The Breath of God


Over this last week I have been struggling with one of the worst sinus infections I have had for many years.  In the midst of it I have become very aware of my breathing, something that when I am well I can easily take for granted.  It has been a great reminder to me that I owe my very existence to the breath of God.  God made humankind from the dust of the earth but it was only when God breathed on us that we became living beings.

God breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils and the man became a living person.  (Gen 2:7).

Over the years I have posted a number of breathing prayers and have revisited and used several of these over the last few days so thought that I would remind all of us of these this morning.  Some feel that the very name Yahweh is designed to sound like breathing so being reminded of this on a regular basis is important.

Jonathan Brink commented on one of my posts that at the Emerging Church Conference in Albuquerque, Richard Rohr talked about breathing YHWH as a way of saying the name of God.

Yoh – Breathe in
Hey – Breathe out
Hah – Breathe in
Veh – Breathe out

Here are links to some of the other breathing prayers that I have written in the past

Another Breathing Prayer

Breath of God Breathe on Me

Is Breathing a Spiritual Practice

A Breathing Prayer by AB Simpson

And let me finish with the original breathing prayer I wrote which I know has been widely used in worship and meditation.  it is also my favourite so I thought that I would repost it here

Breathe in the breath of God

Breathe out your cares and concerns

Breathe in the love of God

Breathe out your doubts and despairs

Breathe in the life of God

Breathe out your fears and frustrations

We sit quietly before the One who gives life and love to all creation,

We sit in awe of the One who formed us in our mother’s wombs

We sit at peace surrounded by the One who fills every fibre of our being

Breathe in the breath of God

Breathe out your tensions and turmoil

Breathe in the love of God

Breathe out your haste and hurry

Breathe in the life of God

Breathe out your work and worry

We sit quietly before the One who gives life and love to all creation,

We sit in awe of the One who formed us in our mother’s wombs

We sit at peace surrounded by the One who fills every fibre of our being

5 Responses

  1. Breathing in this post this morning. Beautiful, thank you!

  2. Years ago, as I was growing older, my stomach began to act up. I did not know it at the time, but I was suffering a severe acid reflux. I couldn’t taste anything, and it didn’t feel like “heartburn” so, “who knew?”
    After about a year of this, I saw a specialist at SF General, I was told that the acid was doing a number on my esophagus.
    What the doctors told me is that the acid was rising up, whether forced by the coughing or vice versa, and it would reach the larynx, which would “slam shut” cutting off my breathing.
    Not being able to breath is a terrifying feeling.
    Happily, the effects of this never caused me to faint, and I was always able, through prayer and meditation, to reverse the effects of this syndrome. Little by little, I could relax the air passage enough to get small breaths first, then larger and larger, until the full function was restored.
    Yes, the inability to perform that simple action – breathing – is something we give too little thought to. I can see now why many Buddhists focus on their breath as a meditation.
    I suppose we can go long periods without eating (I would not want to try) but the intake of water, the elimination of waste, and in particular, the in-take of air – these simple actions are critical to maintain life. So simple and so over-looked: we take these things for granted, but we shoud be acutely aware of how our bodies work. The body is a genius of engineering and economy of space and function.
    And it all startts with a breath!

  3. I was just thinking I need a change of pace for my meditations, and then you post this. Truly your timing is divinely-inspired.

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