It’s only 12 words, but it’s a powerful prayer. It can activate your emotional intelligence so you’re more loving and more effective in your work. The first century followers of Jesus prayed these words everyday in connection with Jesus’ model prayer and the results were amazing. I want to show you a simple yet life transforming way to offer this prayer…
A key to living and leading with activated emotional intelligence is to practice quietly waiting on the presence and power of the Spirit of Jesus in prayer. There are many challenges to prayer like distractions, restlessness, and engaging our mind and heart with God. Repeatedly breathing in and out a phrase of Scripture is an ancient Christian practice that can help us to pray with focus, depth, and persistence. It is a simple way of using our bodies in our discipleship to Jesus, much like kneeling in prayer or raising our hands in worship. Training with Breath Prayers from the Bible fosters intimacy with God, practicing God’s presence, emotional health, and fruitful intercession for yourself and others.
Let’s try a Breath Prayer with the closing of the Lord’s Prayer: “For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen” (Matthew 6:13, NKJV).
The traditional ending to The Lord’s Prayer has been recited by billions of people in the two thousand years since the time of Christ. It is believed to be an early church addendum to Jesus’ model prayer. It’s clearly a summary of the prayer’s theme. The three parts concern our position (not our visible circumstances, but the spiritual reality of God’s kingdom), our power (not our human abilities or resources but God’s unlimited capacities), and our motive (not self-promotion but God’s glory).
To appreciate the three dimensions of this early Church distillation of the Lord’s Prayer try adding before each part the prepositions in, by, and for. (Prepositions often get unnoticed, but in many ways they are the source of our living.) It’s helpful to imagine a particular challenge or opportunity in your life to sow your prayer into. (You can pray this for a loved one too.)
“In your kingdom Lord… By your power… For your glory……”
Use your rhythm of breathing to help you pray:
- Wait to breathe and use your longing for oxygen to feel your longing to be in the Kingdom of the Heavens…
- Breathe in slowly and deeply as you receive God’s power…
- Breathe out slowly and completely as you let go of personal glory…
- Wait to breathe as you whisper, “In your kingdom…”
- Breathe in as you whisper, “By your power…”
- Breathe out as you whisper, “For your glory…”
- Let distractions slip away by re-focusing on breathing your prayer over and over…
Excerpted from Emotional Intelligence: 5 Steps with Jesus to Better Living & Leading by Bill Gaultiere.
Listen to this week’s SoulTalk: Bill and Kristi continue their conversation on increasing emotional intelligence. In this episode, they explore the importance of activation and what motivates us. Motivation needs to be about our intimacy with Jesus. Our culture tells us it is about self-motivation, but Jesus tells us the ultimate power and purpose is connected to God.