Breath Prayer

A repeated meditative prayer in the two parts of each breath. With every breath, you draw divine truth deeper into lived reality.

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God breathed. God breathed life into all of creation. God breathed life into you and me. Breath is what gives us life. Each of our lives truly begins with our first breath. When our breathing stops, we fade from the earth. Without breath our flesh starts returning to dust. Breath sustains every one of our lives.

Through breath prayer, we invite God into that which sustains us, our breath. We draw our breath along with the giver of life. We invite the presence of God into our words and our actions. A collision occurs within each breath as we pray. An eternal divine truth breaks into our lived experiences and reality.

Divine Truth with Our Reality

God breathed life, and the breath of God is life-giving. Each breath of prayer sustains our flesh and more deeply embodies that truth within us. Every breath can draw us into deeper fellowship with our Creator. God meets us in breath prayer. It elevates a subconscious impulse into a moment in God’s holy presence.

The act of integrating prayer and meditation into our breath allows us to intentionally focus on the Being of God. Breath prayer is slow. It is intentional. It is rhythmic. It is a meditative, meaningful time with our Creator. The one who breathed life into us, and meets us in that breath. Drawing our attention to God giving us life. Let our breath that sustains us become a prayerful invitation back to God.

A Short History

Again and again in the scriptures, we read that every living, breathing creature praises the Lord. We are told that we should pray without ceasing. That life itself begins with the breath of God. Breath is a foundation of life, and is an expression of the life giving nature of God.

It is said that breath prayer originated by the Desert Mothers and Fathers (around 200CE). They would take a short excerpt from scripture to meditate on. They would repeat the same text back to God as a prayer. Over and over they would pray the same text.

The first passage prayed as a breath prayer likely came from the gospels. Bartimaeus was a blind man in search of healing. Upon encountering Jesus, in his despair he cried out for Jesus to restore his sight. Jesus responded to his fervent display of faith by healing Bartimaeus. His sight was restored. The words he said have become a foundational expression of faith, and a beautiful breath prayer. Countless people echo the words of Bartimaeus for their first time praying breath prayer. These words have become known as the Jesus prayer. You can find these words in Luke 18:13 or Mark 10:47.

Inhale: Jesus Christ, Son of God,
Exhale: have mercy on me, a sinner.

In the span of a single breath the reality of the divinity of Jesus and the abundance of His mercy crashes into reality. We need His mercy. We need it to heal us and to restore us. Just like Bartimaeus, we are sinners. There are countless breath prayers. Each one is a cry to God to meet us in the essence of our life. May the space between our lives and divine truths become entangled and inseparable. God be with us.

Guides for Breath Prayer

How to pray Breath Prayer

Learn how to pray Breath Prayer, and how to write your own Breath Prayers.

Teaching Guide for Breath Prayer

Resources and aides to help you guide other in discoverying and praying breath prayers.

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