Bible Breaths

The Desert Fathers in the early centuries of the church had a simple way of praying by uniting prayer-phrases with their breathing. Three syllables while inhaling, three while exhaling, with the final syllable on the rest at the end of the breathing cycle. Examples of these seven syllables are “Kyrie Eleison” and “Hosanna in excelsis.”

When we read the Bible, special verses rise from the page and touch the heart. These verses can be crafted into seven-syllable “Bible Breaths.” By using the gerund “ing” form, the verses enter the timeless stream of prayer, quieting the mind’s activity and centering the prayer in the heart.

The seven-syllable prayers can be written on post-it notes, or in your calendar to pray throughout the day. We would be fulfilling the command God gave to Moses in Deuteronomy 6:9. “Write [these words] on the doorposts of your houses and on your gates.”