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Posted: March 8, 2021

A Simple, Silent Prayer

Do you ever hear God? Not in your ears, but in your heart. We might often hear commendations to “listen to what God is saying” or other such things, but hearing what God might be speaking to us in a given moment can be difficult, especially if nobody has ever taught us how to do a thing like that before. Today’s resource is a simple, silent prayer which was shared with me by a spiritual director a number of years ago.

This prayer takes just a moment; two breaths, in fact. First, we breathe in deeply and as we breathe in we say silently in our minds and hearts “come, Holy Spirit.” Second, we exhale the breath we took in smoothly, and as we do we repeat this invitation: “come.”

It’s a prayer that may seem a little silly at first. After all, God is everywhere all the time and so it isn’t as though the Holy Spirit only comes around when we ask. But that also isn’t to say that we might not hear God a little better, feel the Spirit’s movement a little more clearly, if we take a moment to stop setting the agenda ourselves.

Day in and day out we are planning, working, worrying, and stressing, but this prayer is an opportunity to take a moment, just one moment, and give ourselves up to what God might intend for us in that moment. Give it a try and see what impact it might have for you.

If you like this sort of prayer, you might also like this fuller resource from the Rev. J. Dana Trent (Minister, former hospital chaplain, and humanities faculty at Wake Technical Community College):

One Breath at a Time: A Skeptic’s Guide to Christian Meditation

One Breath at a Time: A Skeptic’s Guide to Christian Meditation reframes meditation for those who are skeptical because (1) they doubt their ability to be still and quiet and (2) they doubt the validity of meditation as a Christian spiritual practice. Using scripture, theology, and examples from the early church, this book challenges Christians’ prayer habits that leave little room for enough silence to experience and listen for God.” – From the author’s website

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