How to Pray with Your Breath

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Life in the Spirit is freeing! “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Cor 3:17) One of the best ways to experience that is through prayer, breath prayer specifically.

Wind, like the Spirit, moves wherever it wills mysteriously

The word for spirit in both Hebrew and Greek (the two primary languages scripture is written in) is also used for wind and breath (ruach in Heb, pneuma in Grk). While that may surprise or puzzle an English speaker (given we have several distinct words for these different things), it points us to a common perception. For ancient people, things of the spirit or of the spiritual realm were related to and often illustrated by the breath and the wind, two things that are unseen but are vital to life and existence.

Stay with me on this. Jesus actually drew out the comparison in his own teaching. In John 3, Jesus taught Nicodemus about the new birth and in the process he gives an analogy for how the Spirit moves like the wind–and we really can’t explain either one very well (John 3:5-8). It’s also not a mere coincidence that when the Holy Spirit came with power on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2 there was a sound like a mighty roaring windstorm (Acts 2:2).

Further, after his resurrection Jesus appeared to his disciples several times. On one occasion that John records, he speaks a word of peace on them, then he breathes on them and says, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” (John 20:21-22) Again, it’s not just a coincidence because God is the one who first breathed the breath of life into Adam after making him out of clay. (Gen 2:7)


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