Come close to God, and God will come close to you (James 4:8; NLT).

The Lord is close to all who call on him (Psalm 145:18; NLT).

He is close to those who trust in him (Nahum 1:7; NLT).

The kingdom of God is within you (Luke 17:21; NKJV).

You are the temple of the living God (Luke 17:21; NKJV).

Lord God,
You are as close to me
As breathing,

As close as the thoughts
In my mind,

And the feelings
In my heart –

For you dwell
In my soul.




Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me (Psalm 42:7; NIV).

The mighty waters engulfed me; I was buried beneath your wild and stormy waves (Jonah 2:3; NLT).

But mightier than the violent raging of the seas, mightier than the breakers on the shore – the LORD above is mightier than these (Psalm 93:4; NLT).

Kings will stand speechless in his presence (Isaiah 52:15; NLT).

In contemplation,
I surf my breathing.

Again and again,
I try to catch a wave
And ride it towards you;
But a sea of problems
Swamps me,
Dragging me down
Into the depths.

From time to time,
The surge lifts me up,
Sweeping me effortlessly
Into your presence,
And dropping me at your feet,
Where I am lost for words.


A breathing meditation

Today’s prayer is a very practical exercise. If you haven’t done any Christian contemplation before, and want to try it, go to a quiet place where will not be interrupted for 10-20 minutes (don’t take a phone). Sit comfortably, and make sure you are warm enough – a soft blanket can be very comforting. Relax, be still, and allow yourself to become aware of your breathing. Then slowly pray the first line of the first couplet (either in a whisper, or silently in your head), whilst breathing in, and the second line whilst breathing out. There is no hurry. Breathe in and out slowly between each verse, enjoying the quietness. Then do the same with the next couplet, and so on. Thoughts, feelings and memories will probably come into your mind, distracting you from the exercise. Just quietly be aware of them, but give them no attention. Gently let them go, and continue to pray. You might want to say the whole prayer two or three times, allowing the silence and stillness within you to deepen. Continue to sit quietly for a minute or two after finishing, experiencing the moment. Then wriggle your fingers and toes, and start moving your arms and legs, to prepare your body for standing up. Get up slowly, taking a couple of breaths, before moving on gently to continue with your day. See if you can take some of that inner peace with you, as you leave your solitary place.

A breathing meditation

* Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed (Mark 1:35; NIV).
* But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen (Matthew 6:6; NIV).
* Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him (Psalm 37:7; NIV).
* He says, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10; NIV).
* Be silent before the Sovereign LORD (Zephaniah 1:7; NIV).

Lord, in this solitary place,
I let go of everything but you.

Lord, in this patient waiting,
I let go of everything but you.

Lord, in this peaceful stillness,
I let go of everything but you.

Lord, in this deepening silence,
I let go of everything but you.