EVERY BREATH you take serves as a reminder of God’s gift of life and the Spirit within. The Hebrew word ruach is used interchangeably in scripture for both breath and spirit, as is the Greek word pneuma. A breath prayer is a simple, intimate, and repetitive prayer that can be repeated during each inhalation and exhalation, drawing you nearer to the Spirit of God. This contemplative practice links prayer to the rhythm of your own breath. . . . As you focus on each breath as a gift from God, your prayer becomes a living meditation too, an opportunity to “pray continually” A breath prayer involves two steps: breathing in and breathing out. When you breathe in, call on a biblical name or image of God. When you breathe out, express the longings of your heart or a God-given desire. Don’t worry about where the words fall in your breathing pattern. Calling out to God with words may soon become as rhythmic as breathing. . . .
Each breath is an opportunity to draw nearer to God.
—Whitney R. Simpson
Holy Listening with Breath, Body, and the Spirit
From pages 27-28 of Holy Listening with Breath, Body, and the Spirit by Whitney R. Simpson. Copyright © 2016 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. Learn more about or purchase this book.
Repeat this week’s prayer as a “breath prayer.” When you breathe in, call on a biblical name or image of God. When you breathe out, express the longings of your heart or a God-given desire. Do you have a personal breath prayer? Share your thoughts.
Pray without ceasing.
—1 Thessalonians 5:17, NRSV
Prayer for the Week
Exhale: Give me peace.
(A “breath prayer” from author Whitney Simpson). Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.
Invite young adults in your community to explore faith through community, conversation, and action at a Journey to the Table event. Learn more.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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