Deep breathing usually involves three steps:
1. Inhaling through your nose using your diaphragm,
2. Holding your breath for a number of seconds, and
3. Exhaling through your mouth.
Refer to the page entitled Deep Breathing Exercises for a detailed description of the basics of deep breathing.
Replace counting used in secular meditation with prayers or quotes from the Bible. Measure the time it takes for a given prayer or phrase and use the prayer or phrase instead of counting. Use the Lord’s Prayer or part of it for longer periods of time.
There a many passages from the Bible, especially the New Testament and the Psalms that lend themselves to this integration of prayer and relaxation techniques. Deep breathing can be transformed into prayer several ways including the following:
Breath Prayer is described by Crossroads United Methodist Church as praying short verses of scripture with your breath. Some examples include:
My Identity – Psalm 139 Trust – Romans 8:39
I am God’s – slow inhale Nothing can separate me – slow inhale
Beloved Child – slow exhale From the love of Jesus – slow exhale
Anxiety – Matthew 11:28 Fear – Matthew 28:20
Come to me all who are burdened – slow inhale Do not be afraid – slow inhale
And I will give you rest – slow exhale I am with you always – slow exhale
Guidance – Proverbs 3:5, 6 Confession – Psalm 51:10
Trust in the Lord – slow inhale Create in me a clean heart – slow inhale
And he will direct your paths – slow exhale Renew a right spirit within me – slow exhale
The website of the Christian Reformed Home Missions lists several Breath Prayers including:
“Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10)
“Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening” (1 Samuel 3:10)
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want” (Psalm 23:1)
“Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me” (Mark 10:4i7)
“Teacher, let me see again” (Bartimaeus’ request; Mark 10:51)
“God, have mercy on me a sinner” (Luke 18:13)
“Abba, I belong to you” (cf. Romans 8:15)
“Come, Lord Jesus, come” (The Maranatha Prayer; Revelation 22:20)
“O Lord, come to my assistance; O God make haste to help me” (Psalm 69:2)
Combine breathing and the Jesus Prayer in which one prays “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God” while inhaling and “have mercy on me a sinner” while exhaling. There are variations, one of which is to synchronize the Jesus prayer with one’s breath. This type of prayer is described on OrthodoxPrayer.org website.