Breath Prayers from the Bible
Spreading The Truth One Byte At A Time
By Ron Bender© 2008, 2013
What a blessing it is to use a beloved Bible verses as a short Breath Prayer. Breathing slow and deep as you meditate on a verse of Scripture can be a special way of Abiding in Prayer that God uses to restore our souls in his peace.
Using Breath Prayers have helped many people I counsel or mentor to draw closer to the Lord Jesus Christ and thereby to overcome worry, fear, low self-esteem, compulsive behavior, or anger. This simple practice can make for a delightful time of meditating on Scripture and then throughout the day you can use your Bible phrase as a little arrow prayer that you shoot up as often as you can remember, which helps you to learn to follow Paul’s teaching to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
To meditate deeply on Scripture is to “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Colossians 3:16). We take God’s Word from our mind down, down, down into our heart so that our will is formed by it. Breath Prayer meditations on Scripture help us to become as the branch that abides in the Christ-Vine to bear fruit naturally (John 15:1-7).
Breath Prayer Rhythms
A Breath Prayer rhythm is simple: Breathe in slow and deep as you whisper or think on a Bible phrase and hold your breath… Then exhale. Why focus on your breathing? This is not an Eastern meditation approach to reach Nirvana. It’s a Christian practice that goes back to the 3rd Century. This approach to Breath Prayers is a way to be intentional about using your body to engage your mind and heart on praying Scripture. You’re training yourself to be with Jesus and become more like him. You’re practicing a fundamental spiritual formation rhythm. You’re turning your breathing into prayer.
Try it. That’s the way you’ll understand the value of it. At first it might feel awkward, as it takes practice for slow, deep breathing to become natural and beneficial. It also takes practice using the Breath Prayer rhythms below before their meanings become deeply associated with your breathing pattern such that they live in your unconscious mind and don’t require much thought. Trust the Spirit of Christ to assist you, helping you to find the Bible phrase you most need to pray and to get into a good rhythm with it.
Here are some basic Breath Prayer rhythms (depending on the Bible verse you’re using pick the rhythm with the meaning that fits best):
Favorite Breath Prayers from the Bible
Below I share some of the Breath Prayers from the Bible that have been most helpful to people. For each one the suggested general breathing pattern is to breathe in as you whisper the words before the ellipses and then breathe out, whispering any words after the ellipses. Each Breath Prayer works well with one or more of the specific rhythms/meanings above. (All verses are NIV unless indicated otherwise):
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