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Breath Prayers (as a warning)

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First, I would want to warn anyone, that this practice is unbiblical and I would in no way advise doing it. This is just for informational purposes to highlight some of the zany things Christians are doing these days. This is a form of Christian new age mysticism and really has no biblical basis.

I had posted about a year ago Kari Jobe's song lyrics to 'Here' and many here defended it. It turns out it is right out of the Breath Prayer's handbook.

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"Here"
 

Come and rest here
Come and lay your burdens down
Come and rest here
There is refuge for you now

[Pre-Chorus:]
You'll find His peace
And know you're not alone anymore
He is near
You'll find His healing
Your heart isn't shattered anymore
He is here

[Chorus:]
Breathe in
Breathe out

You will
You will find Him here

[Bridge:]
I will rest in You

[Outro:]
You will find Him
You will find Him here
You will find Him
You will find Him here
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Come to find out that is part of the Breath Prayer instructions. Here is some info on 'Breath Prayer'...

Quote

Breath prayer is an ancient Christian prayer practice dating back to at least the sixth century. Historically, it is associated with the Eastern Church, particularly Greek and Russian Orthodox churches.

Known as the “Jesus Prayer” or “Prayer of the Heart,” early practitioners would repeat to the rhythm of their breath the phrase, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.” In time, the prayer was shortened to, “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy” or simply, “Jesus, mercy.”

Breath prayer is a good example of “praying without ceasing” as St. Paul admonished us to do, and has the potential to become as natural as breathing. It is intended to be a very short prayer of praise or petition, just six to eight syllables. The words of the prayer can be easily adjusted to your heart’s desire.

Praise is expressed by calling on one of the Divine names such as God, Jesus, Lord, Father/Mother, Christ, or Spirit. Or you may prefer another name of adoration. Your request or intention is comprised by the words following.

The breath prayer is usually said silently within. But some people sing it; others chant it. It’s your prayer; use it your way.

You may also use the breath prayer for a focused time during a daily spiritual practice. Simply repeat the prayer over and over keeping your attention on the prayer. If your attention wanders, gently return to the prayer.

Begin with 5 minutes and gradually increase the time to 15 or 20 minutes as you become disciplined with the prayer. You may want to use a timer to free yourself from watching the clock. Some find it useful to write in a journal of their experience with the prayer.

Instruction

  1. Close your eyes and recall the line “Be still and know that I am God” (). Be still, calm, peaceful, open to the presence of God.
  2. With your eyes closed, imagine that God is calling you by name. Imagine that God is actually asking, “(Your name) what do you want? Like the blind man on the road to Jericho, Jesus kindly looks you in the eyes and asks, “What do you want from me?”
  3. Give God a simple and direct answer that comes honestly from your heart. Write down the answer. If you have more than one answer, write them down. Your answer may be one word such as peace or love or help. It may be several words or a phrase such as “feel your presence” or “lead me into life.” Whatever your answers, they are the foundation of your breath prayer.
  4. Select the name that you are most comfortable using to speak with God. Combine it with your written answer to the question God asked you. This is your prayer.
  5. Breathe in the first phrase/word (generally your invocation of God’s name) and breathe out the second phrase/word (request or need).

You may need to compose several prayers before you find one which truly arises from your deepest desire. So look carefully at your prayer. Does it reflect the heart of your desire?

There’s no limit really to developing your breath prayer. It may be the same from day to day or it may change.

Sometimes you may want to reverse the practice a bit by sitting in silence and letting the Spirit pray through you. Ask for God to reveal your name, and God’s desire for you. This can be a profound experience. You may wind up hearing something like, “Beloved, you are enough,” or “Mighty One, rest.” Wait on God and see how you may be renewed.

Sample Breath Prayers

  • Jesus, let me feel your love.
  • O Lord Show me your way.
  • Holy one, heal me.
  • Jesus Alleluia, have mercy.
  • Holy Wisdom, Guide me.
  • Father/Mother (Abba/Amma), let me feel your presence.
  • https://gravitycenter.com/practice/breath-prayer/
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I imagine that there are some here who see no harm in a simple little 'breath prayer'. 

Other Sources...

Christians recommending...

https://www.christianitytoday.com/women-leaders/2018/february/take-time-for-breath-prayer.html

https://www.guideposts.org/faith-and-prayer/prayer-stories/pray-effectively/10-breath-prayers

http://www.christoscenter.org/breath-prayer/

 

Christians not recommending...

https://standupforthetruth.com/2013/02/what-links-breath-prayer-practicing-the-presence-and-yoga/

https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/breathprayer.htm

https://bereanresearch.org/rick-warren-gets-bolder-promoting-breath-prayer/

There are many other  links pro and con. 

 

I am a bit flabbergasted that any Christian could support such a practice as a routine.

