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  • Writer's pictureRachel Conrad Carlson

A Spiritual Breath

What does it mean to take a spiritual breath?

To breathe in the Divine God,

To whisper Their name into the noise of our lives?

To make space for holy Peace to descend,

To allow the oxygen of pure Love

To fill our lungs and hearts and minds?


In their flight from persecution

The early mothers and fathers fled to the deserts.

Desperate for the Presence of Father Son and Spirit,

They looked to the simple and the often silent:

Their bodies and their breaths.


They breathed in–Lord Jesus Christ

They breathed out–Have mercy on me.

The inhale acknowledging who He is:

Lord Jesus Christ.

The exhale asking for what He freely gives:

Have mercy on me.


Breath, a bridge between body and brain

Prayer, a bridge between human and divine.

Combine the two and I find a way

To speak truth to this vessel that carries me,

This frame I so often degrade and deny.


Instead of whispering lies to my body

About its lack of worth and beauty and strength,

I choose to use my breath to wrap myself in Mercy,

To connect to the Creative Force

Who knit my bones together in love,

Who calls me by my beloved name,

Who longs to walk with me in the cool of day.


Inhale: God, You are my refuge and my shield.

Exhale: Your word is my source of hope.


Inhale: You are with me,

Exhale: I will not be afraid.


Inhale: Your love has been poured into my heart.

Exhale: Hope does not put me to shame.


When I inhale God’s grace and exhale my fears

I join the desert mothers and fathers

And the centuries of believers after

Who seek Divine Refuge in a dry and weary land..



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