The Upper Room Devotion for Tuesday, June 13, 2023, was written by Alan Li Camarillo of Missouri.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations. The Lord is faithful in all his words, and gracious in all his deeds. 14 The Lord upholds all who are falling, and raises up all who are bowed down. 15 The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season. 16 You open your hand, satisfying the desire of every living thing. 17 The Lord is just in all his ways, and kind in all his doings. 18 The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. 19 He fulfills the desire of all who fear him; he also hears their cry, and saves them. 20 The Lord watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy. 21 My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord, and all flesh will bless his holy name forever and ever.
Psalm 145:13-21 NRSV
A few years ago, I studied acting. One of the classes taught techniques for breathing and movement. Just prior to the acting sessions, we would lie down on the floor and practice slow and deep breathing exercises. The purpose was to gain coordination as we incorporated the breathing and movement techniques into our acting sessions. It was something relatively simple to do but at times some of us would skip this regimen. That was when the professor would vigorously call out: “Breathe!” And we would stop what we were doing, lie down, and begin our breathing routine.
I see a similarity in our life of prayer. It can be easy to be distracted by other tasks and fail to nourish our spiritual life with active prayer. Many times, we are full of excuses. Communion with God, our Breath of life, is always free, and God want us to be fully engaged. Prayer is an opportunity to breathe deeply and coordinate heart, mind, body, and soul to be attentive to God’s voice.
Alan’s reflection reminds us of the power of taking time to slow down and breathe deeply. When we pause to slow our breathing and focus on each breathe it allows us to center our thoughts. I invite you to reread Alan’s reflection; to take a few minutes to be still and breathe deeply.
God of creation, center our thoughts so we can be in complete communion with you. Amen. - Alan Li Camarillo