This repost is especially for the Facebook page Pursuing Peace. The meditation and contemplation that goes with yoga is important for me. Deep breathing is also an integral part of pursuing peace.
Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Pray for Peace (in a Contemporary Way)
How fascinating to contemplate peace. Interesting? Much more than that. Truly mind-altering.
When I consider peaceful thoughts, and meditation on peaceful subjects, my mind slows down to a more manageable speed. My breathing slows to a deeper in and out—slowly, in—slowly, out. I can feel my shoulders and back becoming less tense, more relaxed.
My yoga instructor, Ine, is a retired nurse. She regularly tells her class that the deep breathing and calming relaxation of yoga is beneficial in several important ways—including lowering the blood pressure, assisting in opening up the airway, and allowing the diaphragm to move freely.
That’s how I felt as I read through this prayer from The Oxford Book of Prayer. It is taken from Contemporary Prayers for Public Worship. It’s short enough that I will quote it in full:
“Show us, good Lord,/the peace we should seek/the peace we must give,/the peace we can keep,/ the peace we must forgo, and the peace You have given us in Jesus our Lord.” 
Differing aspects of peace, yet all of them can be said to be gentle and quiet. Peace is not often loud and boisterous! Often quiet and unassuming. Take, for example, this short prayer. If prayed slowly, earnestly, from the heart, it will have a good chance of having those calming benefits my yoga teacher talks about. (Try it, and see!)
Dear Lord, gracious God, thank You for the benefits of pursuing peace. I can see the wonderful reaction peace has on my tense, stressed-out body. Thank You for allowing me to learn more about many different aspects of peace, calm, prayer, and meditation. Help me to be able to practice these several actions, regularly. I know You are pleased when I do! In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
P.S. Watch this space for Pursuing PEACE. A Project that is also a listening tour. Listen. Share. Pursue PEACE. Coming TOMORROW for Lent!
Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.
 The Oxford Book of Prayer, edited by George Appleton. (New York: Oxford University Press, reissued 2009), 80.