Rhythms of Prayer

There have been many times where I have heard the words, “well just pray about it.” What exactly does it mean to “just pray.” While I believe that prayer is something that is accessible to everyone, I also believe that prayer is an expression of our uniqueness. There have been seasons in my life where praying with words comes naturally, and other times where I feel at a loss for how to pray. 

1 Corinthians 14:15 in the Message says, “I should be spiritually free and expressive as I pray, but I should also be thoughtful and mindful as I pray. I should sing with my spirit, but I should also sing with my mind.” 

Prayer is one way we can express ourselves to the One who loves us unconditionally. It doesn’t have to be scripted, it doesn’t need to have words. Prayer can be expressed in the body through both stillness and movement. 

Ruth Haley Barton in her book Sacred Rhythms says, “breathing deeply in a way that releases tension, can be a very tangible way of telling God that we are bringing our whole self into his presence - body, mind and spirit.” 

There are times when our words feel inadequate, yet something inside of us may want to express the love, joy, sadness, anxiety, or pain that we feel. Close your eyes, and take a moment to go inward. Focus on your breath, and then ask yourself, how am I feeling? How can I express this feeling in my body? 

When words fail us, our bodies can speak for us, and express the deep emotions within us. As we explore rhythms of prayer in our bodies, let us be kind to ourselves. Let us feel spiritually free to express our prayers through our breath, and our movement. As we move, may we remember that it’s not about the rhythms of the person next to us, but it’s the unique and beautiful rhythms we have within us.