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Prayer — the air we breathe

Light for the Way seriesLight for the Way seriesWe invite you to take a peek inside our weekly Light for the Way devotional series provided for staff.

By Campus Pastor Keith Lomen, Orchard Path and Valley Ridge

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Ephesians 6:18, NIV

We hear a lot these days about mindfulness and ways that we can try to “quiet our minds.” Many of these mindfulness methods have to do with our breath and our breathing. We slow ourselves down, we are told, when we simply sit and concentrate on our breathing. 

In this post-COVID environment that we live and work in, most of us undoubtedly feel like we could “use a breather!” We are weary in our well-doing, especially those of us who have worked and served PHS through the entire pandemic period, now almost 18 months in duration. And with COVID being this vague “I think it’s over but not really,” we aren’t totally sure when all this extra stress and extra work is going to end.

I submit that as Christ followers, prayer can be our breath. When we get anxious or fearful, maybe we should just “take a breath” by giving our fears and anxious moments over to God. Allow yourself the freedom — the gift — to just take a breath and lift your needs to our ever-present and ever-listening Heavenly Father.

In the Scripture verse above, the context is about spiritual warfare, and how to win in our ongoing struggle with the enemy. Paul ends the conversation with this verse, basically telling us to always pray about everything. Be constant in prayer, Paul says, always praying all kinds of prayers for all of God’s people.

Paul doesn’t leave us a lot of time or room for prayerlessness. He’s saying, “Hey folks, prayer is our air.  You only have to be praying when you're breathing. Any other time, you can relax in your communion with God. But if you’re breathing, as the people of God, we must be praying.” 

As the air we breathe fills up our lungs and keeps us alive, so prayer fills up our spirits and keeps us spiritually vibrant and alive. Feeling tired? Anxious? Uneasy about something? Fearful? Take a breath and say a prayer. For the people of God, prayer is air. Prayer is life!

Concluding staff prayer:

Dear Lord, help us remember what a difference it makes when we make prayer a priority. Awaken us in body and spirit each day with a desire to meet with You and to hear You speak words of affirmation, assurance and wisdom over our hearts as we prepare to go about our work. We now lift up the joys and concerns in our hearts. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Pastor Keith Lomen serves PHS as Campus Pastor at Orchard Path in Apple Valley and Valley Ridge in Burnsville, MN. He is happily married for 37 years to his beautiful wife Nan. They have two sons and two grandsons, and are actively enjoying (and fixing up!) their new home in White Bear Lake. Pastor Keith loves sports and follows them all, and he still plays as many of them as he can.

The Light for the Way series provides staff with an examination of a biblical reading to deepen our focus on scripture. Thank you for engaging with this series as we seek wisdom through prayer and reflection as a Christian Ministry.

Find more in the Light for the Way series:
‘Our pockets are full’
Satisfied by grace
Get to know us: a Christian ministry
Introducing Light for the Way, a new devotional series

In addition to Light for the Way, you can find reflections, devotions, music and other resources on the Pastoral Care website

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