Cover Image: Breath as Prayer

Breath as Prayer

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Member Reviews

Wow!  I've been digging into the science of breath work for several months now AND I've studied and prayed scripture for 30 years, but I'd never combined them into one practice before.  What a powerful way to gain total growth and peace!  The examples are simple to follow, I felt comfortable performing them, and with continued practice, I can already tell this is a new area of spiritual growth that I am going to LOVE!! Not only do I recommend it, but it is also going to be my go-to Bday gift for the Believers in my life!
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I first became exposed to the idea of breath as prayer or breath prayers back in April of 2022. I saw a post on Facebook shared by a page called A David Paul but written by Sandra Thurman Caporale. I'll try to insert a screenshot of that Facebook post at the end of this blog post. Anyway, the idea became utterly fascinating to me, and so when I saw Breath as Prayer by Jennifer Tucker available for review on NetGalley, I knew I had to request this book. And I am so, so glad that I did.

Jennifer Tucker didn't create the concept of breath prayers, and she doesn't claim to have done so either. From what I understand, the concept has been around for quite some time. But I do think she has a unique take on the concept of aligning your physical breath with your spiritual health. She takes the approach of how anxiety and stress cause havoc on the body in a physical and spiritual sense and offers a solution to those results with deep breathing combined with Scripture prayers.

I don't really consider myself to be an anxious person. I have certainly had period of anxiety in my life. Specifically, my thoughts go to the year we spent living with my parents while our house was being remodeled. Several times during that year we faced some higher than usual periods of stress related to our contractors, to the amount of time we were spending on the road, to behavior patterns in our children, to lack of nurturing our marriage during this season. The stress was so high at times that I found myself holding my breath and then almost gasping for air. I would go through weeks at a time when I felt my breathing patterns were off. I didn't feel like I could get a good breath. I felt out of sync or as Jennifer Tucker aptly describes "in a state of dysfunction." The concepts in this book would have helped me tremendously through these seasons, but I also know that the seasons will change and likely we will face other stressful and challenging times where I can continue to apply these principles in the future.

I enjoyed this book so much that I bought a physical copy to send to a lady that we go to church with who struggles with anxiety before I even finished the book. I knew based on what I'd read that she could benefit from this book. I usually don't purchase books I've read for review. It takes a special book for me to be confident enough that I will re-read it enough to purchase it. But I know this is a book I will reference and re-read more than once. And I can see myself gifting it to just about anyone else I come in contact with that I find out is struggling with anxiety. It's just that good.

Giving Breath as Prayer by Jennifer Tucker a 5-Star rating might be the easiest book rating I've had this entire year. I don't think there was a single thing I disliked about this book. And the fact that I desire to re-read, reference, and buy as a gift for others speaks volumes to me. I highly recommend it. Have you read Breath as Prayer? What did you think? Let me know!
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The timing of reading this work was perfect. I am walking through spiritual disciplines and learning about all the different types of prayer. This was a perfect companion as I was working on Breath Prayer. It provided a helpful background and great tips for breath prayer as a natural rhythm in daily life.  It is a great resource for those wanting to grow further in learning this practice. Thank you NetGalley for providing an eARC copy of this book!
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This is probably one of the most beautiful and timely books that has ever come into my life. I have had some mental health struggles most of my adult life and this has given me such an abundance of tools to help me get through the difficult times. I took 4 pages of notes and could have taken more if my hand had not started hurting. 

I love how all of the prayers are rooted in scripture, she is sharing the gospel and the more people who read it the better! 

The author does a beautiful job of mixing the science of anxiety with the gospel of scripture. She presents a mixed and grounded view of how to add breath prayer into your life and not just wen things are going right. There are practical ways of how we can implement this into our lives. 

Follow the authors blog here if you would like to see more of the beautiful artwork found in the book: 

Final Thoughts: I loved this book and need everyone to read it. The style, the color the message, EVERYTHING! Anyone with anxiety or need for pause will benefit greatly from this book.

Disclaimer: Thank you Netgalley and Thomas Nelson and Zondervan Gift for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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I think this is a wonderful reference book for anyone who is looking for prayers that speak to various moments in life. I found a lot of prayers that I bookmarked for myself. Both the art and writing are beautiful
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Having Faith in God

Jennifer Tucker recap the real life event of her daughter being in the hospital, where she recants how she was too worried and stressed and didn't know how to begin to pray. Then she states the only prayer she could recall was the 23rd Psalm.

She states that from that terrible event she came to understand what breath prayers are, those prayers  that combine two powerful tools that can help calm anxiety: the science of deep breathing and prayers of meditation on God’s word. She, also, states that they are:
• Short, mostly one-sentence prayers
• Rooted in Scripture
• Aligned with the rhythm of the breath:first half is prayed while inhaling, second half is prayed while exhaling
• Repeated several times for the purpose of meditating on God’s Word by actively processing the words and reflecting on them
• Mind-FULL: focusing the mind on Christ and filling the mind with His Word
• Directed upward, to God

The author outlines and discusses four basics for breath prayers: 1. Breath, 2. Pray, 3. How and Why they work, and 4. 

