“Then the LORD God formed the man out of the dust from the ground and breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, and the man became a living being.” Genesis 2:7 (HCSB)
Life requires breath. The first thing a baby does when he enters the world is take a deep breath and then scream! Everybody knows how to breathe, otherwise they would no longer be walking on this planet. But not everyone knows how to breathe correctly, or most efficiently. And this was the primary place of attack with our recent pandemic! No breath means no life!
I learned in my martial arts training that our breath can be controlled. In fact, usually in a fight it is the one who loses his breath that loses the battle. So, I learned to control my breathing. In stressful, even dangerous situations one can breathe in such a way that your body and emotions remain calm. This is called focused calm!
Prayer is breathing. Every true follower of Christ has a prayer life. In other words, they know how to pray. They intuitively know how to talk with God. But did you know that you can grow in your prayer journey? It is a lifelong adventure! Your prayer life can become powerful and effective! Many people know how to work on their car, but not everyone is a trained and trusted mechanic. Though you may think you know how to pray, there is always more to learn, because there is always more of God to experience! And more ways to experience Him! We must have the attitude that the Disciples had, asking, “Jesus teach me to pray (Luke 11:1), and please keep teaching me!” And the answer involves allowing the Holy Spirit to lead, move and speak. Paul tells us that we don’t even know how to pray as we ought, but God has given us the Holy Spirit to help us (Romans 8:26).
Ask Jesus to teach you how to pray and to grow in your prayer life! Ask the Holy Spirit to take you deeper in prayer, and to make it the very breath you breathe. Ask God to show you if you have any spiritual pride regarding prayer. Be like a child and willing to learn new things about it. Pray for your pastor to be humble and willing to continually learn and grow in prayer, and to teach your congregation to go deeper as well. Pray that Athens would become a city of prayer, where the very atmosphere is spiritually active because of the constant breathing of prayer going on across the city!