Breath Prayer

This contemplative prayer station uses a spiritual discipline that has been practiced for centuries by our church mothers and fathers, using our breath to help us focus and meditate on God.  The topic can vary depending on the scripture used.
Directions for Leadership:
Make a space comfortable for praying and then place the quotes and directions all over so that people do not have to move around much in order to read it all. Hang Christmas lights for lighting with a few lamps.

Choose scriptures that are short and can be said in one full breath. The phrase “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner” is what is most commonly used, but there are many verses that can be used for this type of prayer as well. Snippets from the Psalms are great.

Station Quotes:

The breath prayer is a spiritual discipline that has been practiced for centuries by our church mothers and fathers, using our breath to help us focus and meditate on God.  The breath prayer is a way to focus on one thought, one image, one phrase or sentence or word that in turn fastens us on God.

This contemplative prayer form can be used not only in our daily routine and prayer life, but also during times of anxiety, fear, distress, frustration, during surgery or times of illness. The breath prayer can be said comfortably, strengthening us to keep our focus on God in a regenerated spirit.

Said one traveler to another: “I have come a great distance to listen to the words of the Teacher, but I find his words quite ordinary.”  “Don’t listen to his words. Listen to his message.” Said the other traveler.  “How does one do that?” Said the first.  “Take hold of a sentence that he says. Shake it well till all the words drop off. What is left will set your heart on fire.” Said the other.
-Anthony deMello

Prayer Station Instructions:

Get into a posture for praying; this can be on your knees, sitting, laying, standing or whatever works for you.  Ask God to calm your mind and heart.  Slow your breathing and think about the rhythm of your breath.  Repeat silently this prayer in whatever rhythm is most comfortable with your breathing:  “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
Continue repeating this prayer with every breath for 3 to 5 minutes or so.

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