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 (Upper Room Books, 2016)
Repeat the breath prayer described in today’s reflection: “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.” Do you have a personal breath prayer? Join the conversation.
—1 Thessalonians 5:17 (CEB)
Breath Prayer for the Week
As the war in Ukraine continues, we invite you to join us for a special Prayer Summit in The Upper Room Chapel on May 25, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. (CDT). We will hear firsthand stories from Ukrainians and from those serving Ukrainian refugees. Together, we continue to pray for peace and an end to violence in Ukraine and around the world. Please plan to join us on Facebook Live and YouTube.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.