A few weeks ago, I renewed my CPR certification. As I listened to the instructor discuss how important the chest compressions and breathing techniques were, I couldn’t help but think of how we all need some CPR in our lives.
“Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” – Genesis 2:7 NIV
The breath of life. The Greek word for breath is “pneuma,” like pneumonia, which is caused by breathing germs into your lungs.
<Inhale> Breath is the element from which all else originated!
<Exhale> Breath literally means my vital spirit, soul, and creative force!
Wow! When was the last time you stopped to breathe? . . . to listen to life come into your body and to exhale all that was holding you back from taking another, yet deeper breath?
Breathing is vital to life. Breathing is literally how you stay alive. It circulates oxygen to your vital organs. As I was writing this, I ran across an excerpt by Ilchi Lee that says: “The expression, ‘My life’ is actually an oxymoron, a result of ignorance and mistaken assumption. You don’t possess life; life expresses itself through you.”
God expresses Himself through me. God expresses Himself through you! Awwwww. Breathe. God created you with His breath! Let’s stop breathing unconsciously and live the life He has breathed inside of us. Let’s start some resuscitation breathing, some CPR.
My favorite breathing technique is the 4-7-8 Exercise by Dr. Weil. It is simple, requires no equipment, and can be done anywhere. For best results, sit or stand with your back straight and place the tip of your tongue against the ridge just behind your upper front teeth.
- Close your mouth and inhale through your nose for a count of four.
- Hold your breath for a count of seven.
- Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound, to a count of eight.
- This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.
Practice this breathing exercise daily and try adding it to your prayer time. Rick Warren suggests, “Choose a brief simple phrase that can be repeated in one breath. Pray it as often as possible so it is rooted deep in your heart.”
“Here I am” – This is a prayer of presence and availability based on the cry of the prophet in Isaiah 6:8 NIV. Or take your favorite verse and try it. For example, Ephesians 3:20 NIV:
Inhale – It is done according to His power… Hold, Exhale – that is at work within me.
God created you with His own breath. The breath of life. Don’t take that for granted. Start breathing consciously. Start living the life He has given you. I encourage you to incorporate breathing into your prayers. It is amazing! Life is amazing! God is amazing!
“The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” – Job 33:4 NIV