a journal entry from my Christian Prayer class on my experience with Unceasing, or Breath Prayer:
I was deeply thankful again that this week’s practice was so timely for my life’s circumstances. Recently, I received news that I had lost a semi-permanent living situation which I would have moved into very soon. I had been planning on this move for about seven months. I have been living in transitionary places for the past two and a half years, and my entire being is weary from it. Feelings of deep disappointment and confusion have been dominating my consciousness ever since, and I have struggled to see any good in the situation. Last week, in practicing unceasing/breath prayer, I asked the Holy Spirit what my deepest desire was. I realized I desired to be settled and simultaneously, to feel secure. In the days that followed, I asked the Spirit to show me what His answer is. It seemed to be a different answer each day: “home”; “comfort”; “guidance”; “leading with peace”. So my prayers each day that I would breathe every time I felt anxiety about the situation – which was often, if not constant! – were: “Jesus, be home for me,” “Jesus, comfort me,” “Jesus, please guide me in Your way,” and “Jesus, lead me with Your peace”.
The situation remains unresolved, but I noticed a change in me: where before I was pretty upset with and closed off to Jesus because it seemed like He took away my good living situation, now somehow I am able to access and express freely to Him the pain of disappointment I am feeling. My constant prayers and efforts to engage in unceasing prayer using my exhales more often than not, is building this mysterious connection of trust between us where I have become viscerally aware that because I am asking for Him to help me in these various ways so often, He is seeing me in my vulnerability. He is seeing me in this vulnerable place, and though His voice still feels far off, I am aware that His presence is with me. And I am crying about it all the time! I am experiencing that phenomena of holding both grief and pain in one hand, and peace that comes with His comfort in the other. Thanks be to God.