This is the first time anything close to an invitation to prayer has occurred on my watch. It set me to considering how most of my prayers are both timely and urgent. By timely I mean that most of the prayers I offer are time-sensitive. And if it’s time sensitive, it’s always urgent, frantic, a pressing need.
What I did not appreciate from a recorded voice coming over the strange new medium of my watch was the invitation to so suddenly move from what I was doing to praying so urgently. And yet that same watch has another app that every once in a while vibrates and forces me to look down at it. And there in little green letters, my watch is telling me to breathe. It even has a little green circle and the circle moves while the phone vibrates showing me and telling me how long to breathe in….and breathe out….breathe in… and breathe out…it goes on for a minute. Sure I do it; why else do people have Apple watches?
This app reminds me of a form of prayer that I sometimes practice. It’s called the breath prayer and pretty much is breathing in and breathing out for three seconds just like the app. The difference is that you try to find words that fit into that one breath. Something like, “Jesus, help me,” and then repeat it over and over as you breathe in and out. This kind of prayer is less time sensitive and as you practice, it somehow becomes less urgent in the sense that it is less pressing or frantic. It becomes more natural, ordinary… more a part of you.
In these next days and weeks when many of us will enter a fast paced, even frantic time, I want to invite you to this second form of prayer. Breathe. And as you breathe in and breathe out, allow the grace of God to fill you in that moment.
Keep the Faith,