A prayer practice that encourages you to open up your heart to the world around you.
You breathe every day, right? Many times. In fact, you probably inhale and exhale more than 12 to 14 times a minute, which amounts to about 20,000 (or more) times every day. You don’t even think about it, most of the time. And for every time you inhale, you exhale. Amazing.
So, what if you prayed that way? Like you breathe. In and out. In equal measure.
What do I mean by that? I’m so glad you asked!
Many people pray mostly for themselves. It’s natural. Understandable. We pray for good health. For our finances. For our daily schedule. And so on.
But what if your prayers for yourself (like inhaling) fueled prayers for others (like exhaling)? What if you prayed in equal—or almost equal—measure for you and for those around you? So, for example, when you pray, “Thank you, God, for this meal,” you could add, “even as I remember the hungry and ask you to provide food for those in need.”
Here are a few more examples:
Breathe in: Lord, please heal me from this sickness and restore my strength...
Breathe out: ...and likewise for all those who are sick, injured, hospitalized or shut-in
Breathe in: Father, please help me to finish this job assignment and to do it well and on time...
Breathe out: ...even as I ask You to help those who are unemployed, and provide them with work to support themselves and their families.
Breathe in: Almighty God, help me to make the right decision...
Breathe out: ...and help all those who are in need of Your wisdom and guidance.
See how easy it can be? Praying like you breathe—in and out—can open your heart and shed God’s love not only on you but on people far and wide, on whole cities and nations, as you add intercession to every petition, selfless remembering to every request.