“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.” (Psalm 1:1-3 NIV, emphasis mine)
When we grow and improve at anything, our success is due to an essential combination of at least three factors: information, inspiration, and implementation.
In Christian formation, in growing as disciples, we are good at information. Most of our teaching content is information-based. Personally, I love information. I love learning. Learning about things. Learning about the Bible, doctrine and theology, history and ethics, etc. Nothing wrong with it, plenty good about it. But information acquisition is not discipleship.
We are also good at inspiration. Some folks are particularly good at inspiration. Praise God! While information touches the mind, inspiration touches the heart. This is important because tapping into the gut-level emotional motivation is key to success. We are emotional beings. And when faced with a long road or a difficult task, staying motivated is critical.
But here’s the thing. We know information and inspiration. But do we know implementation? That’s what I’m exploring here in this year-long experiment. How to bring implementation alongside information and inspiration. I’m coming to believe that discipleship–learning to walk with Jesus in his ways–is about training. Workouts, if you will. Something to do, to leverage information and inspiration into concrete action so that we move from learning about and feeling uplifted into faithful action. In other words, implementation.
So, let this week not pass without something you can practice and use. This is simple. Some are familiar with this, for others it will be new.
It’s called “Breath Prayer” and it is basically what it sounds like: a simple prayer (often a scripture verse or portion of one) that can be easily memorized and recited in one breath. This can be a simple way to center yourself in God’s presence regularly throughout the day. Or it can be a way to mull over scripture throughout the day.
Here’s how it works:
- Pick a verse. Plenty of good options. Psalm 23:1 and Hebrews 6:19a are good examples. Your favorite verse is another.
- Pick an interval. A time, or maybe a routine. On the hour or each time you get in or out of the car, for instance.
So, try it. Pick a verse. Pick an inteval. Pick a day. Keep it simple. Just do it. Why not try it today?
Prayer: God, thank you for your Word. May your Spirit guide me as I delight and meditate on your Word through the breath prayer. And may I grow in daily connection with you. Amen.