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Lent Practices – Week 5 – 3.13.2018

THEME:Subtracting Independence, Gaining Freedom

BREATH PRAYER: Lord, help me subtract my independence and surrender to You.


Wherever the river goes, every living creature that swarms will live … It will become fresh, and everything will live where the river goes. The water for them flows from the sanctuary.
Ezekiel 47:9, 12


  • In a journal, note the day, time, and place you’re sitting.
  • Open with silence. Set a timer for 1, 3, or 5 minutes so you can be free to rest and breathe deeply.
  • Complete the following sentence in your journal: Today, I feel ________________.
  • Read the centering verse above slowly (aloud or silently).
  • Pause for a few moments of silence, then pray this week’s breath prayer.


Every week’s practices include a breath prayer, a spiritual practice that can help us regularly turn our gaze toward God and His activity in our days. It’s called a “breath prayer” because it is intended to be prayed in one breath: [inhale] Lord, help me subtract my independence [exhale] and surrender to You.

There are innumerable ways of incorporating the breath prayer in your everyday moments. You can pray the breath prayer every time you …

  • make a choice, even if it seems to be a trivial one
  • feel a strong emotion
  • get into and out of your car
  • find your mind wandering to the worst-case scenario
  • get frustrated in traffic
  • sit down or get up from your desk
  • feel torn or pulled in a direction you don’t want to go
  • prepare your breakfast, lunch, or dinner
  • look at your clock, watch, or phone

Choose two (or more) of these times to incorporate the breath prayer in your day today. How will you remind yourself?

When you pray the breath prayer multiple times in a day, or in response to some predetermined “trigger,” notice how the prayer begins to play in the background of your mind. Notice the subtle shift that comes when you turn your gaze toward God a little bit more with each prayer.

Summary: Write in your journal a brief summary (five sentences or less) of your practice.

Closing: Lord, help me subtract my independence and surrender to You.

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Image: Peter Paul Rubens via The Wellcome Collection

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