Breath prayers are an ancient practice. Breath prayers are shaped by the action most essential to our living our breath! When we are in our homes and practicing physical distancing, this form of prayer can be a simple gift, practiced often, while listening to the news, getting ready to call a family member or friend, when you wake and when you lay your head down on your pillow.
Matching the quiet or silent repetition of a simple prayer with our breathing can aid in emptying the mind of worries and opening us to Gods presence.
Spend a few moments sitting quietly, with your eyes closed, breathing in and out slowly, focusing on each breath.
Perhaps, a familiar hymn like Breathe on Me, Breath of God can enter:
Breathe on me, breath of God, fill me with life anew,
That I may love what thou dost love, and do what thou wouldst do. Edwin Hatch
Perhaps sing through this gracious verse once. Then, breathe in and say breathe on me and breathe out breath of God . Continue through the verses and allow this invitation to lead you to silent prayer or to other thoughts and phrases. All the while, paying close attention to your breathing.
Here is a scripture practice: [You can choose a psalm or other scripture reading, saying one phrase as you breathe in, and the next phrase as you breathe out]
Keep me safe, O God ** for in you I take refuge.
I bless the Lord ** who gives me counsel;
Therefore my heart is glad ** and my soul rejoices.
You show me the path of life ** in your presence there is joy.
Ever since you took my hand, Im on the right way.
[ from Psalm 16]
A CREATIVE PROCESS
Write a short personal prayer, of one or two sentences long, with words that say something that you hope for, delight in, or are thankful for. Craft each phrase at least five to eight syllables long, to encourage relaxed breathing. Heres an example,
Today God, open my mind to peace ** open my heart to love.
God, be with me today ** in what I do, in what I say.