The Breath Prayer

Breath is life. Since the first human became animated by the breath of God, breathing is essential to being alive. When our breathing stops, our life ends. Our breathing thus is an intrinsic component of being alive. Jesus is God incarnate in a human body. Our bodies are now the temple of the Holy Spirit. The physical bodies in which our soul and spirit embody are Christ’s body on earth. So our bodies are sacred. Our breaths are sacred too as it is a gift of God, a means of grace, and a means of life. We pray with our minds using language. We can also pray with our bodies. The breath prayer is one of the early forms of prayer, started once we draw our first breath as a newborn baby. However, the breath prayer that we are using nowadays was formulated by the Desert Fathers and Mothers in the second to third Century C.E. Desert Fathers and Mothers were people who left the cities to go into the wilderness of the deserts of Syria, Palestine, and Egypt to be close to God. They were often solitary and committed their lives to prayer. From them came this tradition of prayer by being aware of our breathing. By intentional breathing slowing and still ourselves, we seek the presence of God. This is a form of wordless prayer, a contemplative type of prayer.