, and I could just relax and let the anxiety pass over. Hey, listen, I hope this practice of breath prayer really blesses you as you deal with stress and anxiety. Thanks for listening.