Additionally, she categorizes her breath prayers into twelve categories: 
1. Prayers of Trust - Give God your worries & surrender to His will
2. Prayers of Surrender - Know God is always with you
3. Prayers of Help - Depend on God to help you
4. Prayers of Presence - Abide in God’s unfailing love
5. Prayers of Strength - Trust God to strengthen you
6. Prayers of Gratitude - Focus on God’s goodness & give Him thanks
7. Prayers of Love - Turn to God, follow Him & let Him guide your path
8. Prayers of Direction
9. Prayers of Hope - Hold on to hope
10. Prayers of Peace - Experience peace in your soul
11. Prayers of Protection- Rest safely under God's protection
12. Prayers of Repentance - Seek forgiveness & freedom from the weight of sin

The author provides 365 days of breath prayers that are so amazingly scripture based. The pages of artwork inthis book are heavenly. Highly recommend.
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What I love about this book:
*the explanation of the science and reasons that Breath techniques support anxiety.
*the added explanation and teaching on how for one who believes and listens to the Word of God in life, this practice will help calm, focus, and renew your heart, soul, and mind even better when TRUTH is layered in.
*the images and stories to explain how the models of scripture work for the author.

What I wonder about the book:
*I've seen some critical reviews concerned about the 'ew age strategy and not understanding that perhaps meditation is a new age strategy, but the introduction does a great job explaining the science of breath techniques for bugs me that some readers miss that it can be that- and it can be a biblical practice for those of faith- the way God makes our minds work and calm works whether you know Him or not.
*If some will be disturbed by the true focus on this practice for born-again believers and have expected a less specific audience for the book. I can see it being a fit for many individuals who don't believe, but I can see others finding the faith element to be un-relatable instead of refreshing to the reader as it is intended.

I am giving this book 5 stars. Likely for some of the reasons that others gave it fewer stars. I learned of this book because I follow this blogger for her strategies (and since she openly admits that she has mental health struggles) on anxiety and stress overwhelm. I have printed her free resources, laminated them, and shared them with many people.

I loved the intro chapters that talked simply and directly about all the brain-based research on mindset, deep breathing, etc. Having been an avid reader of all things mental health, trauma-informed, neurodiversity, and the Bible for many years now, I found her short and informative chapters shared clearly and simply the reasons that these strategies work based on science. She also shared why she prefers to use her breath to calm anxiety, focus her mind, AND renew her soul. So to her, it made it natural to add scripture and shorten phrases from key verses, to help support the rhythm of her intentional calming breath. So if you too seek the Word of God in your life, you know that only focusing on the truth will really set your mind free.

Some criticize why she doesn't use the direct quote, her examples, etc. But I think they are missing the point of the book, I believe it is a teaching tool to model how breathing for calming anxiety, focusing, and bringing calm and peace to your inner self, fits naturally as a form of prayer. She refers to the fact that some who practice liturgical strategies have done some of this. But as someone who has not been directly exposed to those practices in my local church, I appreciate the modeling and examples she gives.

As a teacher, I recognize that if you want to change the words, or rephrase, feel free. She is doing her thinking aloud (metacognition) for the reader and sharing her story/experience with these phrases and offering that in a written beautiful book since she cannot come to sit next to each of her readers and show them how it works in her life. Her breath prayer examples have been free online as a resource for a few years now, and I believe this work is a response to people wanting more explanation, modeling, and the reasons why this is a healthy restorative practice.

I enjoy her examples, I am stalking my mailbox for the physical copy to arrive, and have a visual to keep out and remind me to use my breath and pray when needed, model it, and support my teens and young adult in adopting this practice for themselves as all of my children have very high anxiety naturally. I look forward to giving away copies to those who want to try it and need this tool for support. It's great for visual and experiential learners in the book format!

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher to review and online advanced copy and share my thoughts.
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I love the topic of breath prayers. In my own life breath prayers got me through long nights as a new mom, long lonely days in the pandemic, and hard days of anxiety. I greatly enjoyed Jennifer Tucker's book. It was laid out in a devotional format with breath prayer practices included in each chapter. When I first picked up the book I thought it was going to be more of a study on how they help, why they help scientifically, and practices explained. It did have informational pieces at the beginning, but was not an information based book. If you are looking for a devotional with breathing exercises, this is a wonderful option.

Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC, provided in exchange for an honest review.
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Breath as Prayer is a fresh way of engaging both breath, and prayer. Jennifer Tucker writes with clarity, passion and joy about something that for so many can become dry and painful. Thank you for the renewal.
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This is a beautiful and highly useful book, and would be a lovely gift, especially thoughtful for anyone looking for prayerful ways to help with anxiety. A short introduction and explanation of scripture-based breath prayer is followed by numerous examples, with a page of reflection on a short passage from scripture and a beautifully designed page of the prayer itself with in- and out-breaths. Really special.
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"Breath as Prayer" is a beautiful book with an interesting concept. I like the idea and the layout, but the simplicity of the meditations didn't appeal to me. That being said, I'm open to the idea and I like that Tucker makes the breathing exercises so easy to follow. It's a very accessible book for people who are looking to combine breathing exercises with Christian prayer meditations.
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Given the heightened levels of anxiety that we have been facing the past few years Jennifer provides the reader with tactical ways to incorporate breath prayers into their daily lives.  As you read you will be challenged and encouraged by the prompts for prayer and soul talk.
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This book assisted me in connecting health and spirituality. The guidance was down to earth. The flow of the book was smooth.
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Beautifully illustrates the concepts of breath work and using breathing as a tool for anxiety, stress relief, and better overall health. The prayers-as-breath-work are simple to follow and lovely, but I was a little put off by the way that other religions and beliefs were condescended to.
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As a mother, wife, professor, therapist and photographer it’s safe to say that I suffer from anxiety at times. Devotional and prayer are my go to! I love this book. I’m going to purchase some for friends!
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Breath as Prayer includes an introduction, information on "basics and techniques", and 84 illustrated breath prayers. Each breath prayer is accompanied by a corresponding 1-2 sentence reminder, a verse, and a few paragraphs written in somewhat of a devotional style.

The illustrated breath prayers themselves are the star of the book. I could have completely done without the 40  pages of "intro" and all of the "devos." The writing doesn't shine (I often found myself wanting to skim), but I suppose it makes the book more gift-able with a couple paragraphs alongside each breath prayer. 3.5 for the resource of breath prayers, rounding up to 4 with illustrations.
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Inspiring, helpful, would make a great gift for all Christians. I think it's so important that we as Christians prioritize mental health and actively seeking assistance either from the Lord or a mental health professional and that's what this book does. It provides some great advice and tips and I will definitely carry the lessons learned from this in my day-to-day life.

Thank you Netgalley and Thomas Nelson for the ARC!
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First off, I think some of the criticism has been unwarranted. While the author does attempt to distinguish breath prayer from other forms of breathwork, I really don't think she was denying that breathing practices predate hers, nor trying to say that hers is better: she is simply showing that the focus of breath prayers in particular is different. 

However, I really didn't enjoy this book. I so wanted to! Coming from a christian background in which breath prayers were extremely frowned upon, I was so looking forward to an extensive treatment of the subject. Beyond the introductory chapter, which was often repetitive, there was little else. Even the page showing different forms of breathwork was very short, and could have been expanded upon. Maybe exercises provided? Or even anecdotal or application points made. What this book actually is, is a devotional with a breath prayer added to each entry.

I was excited for this book because I have benefited from Tucker's mental health resources previously, and unfortunately I find this book falls flat. I wasn't looking for a devotional. If i were to hand this to the people who had criticised my practice, I don't think they would come to really see how biblical it can be, and be persuaded to attempt it. 

Tucker's freely available breath prayer printables would be sufficient without the book. 

That being said, it would still be a good fit for others, as other reviews show, and particularly those looking for a devotional resource. And it's pretty to boot.

Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC, provided in exchange for an honest review.
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Beautiful book of prayer and breathwork. It starts with an introduction on breathing techniques, and then is like a devotional as it speaks of that particular scripture. Each theme then has a beautifully illustrated prayer of the scripture to inhale and exhale. 

I loved the book. I loved the style and color and meaning and all the pages that help guide us in prayerful breathwork.

What I didn’t like is the area where the author talked down on other meditation techniques, as if breathwork is pagan. I’ve been meditating for years, and I’m happy to add this book to my repertoire. But I can assure you that meditation or somatic breathwork by clearing your mind is nothing pagan and is a judgment that almost stopped me from reading. The chart was unnecessary part of the book that could turn a lot of people away and honestly leaving out the chart would probably help the author reach many other readers, as well as her intended readers. 

Still, the book was beautiful, the artwork stunning, and the prayers with breath were amazing. It’s a practice I’ll be adding to my daily life and a book I’ll be using as a tool. Thank you to Netgalley, the author and the publisher for allowing me to review.
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As at least one other reviewer noted, the section that tried to differentiate the breath practice discussed in this book from "new-age" traditions, as they were referred to, didn't sit well with me. It felt disingenuous and disrespectful. This book is not inventing that practice, but building on a long-established tradition outside the Christian faith. As the book pointed out, there is science to support the health benefits of breath practices. If the author felt the need to address it, I would have preferred transparency about all this and for the book to be framed as a way to incorporate that into one's Christian faith. 

I would have really liked the book if this element hadn't been included and would likely have bought the book myself. The idea of using scripture in this way, as part of meditation, is really appealing to me and I liked how the book was organized into different themes. 

2.5/5 stars
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