‘Have you a minute or two?’ (Part 2)

My hunch is, is that a number of you are a bit disappointed. You may have thought that when I was going to be speaking about prayer it would be what you might say and not about breathing. Also, what is it with these 2 minutes?

Let me help you.

The heart of silent prayer is for us to be and to do a number of things. It is about slowing down and appreciating each and every second we pray. It is about getting off the hamster wheel of life that shapes how we think about and evaluate our lives day by day. It is about cherishing ourselves as whole people who are not just embodied minds or spirits. It is about being still in God’s presence and delighting in him. This is why I have asked you to focus on your breathing.

To focus on your breathing is to still the incessant chatter that fill our minds day by day, where discordant and unrelated thoughts pull us one way and then another. To focus on your breathing is to discover what your attention span truly is. It is to realise just how easily random thoughts come barging into these minutes of stillness like small children running into their parents’ bedroom at the break of day asking if it’s time to get up yet?

This is why I’ve only asked you to do this for 2 minutes as 2 minutes is long enough to begin with.

It’s long enough for you to realise just how much is going on in your head. For although this background chatter is a sign of an active mind it also shows how undisciplined our minds truly are. It’s long enough for you to realise how unsettled you are with silence or peace, for as soon as there is an unfamiliar quiet our mind rushes around to fill the space like a child does as soon as the TV has been turned off. It’s long enough for you to realise just how much God has been trying to speak into your life, or even just to be with you, and yet how often this still small voice is drowned out by the noise within our heads.

To realise just how noisy your head is, is the first step in silent prayer. We’ll be thinking about the next steps in the weeks to come and if you are comfortable in being still for more than 2 minutes then feel free to do so. At the moment I am still for 6 minutes though I am at that point of where I am myself thinking of lengthening it again.

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