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The Breath Prayer: Opening Our Hearts to God Through the Rhythm of Our Breath

Prayer can take many forms. From speaking to God aloud or in our minds, to praying verses from the Bible, to undertaking specific practices of silent, prayerful meditation, we can open our hearts to God’s presence and listen to how God speaks to us in a variety of ways.

Explore how the centering breath prayer can help you reconnect with God.

What is a Breath Prayer?

The Breath Prayer is a short prayer that expresses a deep desire, need, thought or feeling, allowing the rhythm of inhaling and exhaling to shape, carry, and express the prayer. As you speak and repeat a word or phrase silently or aloud, you allow the words to connect with the rhythm of your breath.

When Can I Use a Breath Prayer?

The Breath Prayer can be done anywhere, by yourself or with a partner or a group. You’ll need a quiet place as free as possible from distractions.

Breath Prayer in Practice

Step 1

Take some time to envision how you could use the Breath Prayer practice. Make a list of words or a phrase of scripture that you might use to help you open your heart.


  • As you inhale: Breathe in God’s goodness.
  • As you exhale: Release your frustrations and anxieties.

Step 2

Choose a time and spend two or three minutes praying a breath prayer in your quiet place.


  • Allow the rhythm of breathing in and out to convey your words of prayer, either silently or aloud.
  • Consider using it to help ground and center yourself before entering a situation that might cause anxiety

Be Still and Know That I Am God.

Psalm 46:10 says “Be still and know that I am God!” (NRSV) This is a hugely profound statement that impacts every area of our lives and every aspect of our wellness. As we quiet ourselves and acknowledge everything we can grasp about who God is, what God has done for us, and God’s love for us, our hearts can truly be opened to God’s presence and healing.

Your Assignment

In the quiet place and time you selected, pray Psalm 46:10 using the Breath Prayer, slowly inhaling and exhaling as you say these phrases for 5 ― 10 minutes:

[Inhale] Be still and know [exhale] that I am God.
[Inhale] Be still [exhale] and know.
[Inhale] Be still. [exhale]
[Inhale] Be. [exhale]

This information should not be considered or used as a substitute for professional health care advice. By providing this information, Portico Benefit Services is not providing any medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Each individual is responsible for his or her own health and medical treatment decisions. You should talk with your doctor to determine the lifestyle changes and health care treatment options appropriate for you.

serene woman

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