New every morning is your love, great God of light, and all day long you are working for good in the world. Stir up in us desire to serve you, to live peacefully with our neighbors and all your creation, and to devote each day to your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

"A Liturgy for Morning Prayer," Upper Room Worshipbook

Used by permission from the Book of Common Worship, © 2018 Westminster John Knox Press. All rights reserved. This prayer appears in “A Liturgy for Morning Prayer” in Upper Room Worshipbook.


Today’s Reflection

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)

Today’s Question

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.

Today’s Scripture

Pray continually.
—1 Thessalonians 5:17 (CEB)

Breath Prayer for the Week

Inhale: Jesus
Exhale: Give me peace.
Whitney R. Simpson, Holy Listening with Breath, Body, and the Spirit
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

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.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.


  • robert moeller Posted May 16, 2022 5:34 am

    Although I am aware of breath prayers, In don’t have one. At the beginning of my life breathing was a challenge, was at the doctor’s office/hospital the first 10 days of my life, had pneumonia.
    Later allergies of many kinds made it easier for colds to become bronchitis and at least once asthma. Fall ragweed had me wishing for frost. Thankfully around 22 my allergies vanished.
    The condo listing posts today, prayers all goes smoothly. Prayers for Buffalo, an end to gun violence, more mental health help, Ukraine, but also Afghanistan, Yemen, India, and Pakistan.
    Lord we need not only wisdom, but action to care for the earth where we live. Cutting fossil fuel use is essential. Prayers for drought stricken areas, forests on fire, the hungry and homeless,
    Prayers for health, welfare, disability help, jobs, students and teachers, the joy of competitive recreational sports, our pets, peace and blessings to ALL God’s children this day and always. Thank You, Lord.

  • Lou Posted May 16, 2022 8:10 am

    My breath prayer is “More of you Lord/ Less of Me”. I like the simplicity of a breath prayer and it often helps to refocus and calm me.
    I am enjoying time with my middle child- a whole week off of work and spending it in LA where my daughter lives – I only get to see her a few times a year so I am so enjoying this special time. As I’ve gotten older/ more set in my ways/ housebound over the past several years due to covid/ – I’ve found that I am a more anxious traveler. I do not like that and am working on rectifying that about myself. My daughter likes to be on the go so we are! Prayers for my return at the end of the week and my strength and safety for us both.
    Prayers for Robert – and the progress with the condo and house. Prayers for Jill as another school year draws to a close. Prayers for Julie and her health issues. Prayers for Allie for her continued strength and peace. Blessings to April and Rick and prayers for their continued strength.
    Blessings and God’s peace to all who come here today.

  • Julie Posted May 16, 2022 9:09 am

    I do not have a breath prayer, but it sounds like a valuable tool.
    The gray kitten fell from the edge outside the railing on the second floor of our two story foyer to the hardwood floor in our entryway yesterday morning. I was scared he had hurt himself but he got up and walked away and has been normal in every way since. We have blocked off most of the offending area so hopefully that will not happen again. Also, Saturday evening h got his night and day confused and thought it was Sunday morning and would not believe Megan and I when we tried to correct him. He took a shower and performed other Sunday morning tasks. He is getting worse.
    Prayers for Ally’s disability appeal and her and David’s health. Prayers for April as she continues her caregiving duties. Prayers for Jill and Roger after a day of ear pricks and delayed meals, may the numbers show an improvement. Prayers for Lou and her daughter, may their visit be filled with fun and closeness. Prayers for Robert and his move, may all go smoothly. Prayers for Rick and his husband as they also seek a new home.

  • Jill Posted May 16, 2022 2:27 pm

    Lou – I like your breath prayer. I do not have a breath prayer. The closest I have come to one is using the verse from Psalm 5. “Lead me O Lord…in Your righteousness.”
    I heard from the vet and will be slightly reducing Roger’s insulin dose twice daily. I was thinking about it this afternoon. When he was at 8 units – he had his highest readings…2 in the 600s. Then, he seemed to stabilize at 9. Now, cutting back to 8. His poor little wrecked body. But he keeps chugging along. He is definitely acting more like himself. She said to test him again in a month.
    Gray and rainy skies this morning have given way to some sunshine.
    Will be a busy week as I have tennis each of the next 4 nights. Grateful that schoolwork is at a minimum. I have both of my exams made for my year 1 students. Exams are in two weeks.
    Lou – glad you are getting this time with your daughter.
    Julie – I pray you and Megan will be safe and have patience in these days ahead. The hallucinations my friend’s mom had with Parkinson’s were other-worldly. May God strengthen you for what lies ahead.

  • Rick Posted May 16, 2022 5:52 pm

    I do have a breath prayer , God in/and that which keeps me from Jesus out. It is one I use often for centering my Body ,Mind and Spirt during prayer and meditation.
    Prayers for Robert, that his condo sells quickly and for a new home. Prayers for Lou , for traveling mercies and health during this time. Prayers for Julie and Megan ,as they navigate the challenges with H and his decline. As well as Julie’s health challenges. Prayers for Jill and Roger, praying the new insulin will be more effective. Praying the rest of the school year goes well. Holding Allie and David and April in my thoughts and prayers too and all who come here may find rest and joy.

  • Ally Posted May 16, 2022 6:13 pm

    I decided to use this week’s prayer as my breath prayer. Will also try the psalms I pray daily as breath prayers. The Upper Room devotional from Saturday had some good stuff about prayer. It was a good reminder that Jesus uses believers to help advance God’s kingdom and strengthen our connection to God and enrich our relationship with God. Too often I have viewed prayer as petitions for stuff. Lord, may our relationship grow as we talk friend to friend. A friend gave me a sentence prayer I will use too: “Mind of Christ, Voice of Truth; By His Stripes, I am healed”.
    We’ve had a good day. We visited the library, which we always enjoy. An upper floor window looks out over Georgia’s old Capitol, which predates the Civil War. It is now a museum. It is a lovely view. I also talked to a local disability attorney recommended by a friend. Have an appointment with her tomorrow. I feel the attorney I have now is not helping me. Firm is too big. I wait days for a callback. I feel someone local can offer more personal service. Thank you for your prayers for this process.
    Robert, glad to hear the condo is posted. Praying for success. The ability to breathe is precious. Julie, I’m glad the little guy is ok. Prayers continue for him and for your family as H’s illness progresses. Prayers for your health too. Lou, sounds like you are having a great time with your daughter. Prayers for your travel anxiety. I probably would feel same way. Jill, prayers as your school year winds down. Good news that vet is pleased with Roger’s numbers. Prayers for his health. April, Prayers for God to give you strength and grace as you care for your loved one. Rick, glad to hear you are home in San Diego. Prayers for you and your husband as you settle back in.
    Robert, I am agreeing with you in prayer for peace in our world, common sense response to issues regarding gun violence and saving our climate.
    These words of Christ bring hope: “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
    Blessings to all.

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