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Similar to the mantra repetition used in Transcendental Meditation, the mantra used by Hindu. (I was dumb enough forty years ago to take it)

"A personal mantra is a positive phrase or affirmative statement that you say to yourself for the purpose of motivation or encouragement. This could be your favorite quote, proverb, spiritual truth or religious saying that motivates and inspires you to be your best self."

 

"Part 2 Practicing Chanting and Meditating  -TM"
  1. Find a comfortable place to practice. ...
  2. Sit in a comfortable cross legged-position with elevated hips and closed eyes. ...
  3. Focus on your breath, but don't control it. ...
  4. Chant your chosen mantra. ...
  5. Decide if you want to continue chanting or silently meditate

    I later learned about the mantra given me, to chant. It was not good.
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Many years ago, I found out that tai chi was good for arthritis. My local city parks and rec was having a tai chi class for cheap, so I thought ok I should sign up for that. It was filled, so I opted for qi gong. Which is an asian breathing technique. Before the class started, I looked up something about it. And dropped the class fast. Bad stuff indeed. 

For anyone who is interested, I never took any tai chi either. After reading up on qi gong, I couldnt do any of the asian type techniques. 

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Yes, anything that is merely a ritual and/or focused on breathing is not good.   In prayer, we should pray from our hearts and our focus should be on the Lord.

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Posted (edited)

However; spending time alone meditating on the word of God with prayer for understanding and guidance for following the commands and precepts given through the word of God is not vain repetition, nor mantra recitation, though it may indeed involve breathing as an exercise to calm the body, gain better consciousness, and preparation for concentration on the "things" of God.

When Jesus scolded his disciples for not being able to spend much time in prayer with Him without falling asleep is it thought that  there would have been unique non repetitive prayer for hours on end, or might there have been some repetition within the prayers? ??? Seems to me there might have been  repetition ( three times at least ) by our Lord and savior Jesus at Gethsemane. Perhaps there is a major difference between vain repetition and repeating a prayer.

 

Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled.  Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”  And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour?  Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy.  So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again.  Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Sleep and take your rest later on. See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.  Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”

 

Note: "saying the same words again"

Edited by Neighbor

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Sorry. I fail to see any comparison whatsoever. Big stretch. "Three times"?     I'll say a rosary for you............:shades_smile:

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Posted (edited)
56 minutes ago, Gary Lee said:

Sorry. I fail to see any comparison whatsoever. Big stretch. "Three times"?     I'll say a rosary for you............:shades_smile:

 Ha, many a rosary has been said for me. Please remember to light a candle too will ya? One Roman Catholic friend once said he was lighting candles and praying for my wife and I to have another child.  Within the month my wife was expecting another child. 

Gary my thought is that there were HOURS of prayer by Jesus evidently over the same  important subject. He spent three sessions on the same subject, three times he evidently spent an hour or even more. I use that as basis to ponder my own prayer habit, how difficult it is to spend what  five ten minutes on a subject with any new thought, without simply repeating myself and going  to study of the word of God. How is it that  there can be hours of prayer on the same subject, and at least three times to the same subject if there is not repetition, not necessarily a vain mantra but a repetitive prayer.

Edited by Neighbor
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29 minutes ago, Neighbor said:

 Ha, many a rosary has been said for me. Please remember to light a candle too will ya? One Roman Catholic friend once said he was lighting candles and praying for my wife and I to have another child.  Within the month my wife was expecting another child. 

Gary my thought is that there were HOURS of prayer by Jesus evidently over the same  important subject. He spent three sessions on the same subject, three times he evidently spent an hour or even more. I use that as basis to ponder my own prayer habit, how difficult it is to spend what  five ten minutes on a subject with any new thought, without simply repeating myself and going  to study of the word of God. How is it that  there can be hours of prayer on the same subject, and at least three times to the same subject if there is not repetition, not necessarily a vain mantra but a repetitive prayer.


I agree with your post above, but warn against vain repetitions. The last day of my Trans Meditations was graduation day where they would have us kneel and say a prayer to some entities, so I walked out. (Only one that did) Learned later the so called (secret) mantra was given to everybody, and was rooted in demonic origin. Purpose of even going was it was advertised as a way to relax and "get it together", as many others were business types trying to advance their business acumen. Little did we know. Though I was not saved, I believe the Spirit gave me a warning.
My years in the RCC exposed me to vain repetitions, as I have said hundreds of 'Our Fathers' and stations of the cross, and thousands of 'Hail Marys'. All the while day dreaming of so many other things, or joking with my buddies. (While praying)  Worthless praying, designed to make the participants believe they are more pious in their many prayers. God gave us a mind,  and we should stay "thinking" lest we lose any ground, and give the enemy a foothold.
I do believe, and do, repeat prayers for special burdens, often. But my mind (and heart) is 'thinking' about what I'm saying.

  "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

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Expose it yowm.       Just gateways into dark realms and feeling good emotions which lead only more into darkness.

 

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Seems to me Jesus had something to say in this regard...

Matthew 6:7-8 NKJV
[7] And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. [8] "Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.

 

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