Our lungs draw in air when our body triggers a tight drum of a muscle – the diaphragm – to pull down like a slingshot. The deeper the pull, the deeper the breath.
Most of us only have very shallow pulls. We might fill the top of our lungs in the top half of our chest.
The most efficient diaphragm muscles belong to opera singers and endurance athletes.
Why does this matter to our prayer lives?
A deep breath fills you and energizes you. If you aren’t used to it, the extra oxygen can make you dizzy. It takes focus if your diaphragm is weak.
When you pray, you are breathing in the Holy Spirit. Most of us are taking shallow breaths with superficial prayers. If you try to undertake a deep prayer breath, you can get dizzy if you aren’t used to it. It takes focus if your attention to God is weak.
Combining deeper breathing with deeper praying can be helpful. Try imagining each deep breath you take in brings the Holy Spirit with it. Notice how you feel and what you hear as you pay attention to the Spirit in you.
Keep taking these deep breaths through your prayer time. Stop if you get dizzy. Safety first!
Notice how this time of drawing God into you changes your approach to prayer, worship and life.
Let me know how it goes for you in the comments!