Friday, May 4, 2012

Praise the Lord for Breath

      My lungs fill with air. Crisp, cool, fresh oxygen. Unconsciously, I exhale. The cycle continues while life lasts. I do not think about breathing. Yet, when I concentrate on it, my breathing deepens. It’s something that is more inward, than outward. My breathing has more of an impact upon me, than upon anyone else in the whole world. Its results can be seen outwardly of course. Should you decide to cease breathing, your body would show signs of such a decision. Should you determine to breathe, though it not come easily, it would show outwardly that you began to breathe. It is positively necessary to breathe if you intend to live. Breath means life.

      Friends, prayer is life to the soul. No prayer, no life. “Prayer is the breath of the soul. It is the secret of spiritual power.” – {GW 254.4} Do you have more power after you hold your breath, or when you breathe deeply? It is simple. Recently, I observed a person endeavoring to exercise with a breathing pathology. Exercise is difficult, when breath is in short supply. We will be sure to find it hard to “run the race” as Paul enjoins us, if we do not breathe as we should.

      There is something interesting about breathing. It will not work one way. The human body cannot function on expiration. It is truly impossible. As in the natural, so in the spiritual. Just as proper breathing is an exchange of air through expiration and inhalation, so prayer is not just the laying of our burdens and sins upon Christ, the elimination of carbon dioxide, if you will. Prayer is also receiving from Christ fresh, life-giving oxygen. Both are important. It is not enough to breath in only. That will not work. There is a wonderful, and wondrous exchange that takes place in prayer. Christ gives us good things, we give Him the carbon dioxide, and yet He delights in this exchange. 

      Oh yes, expired air contains oxygen. We have the privilege of returning to God praises from what He has given to us. The Psalmist said in Psalm 103:2, “Bless the Lord, O my soul…”, but where did the blessing come from in the first place? God. “Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.” – Ps 150:1-6. Shall we praise the Lord for breath?


  1. My thoughts have been on that subject so much recently. Such a beautiful lesson from something we rarely think of.

  2. I love the parallels, Lauralea! :) Thanks for sharing! Truly, prayer refreshes & invigorates the soul like nothing else.

    Continuing the parallel--there are certain things that initiate spontaneous breath (ice water...) ;) Someone just said this weekend that in a crisis, you don't need to teach people how to pray. An atheist will know how to pray on a sinking ship. Trials are blessings in disguise; they keep us awake to our true dependence on God.