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Spiritual Disciplines

January 2017: Breath Prayer

Posted by Eric Livingston on

Paul instructs us to pray without ceasing. No problem. Except when I’m busy. Which is always. In my conversations with lifetime church-goers, I rarely meet someone who is satisfied with their prayer life. Almost always, I hear they wish their prayer life was stronger/better/more frequent. Some people struggle with making time to pray. Some people struggle with what to pray about.

The practice of Breath Prayer works to solve those problems. It eliminates the need for large blocks of time, yet keeps you centered in prayer throughout the day. It also focuses your daily prayer in a way that helps you go deeper into prayer rather than broader in content. That is, instead of thinking about what to pray about next, the Breath Prayer enables the prayer to focus on one thought, establishing a deep connection with God.

The breath prayer is a short prayer, uttered or thought in the process of one breath cycle. As you breathe in, call out to God, addressing him in an appropriate way for the following phrase. As you exhale, express your short, focused request to God. Early in the day, define what your breath prayer will be for the day. Because this is a short, two-phrase prayer, it will be easy to remember and allow you to pray multiple times during the day.

You might pray:

  • [Inhale] Abba Father, [Exhale] Remind me that I am Yours.
  • [Inhale] Great Healer, [Exhale] Make my body whole.
  • [Inhale] Jesus, Son of David, [Exhale] Have mercy on me, a sinner.
  • [Inhale] God of Peace, [Exhale] Remove my anxiety.

You don’t have to remember to breathe. Your body naturally desires air. The Breath Prayer helps train us to long for God in the same way. Having established a breath prayer for the day in the morning, keep this prayer in your heart and on the tip of your tongue throughout the day, so that when you have a moment of quiet you can breathe, and know that God is with you.

 

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