The following verse is an example of how to breathe in the Lord.

This is my Father's world.
I breathe him with the air.
In its gentlest press his hands caress.
He touches me everywhere.

Prayer is spiritual breathing. Physical deep breathing is well known for its relaxing effects. Why not, then, combine the two? Consider the above adaptation of a verse from a much-loved hymn. Recite it silently to yourself, and while you are reciting, breathe. Breathe in on the first line. Breathe out on the second line. Similarly, breathe in on the third line and out on the fourth. This is the basic prayer-breathing relaxation exercise.

I hope it will work for you, because for me it is a great way to reduce anxiety. Try it, too, when you are waiting and have nothing to do. It is a good way to follow St. Paul's advice to pray without ceasing.

As you may suspect, hymns form a good basis for prayer-breathing. Other prayers with a strong rhythm and well-defined lines of suitable length are also good. You will find many such on the prayers page. All of the poems are also suitable.

Below are some hymns which I have found particularly helpful. If you would like others to be added please let me know. In some cases I have made slight changes or added verses. Please bear with me. You can find the originals in many good hymn collections. But note that even here there are variations. If you follow one of the links in the following table of contents it will take you to the hymn whose first line is in the link.


Spirit of God, descend upon my heart,
Wean it from earth, in all its pulses move;
Stoop to my weakness, mighty as thou art,
And make me love thee as I wish to love.

I ask no dreams, no prophet exstasies,
No sudden rending of the veil nf clay,
No angel visitants, no opening skies,
But take the dimness of my soul away!

Hast thou not bid me love thee, God and king,
All, all thine own, heart, soul an strength and mind?
I see thy cross; there teach my heart to cling.
Oh let me seek thee, and oh let me find.

Teach me to feel that thou art always nigh.
Teach me the struggles of the soul to bear,
To check the rising doubt, the rebel sigh.
Teach me the patience of ungranted prayer.

Teach me to love thee as thine angels love,
One holy passion filling all my frame,
The baptism of the heaven-descended dove,
My heart an altar, and thy love the flame.

Make me a captive, lord,
And then I shall be free.
Force me to render up my sword,
And I shall conqueror be.
I sink in life's alarms
When by myself I stand.
Imprison me within thine arms,
And strong shall be my hand.

My heart is weak and poor
Until it master find;
It has no spring of action sure;
It varies as the wind.
It cannot freely move
Till thou hast wrought its chain.
Enslave it with thy matchless love,
And deathless it shall reign.

My power is weak and low
Till I have learned to serve.
It lacks the needed fire to glow;
It lacks the will to nerve.
It cannot drive the world
Until itself be driven.
Its flag can only be unfurled
When thou hast breathed from heaven.

My will is not my own
> Till thou hast made it thine.
If it would gain a monarch's throne
It must its crown resign.
It only stands unbent,
Amidst the clashing strife,
When on thy bosom it has lent,
And found in thee its life.

For the beauty of the earth,
For the beauty of the skies,
For the love which from our birth,
Over and around us lies:
Jesus, lord, to thee we raise
This, our hymn of thanks and praise.

For the beauty of each hour,
Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale and tree and flower,
Sun and moon and stars of light:
Jesus, Lord, to thee we raise
This, our hymn of thanks and praise.


For the joys of ear and eye,
For the heart and mind's delightÊ
For the mystic harmony
Linking sense to sound and sight:
Jesus, lord, to thee we raise
This, our hymn of thanks and praise.

For the joys of nose and tongue,
For the hands that touch and know,
Joys when old and joys when noung,
Heeart and mind that ever grow:
Jesus, lord, to thee we raise
This, our hymn of thanks and praise.

For the joys of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth and friends above,
For all gentle thoughts and mild:
Jesus, lord, to thee we raise
This, our hymn of thanks and praise.

For each perfect gift of thine,
To our race so freely given,
Graces human and divine,
Flowers of earth and buds of heaven:
Jesus, Lord, to thee we raise
This, our hymn of thanks and praise.

Fight the good fight with all thy might;
Christ is thy strength and Christ thy right.
Lay hold on life, and it shall be
Thy joy and crown eternally.

run the straight race with God's good grace;
Lift up thine eyes and seek his face.
Life with its path before us lies;
Christ is the way and Christ the prize.

Cast care aside; lean on thy guide;
His loving mercy shall provide.
Trust, and the trusting soul shall prove
Christ is its life, and Christ its love.

Faint not nor fear; his arms are near.
He faileth not, and thou art dear.
Only believe, and thou shalt see
That Christ is all in all to thee.

Glorious things of thee are spoken,
Zion, city of our God.
He whose word cannot be broken
Formed thee for his own abode.
On the rock of ages founded,
What can shake thy sure repose.
With salvation's walls surrounded,
Thou mayest smile at all thy foes.

See, the streams of living waters,
Flowing from eternal love,
Well supply thy sons and daughters,
And all fear of want remove.
Who can faint when such a river
Ever flows their thirst to assuage,
Grace, which like the Lord the Giver,
Never fails from age to age?

Blest inhabitants of Zion,
Washed in the Redeemer's blood,
Jesus, whom their souls rely on,
Makes them kings and priests to God.
'Tis his love his people raises
Over self to reign as kings,
And as priests his solemn praises,
Each for his thank-offering brings

Savior, if of Zion's city,
I, by grace a member am,
Let the world deride or pity:
I shall glory in thy name.
Fading is the worldling's pleasure,
All his boastful pomp and show.
Solid joys and lasting treasure
Only Zion's children know.<

As far as I know, all of these hymns are in the public domain. If you think that putting them on this Web site constitutes a copyright infringement, please let me know by e-mail.

© GodTouches Digital Ministry, Inc.