Breath prayers combine two powerful tools that can help calm anxiety: the science of deep breathing and prayers of meditation on God’s Word. We often tend to separate science and faith as if they are contradictory forces at war with one another.  But in reality, the science of the brain and body doesn’t contradict the Word of God at all.  If anything, it only further validates it.  It is God who created and designed our bodies after all.

Breath prayers combine deep breathing exercises with prayers of meditation on God’s Word to help calm your body while focusing your mind of truth. Breath Prayers are a way to meditate on a beloved Bible verse while slowly breathing in and out. It’s delightful and powerful!

Like me, probably your mind wanders sometimes when you pray. Breathing a prayer to God is a simple way of using your body to engage your mind on the Word of God. Whispering the words of Scripture as you are breathing in and out, slowly and deeply, over and over, can help you to “abide” in Christ (John 15:4,5,9). This is a special way to Abide in prayer.

Richard Foster in his book, Prayer, refers to this kind of meditative prayer as “prayer of the heart” (p. 141). Quiet, reflective prayers are a way to overcome the mind’s tendency to wander and get distracted.  It’s a way to increase your consciousness and appreciation of God’s presence.  It’s a way to “let the word of Christ dwell in your richly” (Colossians 3:16).

You may be unsure exactly what a Breath Prayer is. An example of the kind Breath Prayers that I use is “The Lord is my Shepherd… I shall not want.” Here is one way I do this:

Breathe in slowly and deeply as you whisper or think: “The Lord is my Shepherd…”

Hold your breath and your consciousness of God’s presence…

And then exhale as you whisper or think: “…I shall not want.”

Breath prayers aren’t a cure for anxiety, nor are they a replacement for professional medical treatment or therapy. But they can be a powerful tool to add to your mental toolkit.  We all experience anxiety some form throughout our lives. When prayed regularly, these prayers can transform how you respond to that anxiety and can help you experience a deep and abiding peace as you navigate the often-choppy waters of fear and worry.



  • Short, mostly one-sentence prayers
  • Rooted in Scripture
  • Aligned with the rhythm of the breath: first half is prayed while inhaling, second half is prayed while exhaling.
  • Repeated several times for the purpose of  mediating on God’s Word by actively processing the words and reflecting on them.
  • Mind-FULL: focusing the mind on Christ and filling the mind with His Word.
  • Directed upward, to God.

ARE NOT:     

  • A new-age, humanistic, self-healing practice.
  •  Rooted in eastern spirituality or pagan practices
  • A cure for all anxiety.
  • “Mantra Meditation” with the purpose of blotting out thoughts and repeating a word or phrase over and over until even that phrase loses all meaning.
  • Mindless: focused on emptying the mind to obtain inner peace.
  • Directed inward, to self.


  1. Cindy Sudderth - November 1, 2023

    Very interesting! I’ll definitely be using this method!

  2. sheri stoltenberg - November 1, 2023

    Thank you. Sometimes my mind will wonder during prayer and this will help me focus and memorize some additional Bible verses.

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