The other night I lay in bed tossing and turning but definitely not sleeping! The “to do” list in my head felt a mile long! The more I strategized about how to get everything done, the more stressed out I felt, and the less sleep I got. Instead, feelings of being overwhelmed crashed over me like a tsunami. I got out of bed, went to my office, and that’s when it hit me. I needed to practice the spiritual breathing I’ve been trying to teach! I needed to exhale the stress and inhale the breath of the Holy Spirit.
I first read about this type of spiritual breathing when reading about a man named Issac Penington. He was a quaker who lived between the years 1617b-1680….He wrote an essay called “Waiting for Breathings from His Spirit” In that essay Pennington writes, “you must press your spirit to bow daily before God and wait for breathings to you from his Spirit.” (As quoted in Devotional Classics by Richard Foster and James Bryan Smith) After reading that devotional I practiced exhaling out my stress and then asking the Holy Spirit to fill my lungs with His breath. The first time I tried this I felt immediate peace.
The Holy Spirit is never stressed out or overwhelmed. By in haling His breath I am asking Him to quiet my frantic and frazzled soul and give me His peace instead. It’s not that I ever have more or less of the Holy Spirit. It’s that at high pressured times whatever stress I am facing seems bigger than Him and it controls me more than His Spirit. I don’t want that! I want the Holy Spirit to possess and control me and so I have to learn to practice spiritual breathing.
Next time you are facing impossible deadlines, or dire circumstances, give spiritual breathing a try. Exhale the stress, worry, fear or doubt and then whisper a prayer asking the Holy Spirit to re-fill your lungs with His breath.
Leave a comment and let me know how it worked for you! And don’t forget – Author, Julie Morris will be my guest tomorrow! Check out her website www.worthlesstoworthy.com and be sure to log in tomorrow. We’ll be giving away a free copy of her book on Saturday!