Article

Breath Prayer: Personal and Community Prayers

by The Rev. Betsey Heavner

Breath Prayer takes the continuous and mechanical motions of our breathing and incorporates words of prayer to create an act that is useful, especially whenever our normal prayer lives are interrupted. In fact, this prayer pattern offers remedies for our anxious minds and bodies on two fronts: we call upon God’s attention to our need, while at the same time, we calm our bodies with the rhythm of breathing.

Develop a Personal Breath Prayer
What is the name you most often use for God? “Creator of the Universe” “Friend of my soul” “Lover of my life” are examples.
What is your petition or prayer at this time? “Heal my daughter” “Stay with me” “Attend to my need” are examples.
Put the two together: “Creator of the Universe, heal my daughter.” When calling upon the Lord, breathe in. As you state your request, exhale.

Prayer for Starting a Meeting
As the meeting starts, light a candle and invite people to focus on the light, remembering Jesus promised to be present when two or three are gathered. Encourage people to pay attention to their breathing. As they breath in, imagine they are inhaling God’s Spirit; breathing out, they exhale the stress of the day.

Breath Prayers

A helpful way to become centered and focused

Breathe out doubt; breathe in assurance

Breathe out worry; breathe in peace of mind

Breathe out hatred; breathe in love

Breathe out war; breathe in peace

Breathe out turmoil; breathe in harmony

Breathe out insecurity; breathe in God’s presence

Breathe out emptiness; breathe in fulfillment

Breathe out selfishness; breathe in generosity

Breathe out darkness; breathe in God’s everlasting light

Categories: What's My Role?, Pastor/Staff-Parish Relations Commmittee, Church Council, Leadership Development