We all take breath every day.
I often am known to say, “breathe deep the breath of God.” There are many different prayer practices. Breath prayer, sometimes also known as “prayer of the heart” has been practiced in the Church for centuries. The Apostle Paul says to pray without ceasing. Breath prayer is a practice to remind you that each and every breath is a gift from God and to focus on God’s Spirit in a brief and intentional way.
The most well-known breath prayer is called the “Jesus Prayer.”
It combines Luke 18:29 and Luke 18:13. Breath prayers help you pay attention to your breathing. You inhale- breathing in praying, “Jesus, Son of David”, and then you exhale- breathing out praying “have mercy on me a sinner.”
You can design or write your own breathe prayer, or follow this ancient one.
Another example of a breath prayer is:
Breathe in praying, “ABBA” and then breathe out, “I belong to you!” (This is my personal favorite)
Breathe in praying, “Lord Jesus,” and then breathe out, “Here I am.”
Spiritual Practice: Breath Prayer
Scriptures: Acts 17:28; Psalm 62:1; John 14:23
Practice of Breath Prayer includes: Waiting on the Lord in an open and expectant/attentive way; Resting in and with Christ; Attending to the presence of the Holy Spirit with you; Releasing distractions to God and sitting in His presence
Some Potential Fruit of Breath Prayer: You get to keep company with Jesus; Bringing stillness to your life; Learning to listen to God; Living in greater awareness of your union with God; Taking a Scripture and learning it as you breathe it in and out; Resting in God’s presence and will and not your own; Releasing to God what consumes and bothers you; Developing a quiet center not attached to outcomes.
A Few Questions to Ponder: How does the thought of a repetitive prayer strike you? What are the pros and cons of this type of prayer for you? How do you practice what the Apostle Paul said to do- “pray at all times”? How might a breath prayer lead you into deeper communion with Jesus and other types of prayer?
-Rev. Dr. Care Crawford