Breath prayers are short prayers that are easy to repeat in one or two breaths.
Jean Wise, author of Whispers: Being with God in Breath Prayer, has a great post on tips for using breath prayers here.
She includes this quote from Ruth Haley Barton that offers some guidance:
“Once you have discovered your breath prayer, pray it into the spaces of your day – when you are waiting, when you are worried and anxious, when you need a sense of God’s presence. Over time learn to pray it ‘underneath’ all the other thoughts and words that swirl around you throughout your daily interactions.”
One of the readings from the Daily Office Lectionary (which I follow using the Book of Common Prayer) is Romans 15:7-13 which says:
Romans 15:7-13 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
The Gospel for Jews and Gentiles Alike
7 Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. 8 For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the circumcised on behalf of the truth of God in order that he might confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, 9 and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written,
“Therefore I will confess you among the Gentiles,
and sing praises to your name”;
10 and again he says,
“Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people”;
11 and again,
“Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles,
and let all the peoples praise him”;
12 and again Isaiah says,
“The root of Jesse shall come,
the one who rises to rule the Gentiles;
in him the Gentiles shall hope.”
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
I love the and prayer and encouragement found in verse 13, so I want to use it as inspiration for a breath prayer for today.
One way to do this is to pray:
“May I abound in hope…” during your inhale
“…by the power of the Holy Spirit.” during your exhale.
There are many ways to pray. This is one form of prayer that seems to have a calming effect on me and helps me pray throughout the day when I practice it. If you give it a try, let me know how it goes!