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Breath Prayer

The breath of the Almighty gives me life

The Spirit of God has made me;

the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

Job 33:4

Breathing is an unconscious thing, yet a deep breath refreshes and calms the body and mind. When we become conscious of our breathing by adding a prayer to the rhythm, we create the space to connect with God and for God to settle our souls as we focus on Him.

Breath prayer is simply a form of prayer

 that we link to the rhythms of our breathing.

The breath prayer practice not only connects us to God or settles our hearts and minds, it reminds us that just as we can’t live on one breath of air, we can’t live on one breath of God. God is the oxygen of our soul, and we need to breathe him in all day long. 

Breath prayer also can remind us that each breath we are given is God’s gift and that God’s Spirit is nearer to us than our own breath. 

One of the gifts of the breath prayer is that it can easily be prayed anytime, anywhere.

The rhythm of a breath prayer most commonly begins with a name or image of God as you inhale followed with a simple God-given desire or promise as you exhale.

Breath prayer examples:

The Lord is my Shepherd ... I lack nothing.

Psalm 23:1

Or one of the most familiar breath prayers is from Mark 10:47-48:

Jesus, Son of God... have mercy on me.

Let’s practice a breath prayer together:

Select a breath prayer.

To begin, consider using one of the examples above or in the list below. You can also pray your own breath prayer.

(See below for guidance on how to create your own.)

Breathe in slowly and deeply, silently saying the first phrase of your prayer.  

“The Lord is my Shepherd…” (or the first phrase of the prayer you chose.)

And then slowly exhale as you say silently:

“…I lack nothing.” (or the second phrase of your prayer)

Repeat the breath prayer.

Repeat your breath prayer until you feel a deeper connection with God and/or you feel your soul settling into His peace.

Consider writing your breath prayer on a small piece of paper or in a note on your phone as a reminder to stay aware of your breath and prayer throughout your day.

Examples of breath prayers from our 2021 Week of Prayer:

Jesus, bread of my life,

You alone nourish my soul.

 (John 6:35)

Jesus, light of the world,

May I see and reflect your life.

(John 8:12)

Jesus, my good shepherd,

I belong to you.

(John 10:11)

Jesus, resurrection and life,

Resurrect hope today.

(John 11:25)

Create your own breath prayer:

You can develop your own personalized prayer that helps you to connect deeply with God in whatever way you need it the most at that time. Ask God to help you form your prayer.

1.  Select a name for God for your prayer.

examples: Creator, Yahweh, Lord Almighty, the I AM, Father, Jesus, Spirit, Potter, Good Shepherd, Living Water, or Bread of Life…

2.  Then pick a word or phrase that describes what your heart longs for from God. 

examples: let me feel Your love, show me your way, heal me, guide me, shape me…

3. Combine the two phrases for your prayer.