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I recently discovered a spiritual practice known as Breath Prayer. It is based on breathing, the first and last action we take in our lives. Breath plays a vital role in scripture, starting when God breathed life into human form, making it not only essential to our physical existence but our spiritual nourishment too.

When we combine positive reinforcement of our minds through repetitive phrases with deep breathing, it relaxes and centers us so that we become less reactive and more receptive to the presence of God in us and in the world. This is especially important in these stressful times.

Breath Prayer is very informal, requiring only a simple phrase and can be practiced anytime/anywhere, out loud or silently.

1. Choose a verse from the Bible or a line of praise and petition. You can also use the inward breath to name what you would like to receive and the outward breath to state what you would like to release.

2. Breathe in and out, with the first part of your prayer on the inward breath and the last part on your outward breath.

3. Continue your prayer until you feel a sense of inner stillness as you dwell in the presence of God.

~ Darlene DeMarr