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Lent Day 23: Prayer

March 23, 2020 John and Sungshim Loppnow Lent

If you missed the previous posts in this Lent series, you might find it helpful to start with Lent Day 4, Getting Started with Practices.

This Week's Breath Prayer*

To complement this week's sermon theme "Called", we will use what Jesus said in Mark 4:39 as the basis for our breath prayer; “Peace, be still!”

“He arose and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.”  - Mark 4:39 (NKJV)

Jesus’ miracle of calming the storm is found in three Gospels, Matthew 8:23-27, Mark 4:35-41, and Luke 8:22-25. In times like today, we can see a great parallel between ourselves and the disciples who were in a great danger. Just like the furious storm came up, and the waves broke over their boat, the squall of COVID-19 came up over us, and the waves of uncertainty swept over our boat. We know the beginning, middle, and end of this story so well. However, we might experience the middle of the storm story being repeated in our mind; perhaps our unmetabolized pain - body memory can be a reason for this phenomenon. Nevertheless, it is time for us to give our communal effort to pay attention to how this storm story ended. Jesus, who got in the boat with the disciples in the first place, never left the boat! He was with the disciples in the middle of the story as well. He rebuked the wind and the raging water; the wind and waves listened to him; all became calm. This is how the story ended.

In order for us to live a life worthy of our calling to “love God and love others”, we need to become a kind of people who pass peace onto others. Peace is first found in a right relationship with God. In other words, peace will not be found in the absence of pain or problem. Rather, it will be found in the presence of God - who is bigger than our pain or problem.

We are called to love; God chose to love us deeply. Let us practice listening to Jesus, whose presence and action within and amongst us gives peace, so that we can pass peace onto others who are stuck in the middle part of the storm story.

Use today’s breath prayer to ground yourself into a deeper reality where you can see Jesus right here with you now, in the boat, in the storm, and you can hear him speaking “Peace”.

  • Pause and set your intention to become fully present to Jesus who is with us in this moment.
  • Breathe IN and and hear Jesus say with power and confidence, “Peace”
  • Breathe OUT and hear Jesus say, “Be still!”
  • Repeat by taking three intentional slow, deep breaths to engage in listening to Jesus.
  • Notice the effect this prayer has on you.

Original version

  • Breathe IN: Peace
  • Breathe OUT: Be still

Short version

  • Breathe IN: Peace
  • Breathe OUT: Still

*If you're new to breath prayer, see Lent Day 5: Prayer.

Go Deeper with “Mindsight” (optional):

  • Set your intention to increase your mindsight. Mindsight is the ability to focus on your internal world, as well as that of others.
  • Pause and notice what arises within you when you finish the second round of breath prayer: A helpful way to notice yourself is by using a mindsight tool called SIFT (sensation, images, feelings and thoughts).
    • Sensation: What sensation do you notice in your body when you hear Jesus speak to you, “Peace, be still” while being aware of the complete calmness His words brought to the situation?

      Example: relaxed, exhaled, lighter, sinking in...
    • Images: What image(s) comes to your mind when you hear Jesus’ words, “Peace, be still” and are invited to a deeper reality where He is with you in the boat?
    • Feeling: What feeling(s) do you experience when you hear Jesus’ words, “Peace, be still” and are invited to a deeper reality where He is with you in the boat?

      Example: happy, curious, thankful, sorry, excited, longing...
    • Thoughts: What thoughts (self-talk) do you hear in your mind when you hear Jesus’ words, “Peace, be still” and are invited to a deeper reality where He is with you in the boat?

      Example: “I cannot believe it! How come I did not see him? How can I see him now?”
  • Have a conversation with God about what you noticed. Once you become aware of your ‘SIFT’, share it with God in a conversational way. Then pause and listen for God’s response back to you.

    Example:

    “Dear God… this is what I notice within me…”

    “Dear child of mine…”
  • Share your experience of mindsight (into your internal world and God’s heart). Share your experience with your family or close friends as a way of strengthening your mindsight, and creating a community where mindsight is practiced and lived out.

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Tags: prayer, lent, practices, breath prayer

1 Comments

Rick on March 23, 2020 9:44am

Thank you for these amazing resources. Although my routine has been disrupted, which makes it difficult to engage in regular, habitual disciplines, I find I have more free time during this crisis.
I am grateful for the opportunity to employ these practices. In the face of fear, I have been peaceful, joyful, and optimistic as a result.

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