Breath Prayer for Water Justice

A breathing prayer that guides justice action for water.

Breath Prayer for Water Justice

A breathing prayer that guides justice action for water.

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Breath prayer is an ancient Christian practice that combines short phrases with the rhythm of your breathing. When you pick a phrase, you speak or recite half of it when you breathe in and the other half when you breathe out.

The traditional Christian breath prayer is The Jesus Prayer:

(Breathe In) Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God (Breathe Out) have mercy on me a sinner.

Others include:

(Breathe In) Be still and know (Breathe Out) that I am God.

(Breathe In) I no longer live (Breathe Out) but Christ lives in me.

Breath prayer is a way that Christians throughout time have attempted to “pray without ceasing.” In it, prayer becomes as natural as breathing.

In Buddhist tradition, meditation takes a similar form as breath prayer. But instead of just an individual activity, Buddhists seek social justice with their breath prayers. They breathe in the sins of the world and breathe out corrections. Their prayers become vehicles for transformation as they keep a person centered on the path of correct actions, thoughts, and intentions. This centered-ness allows someone to live for transformation in the world.

In this way, the breath prayer can be a tool for just living and action in the world.

As you encountered the injustice of the water crisis, try reciting or creating a breath prayer that will keep you centered on the path to justice. For example:

(Breathe In) Those who are thirsty, (Breathe Out) let them be filled.

Try living with this breath prayer for awhile or create your own. Allow it to guide you as you determine how you want to act on the global water crisis.

Adapted from and informed by Rev. Jeremy Smith on

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