I am in the process of slowly reading through David Benner’s wonderful book on prayer, Opening to God. Today as I read the chapter on Prayer as Being, he described several forms of prayer that focus more on connecting with God and being with God than on the content or words we might say. Just like we might look at a night sky in wonder at the stars, so also we can be with God in silence for no reason other than to be with Him.
One of the approaches Benner says can be helpful in this process is that of using a “breath prayer” as a way of regaining our focus when our thoughts begin to wander. While I have read descriptions of breath prayers before, Benner has a way of inviting his readers into that practice which is more than simply describing it, and I was intrigued. One of the classic breath prayers which has been practiced for centuries is “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” And after discussing that prayer for a few pages, Benner suggests that we can also create our own prayer if we find some wording that fits us better in terms of our theology or where we are in our journey. For me, I have trouble with the idea of Christians self-identifying as “sinners” because God has changed our fundamental identity to that of “saints” (who still happen to sin). So after a few attempts, I came up with the following:
“Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me … Your Clay Pot Apprentice.”
Or for short, “Your CPA.”
I like the humor it invokes, as well as the image of an apprentice in need of a lot more healing and mentoring, and my Elder Brother who knows what that means. I have no idea at this point where this is taking me. But I am confident in the testimony of many of the “Great Ones” who have gone before us, that using this prayer to return over and over during the day to my need for God will be a good thing.
Signed, one of His C.P.A.’s