The greatest gift of the Gospel is God Himself. Above forgiveness, eternal life, transformation of our hearts, the best joy is that we get God! He is always with us, and always delighted in us, because we are His children. But this deep intimacy for which our heart yearns—and which no person can satisfy—is hard to enter. We forget. We believe lies (about God, about ourselves). And so we walk as though we were not in the presence of our Beloved, even as He is closer than our breath.
Throughout the New Testament, Jesus and the apostles urge us to pray always. We generally assume that by this they mean that we should bring all our needs to God; and this is surely important. But through Church history, many have believed that God intends us to live continually in His presence, with unbroken communication. And this is not a burden, but a privilege. “There is no mode of life in the world more pleasing and more full of delight than continual conversation with God,” writes Brother Lawrence.
Breath prayer is a practice aimed at cultivating the habit of continually abiding in the presence of God. It is a laying hold of the Gospel—for only through Jesus can we have boldness to think God would be near our hearts, in every circumstance!