Christ-followers in the West are feeling disconnected from their Savior. For many, prayer is a one-sided conversation, with little or no conscious awareness of the personal presence of God, and thus little or no clarity concerning God’s purposes in the events of their lives. Through combining the ancient Christian spiritual practices of breath prayer and lectio divina with personal timeline analysis, this study provides spiritual seekers with a tool set that increases their awareness of God’s active presence in the past and present events of their lives,
thus providing a greater sense of confidence of God’s purposes being worked out in their future.
Utilizing two research gathering tools, this dissertation measured five factors of spiritual growth that resulted from the practice of breath prayer and lectio divina when applied to the high points and low points of life. To form their personal breath prayers, the participants in this study selected the biblical name of God that relates to their soul’s deep need in the selected events of life. Then for their lectio practice they were provided with key biblical texts where the selected name of God is best revealed. This process was repeated for up to five key events in the personal timeline, thus immersing personal high points and low points of one’s life in the biblical story with the result that participants
experienced a significant increase in awareness of God’s sustaining presence, experienced measurable growth in emotional and spiritual healing, gained increased understanding and thankfulness for God’s purposes in their lives, gained greater confidence for their future, and incorporated the prayer methods into their ongoing spiritual lifestyle.
Participants were trained in at least one of six different settings: mentoring only, a five-day retreat, a twenty-four-hour retreat, a 9-week sermon series, an eight-week seminar series, and a weekly small group. The research hypothesis was validated through analysis of data from the two response forms and from personal interviews