Prayer 101: Breath Prayer

“Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10, New Revised Standard Version).

There are times that a very short prayer meets the needs. If we need to re-center in a stressful moment can be a good time to use a short breath prayer. These prayers are not meant to be the center of our prayer life but instead help us to live out Paul’s instruction to pry without ceasing.

If you are driving down the road and you come across an accident, to pray a quick flash prayer, “Lord, help them” is completely appropriate. If you see first responders on their way with lights and sirens going, yet it is a good thing to do. But this is not the time to close you eyes when you pray. Keep them on the road.

If you are at your desk after spending 30 minutes having the boss call you on the carpet and now you feel completely stressed, it might be time for a breath prayer. “Be Still…” and “…know that I am God.”

Today we are talking about breath prayers. These prayers are good for stress relief. They are also good prayers to center one’s self on God.

The most common breath prayers are praying verses of Scripture. As you breath in, you say the first half of the verse and in the second you breath out repeating the second half of the verse. As you slowly breath in, breath slowly and deeply and say, “Be still.” When your lungs are full, start slowly letting them out, saying the second half of the verse. In our case, “and know that I am God.”

There are many verses that lend themselves well to breath prayer. Here is a short list, there are many more.

 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Look! I am going to put breath into you and make you live again! – Ezekiel 37:5

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. – 1 Peter 5:7

Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. – Psalm 62:1

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? – Matthew 6:26

The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace. – Psalm 29:11

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. – Psalm 150:6

The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” – Exodus 33:14

There are many, many more. Search with your favorite web browser and ask for “Breath Prayer”

These prayers are not Scripture but they are still important.

Jesus, let me feel your love.
O Lord Show me your way.
Holy one, heal me.
Jesus Alleluia, have mercy.
Holy Wisdom, Guide me.
Father/Mother (Abba/Amma), let me feel your presence.

The Jesus Prayer is an ancient prayer first used, as far as we know, around the 5th Century. It is a repeated prayer. You say the same words over and over again, as much as between 50 and 100 times in a single prayer session. These simple words can have powerful results but that should not be taken for granted.

The Jesus Prayer:
“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.”

I have used the Jesus prayer in many different settings. It is commonly particularly in the Orthodox Church. They also use this prayer with a prayer rope with one know representing a prayer.

Breath prayer is an important tool in our prayer life. For most of us there are numerous times during the course of our lives where we need to stop, breath in and breath out and as we do, pray a Bible verse or something else that will get us focused on God.

Hitting coaches tell baseball players, “Keep your eye on the ball.” For the Christian, focusing God is central. Breath in, breath out, keep your eye on God as you pray.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Seeking the Genuine,

Copyright 2020, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

One thought on “Prayer 101: Breath Prayer

  1. Mike Seale

    Dear Dr. B, thanks for these words of inspiration and help in calming our souls in these troubling times. We all need help in these stressful times. Also thanks for the unintentional typo that made us laugh. At least it did in my family. In the last two lines of the last sentence under the picture of the person praying into their fingers, you said, ‘”…help us live out Paul’s instruction to PRY without ceasing.” I’m sure people reading Paul’s “typo” (can you have a typo when using quill and Papyrus) have led to much rumor and gossip through out the years. Little did we know that the little old lady in the congregation that passed on all the gossip was just following Paul’s instruction. HaHa.

    Thanks for the chuckle! Love you. Of course you know I mean no disrespect.


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