Keep me simple

My experience with the breath prayer was one of several stories Ron DelBene included in later editions of his first book, The Breath of Life. I’m “Alex” in a paragraph from page 103:

While showering one morning at a weekend retreat . . . I prayed, “Father, radiate your love through me.” The new prayer had a dual focus: to receive God’s love … and to be a vessel for radiating God’s love outwardly. I prayed this prayer from October 1981 until May 1991. … I was at a camp for a five-day session on spiritual formation. After a lecture we were asked to spend an hour reflecting on John 15. I sat in the chapel looking at a picture of Jesus. The word “abide” … converged with the large, inviting hand of Jesus in the picture to prompt another breath prayer: “Jesus, abide in me.” For five months, this was my prayer. … I began to note … a shift in the prayer. Now, I pray, “Jesus, keep me simple.”

I wrote those words almost 30 years ago, and “Jesus, keep me simple” is still my prayer. Sometimes, a situation may prompt one of the earlier prayers. A few weeks ago, I was helping a relative through a difficult time and I found myself praying, “Father, radiate your love through me.”

I’ll conclude this excursion tomorrow with what may seem to be a non-religious understanding of prayer and its importance for the planet.

One thought on “Keep me simple”

  1. Bill and I moved back to California in September 1981. His dad died in August and we took care of affairs before he headed back to LA for his last year of dermatology residency at UCLA. So, I did not get to be with you after you were on that five day retreat in 1981. I am glad we’ve stayed in touch all these years


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