The LORD God formed the human from the topsoil of the fertile land and blew life’s breath into his nostrils. The human came to life. (Genesis 2:7a)
Good Day Family,
When I was in seminary, I was introduced to Breath Prayers. These were short prayers—a word or brief phrase—that could be recited on one slow, continuous breath. It is a way of centering, releasing, and calming the spirit and focusing our attention on God. It can be used at the start of a more extensive prayer time, or it can stand alone.
In scripture, we see references to breath tied inextricably to life as well as to renewal. In fashioning human beings, God breathed life into them. When giving the prophet Ezekiel a vision of new life coming from dry and dead places, God instructs the prophet to speak to the wind and promised that the breath would enter.
When we receive startling news (good or bad), we often say it takes our breath away. There are times, when excited or anxious, that we find ourselves unconsciously holding our breath. It doesn’t take long, however, for us to notice this, and we quickly drag a breath into our lungs…filling up what has been depleted.
That’s also the point of the breath prayer, to recharge and refuel us with the breath of life. To connect us with the Spirit of God, who is also known as the wind in the Old Testament. Every breath we take, reminds us that we are alive, and therefore, we are blessed by God, but we are also purposed by God. Our lives—our breath—is not for our own singular concerns. We have been crafted by God and placed in this time and place for a reason. If we don’t know what that is, then it’s certainly time to take a breath and listen to the Holy Spirit for wisdom and insight.
Breathe in God’s goodness, and breathe out gratitude. Day by day. Moment by moment. Breathe in and breathe out. Center and focus on God in the world and God in you. And be thankful.