I combined the Lord’s Prayer and a deep-breathing exercise into one meditation. The purpose here is to relax the mind and body enough to experience God’s presence. I’ve found that it calms anxiety, helps me get to sleep and wake up, and gives me time to ponder the meaning behind what is, essentially, the only prayer I need.

First, an elaboration on the deep-breathing exercise, which I advise learning before attempting this combination: Breathe in slowly, silently to the count of six. Let the air fill your lungs without applying any pressure. Hold the breath for three seconds. Now exhale to the count of twelve. Keep it slow; don’t rush. Keep it quiet; if you can hear your breathing, you’re doing it too quickly or too intensely. Don’t speak the numbers aloud; think them, feel them.

Once you’ve practiced this enough that you can do it without counting, while maintaining the duration of each inhalation and exhalation, it’s time to add the Lord’s Prayer. Again, don’t speak it; think it. When you inhale, feel the words in your mind and body, one phrase at a time. When you exhale, feel the meaning of that phrase as it applies to you.

Here is a full example:

(Inhale) Our Father

(Exhale)

(Inhale) Who art in heaven

(Exhale)

(Inhale) Hallowed be thy name

(Exhale)

(Inhale) Thy kingdom come

(Exhale)

(Inhale) Thy will be done

(Exhale)

(Inhale) On earth as it is in heaven

(Exhale)

(Inhale) Give us this day our daily bread

(Exhale)

(Inhale) And forgive us our debts

(Exhale)

(Inhale) As we forgive our debtors

(Exhale)

(Inhale) Lead us not into temptation

(Exhale)

(Inhale) But deliver us from evil

(Exhale)

(Inhale) For thine is the kingdom

(Exhale)

(Inhale) The power

(Exhale)

(Inhale) And the glory

(Exhale)

(Inhale) Forever

(Exhale)

Amen.

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