Breath Prayers connect us to God with every breath.

Breath Prayers


Every breath is a sacred gift. Without it, we die. That’s what makes breath prayers so powerful. They connect us to God with every breath.

The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life. (Job 33:4)

Considering its great size and power, an elephant must exercise self-control and restraint to effectively navigate and thrive. Likewise, breath prayers help us navigate and thrive through the elephant-sized gift of our breath (and the One who is with us in every breath).

Christ in. Self out. More of Him. Less of me.

What started when God breathed the breath of life into Adam continues in each of us every minute of every day that our hearts beat on this spinning, blue planet. At least a dozen times a minute, we repeat this ancient rhythm that began in the Garden of Eden.

Just as God breathed life into us (“The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.”), He breathed it into His Word: “All Scripture is God-breathed.” (2 Timothy 3:16a)

Yet how often do we move through our days, months, and years, giving no thought to this automatic function of life? The Desert Mothers and Fathers chose this rhythm to teach them how to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Their most common prayer was an echo of Luke 18:13: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

With every breath, their hearts and minds were drawn toward Jesus.


Research shows that how we breathe also makes a difference. Breathing deeply:

  • lowers heart rate and blood pressure
  • calms the sympathetic nervous system
  • improves mood
  • improves symptoms of depression
  • reduces stress and anxiety
  • relieves pain
  • improves focus
  • improves memory
  • increases energy
  • improves lung function
  • reduces tension
  • improves heart function
  • reduces inflammation
  • promotes blood flow
  • improves core muscle stability

So many good things tucked into a single function of life!




As we consciously pray a short passage of Scripture with each breath, thoughts settle, breathing slows, pressure drops, expectations wane, stress falls away, tensions fade, heart rates ease, and we are drawn into the Presence of our Creator.

 “To pray is to breathe alongside God.” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

How fitting to pray the gift of God’s Word to the ancient rhythm of His gift of our life.

Are you ready to step in?  


  1. Find a comfortable spot.
  2. Close your eyes.
  3. Quiet your thoughts.
  4. When you’re ready, begin with the first few words of Scripture as you breathe in, Let the word of Christ – (Focus on each word.)
  5. Complete the verse as you exhale, – dwell in you richly.
  6. If you are anxious or your body is restless, try adding a simple  movement as you breathe:

• Look up and open your hands, surrendering your will, words, thoughts, anxiety, frustration, exhaustion, and sin to Jesus.

• Pull your hands into your chest as you breathe in the first half of your prayer, embracing God and His Word.

• Open and extend your hands as you breathe out the second half of your prayer, worshipping God.

  1. Focus on each word.
  2. Begin to feel the rhythm of the words with the rhythm of your breathing.
  3. Listen for God to speak to you in this place of quiet surrender.



My soul finds rest in God alone. (Psalm 62:1a)

When I am afraid, I will trust in you. (Psalm 56:3 CSB)

I cried to my God for help … He heard my voice … (Psalm 18:6)

Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening. (1 Samuel 3:9b)

…not my will, but yours be done. (Luke 22:42)

Be still, and know that I am God… (Psalm 46:10a)

May your unfailing love be my comfort… (Psalm 119:76a)

My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:2)

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. (Psalm 147:3)

…I cried to the Lord…he answered by setting me free. (Psalm 118:5)

…live by the Spirit…keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:25)

Breathing a prayer to God is a simple way of using your body to engage your mind on the Word of God. Bill Gaultiere


Breath Prayers

Considering its great size and power, an elephant must exercise self-control and restraint to effectively navigate and thrive. Likewise, breath prayers help us navigate and thrive through the elephant-sized gift of our breath (and the One who is with us in every breath).

Show Me, Lord Prayer

Are you overwhelmed, weary, discouraged, or unsure of how to live this life you’ve been given? You’re not alone. It is at the point of surrender that we finally begin to hear God speak.

Prayers for the Journey

These short prayers can strengthen, encourage, and inspire you to step into the comforting presence of God, where you are fully known, infinitely cared about, and deeply loved.

Happy Bubbles

Books We Love • Breath Prayers

FREE BOOK pdf: The Way of a Pilgrim
Breath as Prayer: Calm Your Anxiety, Focus Your Mind, and Renew Your Soul

Breath as Prayer: Calm Your Anxiety, Focus Your Mind, and Renew Your Soul

Jennifer Tucker

Find hope amid anxiety through the spiritual practice of breath prayer in this beautifully illustrated and practical guide to connecting body, mind, and spirit during times of stress. Discover practices with proven health benefits. Breath prayers are intentional prayers centered around Scripture that focus our minds on Christ as we calm our bodies through breathing.

Buy from Amazon

Discovering Hope • Beginning the Journey Toward Hope in Chronic Illness

Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation

Ruth Haley Barton

Do you long for a deep, fundamental change in your life with God? Do you desire a greater intimacy with God? Spiritual disciplines are activities that open us to God’s transforming love and the changes that only God can bring about in our lives. Dive deeply into understanding seven key disciplines along with practical ideas for weaving them into everyday life.

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The Way of the Heart: Connecting with God Through Prayer, Wisdom, and Silence

Henri J.M. Nouwen

Discover a spiritual path consisting of three stepping-stones: solitude (learning not to be alone but to be alone with God); silence (the discipline by which the inner fire of God is tended and kept alive); and prayer (standing in the presence of God with the mind in the heart).

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Whispers: Being with God in Breath Prayers

Jean Wise

The practice of breath prayers helps you connect more deeply and intimately with God. Breath prayers are powerful, short prayers (often only 5-7 words in length) said in one breath, allowing the words to merge with one’s breathing by quietly repeating a phrase for several minutes. The idea is to pick a meaningful phrase and repeat it until it becomes part of your very being.

Buy from Amazon

100 Names of God

Word by Word: A Daily Spiritual Practice

Marilyn McEntyre

Word by Word is a beautifully- written book of meditations on fifteen well-chosen words. Readers are invited to dwell intentionally with single words: remember their biblical and literary contexts, consider the personal associations they bring up, and allow them to become a focus for prayer and meditation.

Buy from Amazon

The Amazon buttons are affiliate links, which means if you click on the link and purchase the item, Chronic Joy will receive an affiliate commission.

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