Wednesday, April 5, 2023

To Breathe a Prayer

 One of the practices I have learned, and that I call upon from time to time, is a breath prayer.  I am no longer sure how I learned it, but I do know that it brings me comfort and strength. 

What is a breath prayer?  As mentioned in the link below, it is prayer in which our breathing supports our practice. With each inhale I pray a short line, and with each exhale I pray a short line. The prayer I learned goes like this:

Inhale: Jesus Christ
Exhale: Son of God
Inhale: Have mercy on me
Exhale: A sinner.

This is also called the Jesus Prayer. There are occasions when I pray this prayer over and over, each breath and repetition bringing me clearer focus on the content of the prayer.  It is a prayer of praise and humility, a prayer of intercession, and a prayer that is always in my heart when I don't know how or what to pray. 

This web page suggests that we create our own breath prayers and offers further examples:

Today I tried creating my own for the first time. I find that I prefer a four-line prayer so that I have two sets of inhales and exhales.  My prayer is:

Lord of Life
Gentle shepherd
Grant me courage
To walk your path

I hope you will try breath prayer, and I wish you a glorious month. 

Be sure to visit Ruth at There's No such Things as a God-forsaken Town. You will find links in the comments to others in our Spiritual Journey group. Click HERE.  Thanks for our prompt this month, Ruth, and for hosting. 


  1. Karen I have never heard of a breath prayer so thank you for introducing it to me. I think this would be such a calming influence for us when things seem to be barreling out of control. Stop...breathe...pray. Things will work out.

  2. We are having 17 for Easter this year. If you don’t mind, we will pray your prayer!

    1. Gwen: Certainly pray it! Easter blessings to you and the gang!

  3. Karen, your breath prayer is lovely. I tried it using my yoga breath sequence. It is calming. Sometimes during the resting period of yoga, I concentrate on the Lord's beating heart trying to reach a peaceful state. I will try to concentrate on your prayer to get back to sleep tonight.

  4. Karen, I knew the Jesus prayer as a meditative one, but had never heard of recitation with breath; it adds a new layer to the prayer for me. Your breath prayer is simple and true, and brings peace and support even as I practice the lines. I may try this with my favorite verse: Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10.

  5. Dear Lord
    Thank you for your love
    Thank you for your son
    Thank you for the Holy Spirit

  6. I love breath prayers, Karen. I actually lean heavily on them - literally- when out of breath (on my bike, climbing a steep hill). Words have failed me of late -prayer-wise. I have to go back to try simply breathing prayer. I love how it calms the heart.

  7. I love your breath prayer. I think I'll use it until I figure out my own. Thanks for sharing the resource.This is a new practice for me.