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Lent Day 29: Prayer

March 30, 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. Today's breath prayer (below) is from the Presence and Practice podcast.

 

This Week's Breath Prayer*

To complement this week's sermon theme "Challenged", we will use the phrase, “Let it be done unto me!” as our breath prayer. We will breathe IN, “Let it be” and breathe OUT, “Done unto me.” Our hope is to see our heartbeats pulsate with Mary’s surrender as we engage in this week’s breath prayer.

Mary was a human like you and me living an ordinary, yet well-ordered life. However, one day she was greatly challenged, and her heart was gravely troubled with Gabriel’s visit. Gabriel brought ‘good’ news that would change her well-ordered life into complete disorder. She knew that her well-ordered life would be called into a complete disorder if she let His order land on her heart. She was afraid and troubled and yet, she eventually welcomed that invitation.

How did Mary do? How did Mary’s heart move from confusion and fear into surrender? How did her heart begin beating with a new rhythm: the rhythm of letting go of her order and letting in of His order; emptying her order and welcoming disorder? Did she somehow know that God would not end with disorder, but would bring reorder? This seems like a perennial truth: order-disorder-reorder; life-death-resurrection.

We don't know how Mary did. One thing we do know is that we would not let go of our well-ordered lives unless we had to. We would not accept God’s invitation for transformation, unless disorder sets in. Suffering in the course of our life - mental, physical, emotional, and relational suffering - brings us disorder and challenges us to accept the fact that there are things that we cannot easily fix, control, change, or explain. It seems like we find ourselves and the whole world in disorder and destabilization.

What if we pause and receive this disorder as an invitation to participate in God’s work of bringing ‘reorder’ to our lives and to the world? It seems like the ‘order’ that once worked nicely had been built upon many private and separate selves who constantly were in competition. It seems like the ‘reorder’ God desires to bring will be built upon a collective body that continually is in cooperation.

It looks like we are visited by Gabriel who is greeting us, “Rejoice, favored one! The Lord is with you.” Let us receive this current disorder as a necessary suffering and learn how to suffer well as followers of Jesus Christ!

Jesus said to us, “Come, follow me!”

Let an ‘I-Thou’ encounter take place as we closely follow Him today!

Let Jesus’ face reflect back to us who we are! We have Jesus’ DNA.

Notice what Jesus said at the end of his life, “Not my will, but yours, be done.”

Those who are drawn to use Jesus’ phrase as this week’s breath prayer, please feel free to use it as an alternative one. Mary’s phrase in the beginning of her life, and Jesus’ phrase at the end of his life, both share the same spirit of complete surrender and trust in God!

Mary's version:

  • Pause and set your intention to become fully present to God who is with us in this moment.
  • Breathe IN: "Let it be” -or- “Be”
  • Breathe OUT: "Done unto me” -or- “Unto me"
  • Repeat three times
  • Notice the effect this prayer has on you.

Jesus' surrender version:

  • Pause and set your intention to become fully present to God who is with us in this moment.
  • Breathe IN: "Not my will but” -or- “Not my will”
  • Breathe OUT: "Your will be done” -or- “Your will"
  • Repeat three times
  • Notice the effect this prayer has on you.

*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 your soul say to God, “Let it be done unto me”?

      Example: teared up, opened up, light shoulders with weighty arms, full or expansive sense below diaphragm, grounded, sinking in...
    • Images: What image(s) comes to your mind when you hear when you hear your soul say to God, “Let it be done unto me”?
    • Feeling: What feeling(s) do you experience when you hear your soul say to God, “Let it be done unto me”?

      Example: awe, tender, sad, welcoming, peaceful...
    • Thoughts: What thoughts (self-talk) do you hear in your mind when you hear your soul say to God, “Let it be done unto me”?

      Example: It is hard to believe God that Mary’s heart has always been within me. Is it real God that I am Mary too in your eyes? You tell me that I conceive a new life and will give birth to it? Instead of telling you that I am not worthy you want me to say, let it be done to me? This is simply too beautiful God!
  • 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

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