The Breath Prayer – A Mantra

Breath prayers are short, personal phrases addressed to God that bring a sense of intimacy with God.  This form of prayer developed out of the church’s practice of repeating one psalm phrase to remind them of the message of the entire psalm.  For example, “O Lord, you have searched me and known me.” (Ps. 139:1)  We do not choose our Breath Prayers so much as they choose us; coming to us as whispers in the wind, so to speak. In his book Prayer,  p. 123, Richard Foster suggests a way we might discover our own breath prayer.

“Find some uninterrupted tome and a quiet place and sit in silence. being held in God’s loving presence. After a few moments allow God to call you by name: “Christy”, “Nathan”, . . . . Next, allow this question to surface: “What do you want?”  Answer this question simply and directly. Maybe a single word will come to your conscious mind: “peace”, “faith”, “strength”.  Perhaps it will be a phrase: “to understand your truth,” “to feel your love.” Next, connect this phrase with the most comfortable way you have of speaking about God: “blessed Saviour,”  “Abba,” . . . “gracious Lord.”  Finally, you will want to write out your breath prayer, staying within what is comfortable to say in one breath.”

When I first did this exercise many years ago, I was surprised that the word Healer came to me. It grew into a phrase:
Healer of my soul
Quiet me in holy stillness
It has taken me a long time to recognize the significance of this word, but I use it often and it always brings soothing peace and a remembrance of God’s presence with me.

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