To help you celebrate Advent you can try asking God to lead you to one or two of these Advent themed “Breath Prayers from the Bible” (very short meditations based on a Bible verse). Each one is inspired by one of the characters in the Christmas story.
A Breath Prayer is a refreshing way of soul training in which you practice “abiding” (John 15:7, ESV) by slowly repeating the Bible verse (or paraphrase). You might experiment with breathing the words in and out as indicated to help you engage with the words. When your mind wanders just gently bring it back to the prayer. In the way of the ancient devotional masters, you’re seeking to descend with your mind into your heart, relying on the word of God to form your will to be more submitted to God and the new life he brings.
An Angel Announces Christ’s Coming to Zechariah
“Believe the good news… Be silent” (~Luke 1:19-20).
Try it this way: Breathe in to trust in God’s good news… Breathe out deceptions.
Mary Receives the Miracle Birth of Jesus
“Let it be to me… According to your Word” (Luke 1:38, NKJV).
Try it this way: Breathe in to appreciate the life of Christ flowing into you… Breathe out to submit to God’s Word.
Joseph Protects Mary and Jesus
“God is with me… I will not fear” (~Matthew 1:20, 23).
Try it this way: Breathe in the Holy Spirit… Breathe out fear.
The Innkeeper Offers his Stable (but not his Room) for Jesus’ Birth
“Immanuel, in your name I hope… For your name is good” (~Luke 2:7 and Psalm 5:2).
Try it this way: Breathe in to open your heart to Immanuel… Breathe out your praise to him.
Angels Sing Out the News of Christ’s Birth
“The Prince of Peace has come… Glory to God!” (~Luke 2:10-14).
Try it this way: Breathe in to appreciate Christ’s coming… Breathe out your praise to God.
Shepherds Rejoice to See the Newborn King
“Precious Jesus… You’re above all” (~Luke 2:19).
Try it this way: Breathe in to appreciate Jesus as your precious treasure… Breathe out whatever distracts you from Jesus.
Did any Sheep Follow the Shepherds to see Christ’s Birth?
“The Lord speaks… I skip like a lamb” (~Luke 2:16 and Psalm 28:7,9; 29:3,6,11).
Try it this way: Breathe in to receive the Lord’s “good news of great joy” (Luke 2:10)… Breathe out with a smile of thanks.
The Magi Bring Gifts to the Christ Child
“Christ, my King / I rejoice in you… / I give you my heart” (~Matthew 2:11).
Try it this way: Wait to breathe as you long for Christ / Breathe in to rejoice in him… / Breathe out your prayer to give your best to him.
Soul Shepherding Advent Devotional and Prayer Resources
Devotionals and Prayer Cards for Advent will prepare your heart for a fresh appreciation of the coming of Christ. Each meditation includes a passage of Scripture, picture, reflection, and Breath Prayer from the Bible. The prayer cards work great for facilitating conversation at a holiday gathering.
More Breath Prayers
To pray a short verse or paraphrase of Scripture as a Breath Prayer is refreshing and empowering. It helps you learn to practice God’s presence all day and stay in tune with the peace of Christ. I’ve selected key verses of Scripture and developed step-by-step instructions for meditation, breathing rhythms, and prayer in “Breath Prayer Guides.”