Let go and let God

DAY 29 REFLECTION: Let go and let God

The past and future, as real as they may seem to us, are mental constructions. The present moment is all that there truly is and can ever be. God, like life itself, can only exist in the present moment. The unconscious mind loves to obsess about the past and future, but our breath is our anchor to this moment and to God. Therefore, letting go and letting God is a conscious Christian practice, which can be strengthened through meditation and silent prayer.

Barna research found that prayer was the most common spiritual practice among Americans, irrespective of their religious affiliation or non-affiliation. The most common motivation for prayer was “gratitude and thanksgiving” (62%). Other popular motivations were the “needs of their family and community” (61%), followed by “personal guidance in crisis” (49%).(71)

But what if prayer transcended negotiation? What if it was less about our hopes and fears? Less about the past and future, and more connected to God in this moment? What if prayer was more about spiritual stillness than hearing ourselves talk and fulfilling our personal desires? What if it was less in our heads and more in our hearts?

When Jesus retreated to pray, it’s hard to imagine him talking aloud for 40 days straight. Similarly, today, silent prayer and meditation can be anchored in our breath and connected to our direct experience. In Genesis, the Lord breathed into Adam’s nostrils the breath of life.(72) Through this act, Adam became a living being.  Connecting to our breath can similarly help us connect to life in the present moment. The body is said to be the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19), and in this temple, our breath is its sanctuary. As in Job 32:8, it is the spirit in a person, the breath of the Almighty, that gives understanding. 

Letting go and letting God through meditative prayer can bring with it the peace that passes understanding. In our day-to-day lives, much of the turmoil we experience happens in our minds, which are naturally wired to obsess about the past and future. By freeing ourselves from the compulsions of our minds, we can experience more peace, generosity, patience, wisdom, truth, and love.

Paul wrote that we should not be conformed to the world but that we should be transformed by the renewing of our minds.(73) Meditation and silent prayer are ways for us to renew in each moment. When transcending thought, we can let go and let God and discover where divinity and humanity meet in our own lives right here, right now. 

We simply need to breathe and engage.

71. “Silent and Solo: How Americans Pray,” Barna (Barna Group, August 15, 2017), https://www.barna.com/research/silent-solo-americans-pray/.
72. Gen. 2:7
73. Rom. 12:2