• Bob Holmes

What Everyone Should Know About Breath Prayer

God in my breathing God in my sight God in my hearing God is my Light

The Jewish name for God – Yahweh – was not spoken, but breathed. Its correct pronunciation is an attempt to imitate the sound of inhalation and exhalation. We do that every moment: our first and last word as we enter and leave the world… The one thing we do every moment of our lives is therefore to speak the name of God. This makes it our first and our last word as we enter and leave the world. (Richard Rohr: The Naked Now)

The word Breath in most languages as in the Hebrew: Rauch, as well as the Greek: Pneuma means breath, wind or spirit. The Chinese: Chi adds energy or life to the meaning which gets at the heart of the matter.

Walking With Wisdom: Breath Prayer

Breathing…It’s the first thing we do when we’re born and the last thing we do when we die. Jesus' last words on the cross were, “Father, into your hands I give my spirit.” and he breathed his last.

The resurrected Jesus breathed on his disciples and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

Our spirit is the essence of who we really are, and our spirit and our breath intermingled as one. It’s electric, living, pulsating with life.

As God is spirit and as God breathed into us the breath of life, so our breath is our closest point to God. What is lacking is awareness, and here is where Breath Prayer comes in…We make the unconscious, conscious.

An intentional breath prayer is a simple way to drop our linear mind, to consciously enter into our spirit through our breath. It helps us to park our mind while we engage our spirit.

The word is with you, even in your mouth and in your heart

A breath prayer begins in our heart and not our head, or as the Desert Fathers and Mothers might say, “put your mind into your heart.”

Our heart is that part of our soul that interfaces with our body and with our spirit, hence with the eternal and with God.

As spiritual practices go, using our breath as a prayer is probably the simplest and the most complex spiritual practice at the same time.

The Jesus Breath Prayer

*Here’s the Practice:

On your in-breath, silently say ‘Jes,’

and on your out-breath silently say ‘us.’

That’s It!

Now set aside a quiet place with enough time like you would for any exercise program.

As you begin, take two or three deep cleansing breaths.

Take a moment to still your heart.

Then gently turn your focus to your breath and follow your breath with your awareness.

As breath is spirit

Fully breathe in this moment

taking time with eternity

Let the stillness soak into your being.

Breathe in forgiveness

and breathe in grace,

Breathing out gratefully,

releasing your spirit to expand.

By faith, breathe in the Holy Spirit

and breathe out, giving thanks

You might silently say ‘thank you’

Breathe…embracing belonging, releasing gratitude

Release, like a trust fall into the arms of God

focusing in the presence of the eternal.

Breathing in and out

Resting and soak in the presence of God.

After a while, slowly bring yourself back into the present.

Reflect and as you can, carry this with you, practicing the presence of God.

Thank You for allowing me to share this with you.


Now, may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you and abide in you forever. Amen.

Photo Credit: Land of Lakes

  • This compliments Centering Prayer, or as a stand-alone spiritual prayer practice.


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