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Breath Prayer

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

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.

Today’s Question

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.

Today’s Scripture

Pray without ceasing.
—1 Thessalonians 5:17, NRSV

Prayer for the Week

Inhale: Jesus
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.

Something more

Invite young adults in your community to explore faith through community, conversation, and action at a Journey to the Table event. Learn more.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

Sponsored by The Upper Room. Copyright © 2019 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling June 17, 2019, 4:57 am

    Almighty God, lead and guide me!

  • Wilbert June 17, 2019, 6:19 am

    Yes I do have a biblical prayer, and I do believe that my prayers a vet and highly effective. What a privilege to be able to call on God, and to know he’s always there.

  • Jill June 17, 2019, 6:44 am

    Jesus – You are my peace.
    Grateful for a wonderful church service prior to the cancer support group yesterday. If I did not have a church home, I would very likely be at this church – alive, vibrant, strong Biblical preaching from the pulpit. Grateful for transparency and unbridled honesty at the meeting – for tears of compassion and longing. A smaller group than usual, likely due to Father’s Day and summer.
    So very grateful to begin to settle in to summer. Golfing this morning with dad got rained out. So, I luxuriously linger in this still, quiet morning.

  • Betsy June 17, 2019, 6:48 am

    “Lord, son of God, have mercy on my, a sinner.”

  • Lou June 17, 2019, 6:50 am

    More of You Lord.
    Less of me.
    Prayers for all who come here today-

  • Julie June 17, 2019, 8:06 am

    Lord, give me peace
    Lord, use me, damage and all
    Prayers for Robert and Erich as they move through the last phases of closing.
    Prayers for Marcy as she travels far to attend to her vehicle.
    Prayers for all who mourn, who hurt physically and emotionally, for all who are burdened, may the Lord be with you today.
    Prayers, blessings, warm hugs and thank you dear UR family

  • Cherie June 17, 2019, 8:39 am

    Breathe in Christ. Breathe out Let me be love and light!

  • robert moeller June 18, 2019, 3:14 am

    Thankful the closing went well, practiced my signature a lot, moved in a few items, set up essential utilities, and did some checking on things that will go both there and here. A good drive there and back. Now to move!

    i don’t have a breath prayer, this is new to me. I think inhale “Jesus” exhale “Thank You” is my prayer after yesterday. Thank you to all who prayed for Erich and I. Prayers for Marcy. Have no idea how she is able to travel, surely God is with her on this journey. Hope it turns out well. God’s peace be with all of you. Thank you!

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