And so they came to Jericho, that ancient city of palms and sycamores, where the fragrance of dates hung heavy in the air, and the sun beat down upon the dusty streets. A crowd gathered and surged, an itinerant rabbi and his followers waded through, and a blind man, often overlooked, sat in his usual place by the roadside, hands outstretched, begging for alms.

Amidst the commotion, a precious name reached the attentive ears of Bartimaeus, son of Timaeus. A spark of hope ignited within him, a flicker of belief. His long yearning for light found expression in a simple, pleading cry, repeated with each breath.

The words, raw and unfiltered, pierced the air, cutting through the din of the crowd. Onlookers exchanged uncomfortable glances and some elders, acutely aware of the disturbance caused by this repetitive and desperate clamoring, hushed him as they would an undisciplined child.

Undeterred, his voice gained strength with each utterance.

“Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

The sound of his pleas reached the ears of Jesus, who paused in his stride. “Call him to me,” he said.

As the year hurtles toward its conclusion, we may find ourselves entangled in the demands of work, family, and social obligations, leaving little time for quiet reflection and prayer. Even if we have needs like Bartimaeus, we might prefer blending in with the crowd and playing it cool.

Allow me to recommend a prayer practice I have found both nourishing and accessible: Breath Prayer. This involves synchronizing our breath with a short phrase—a few words as we inhale—a few more as we exhale, repeated with each breath.

You can try it now for a minute or two: as you breathe in slowly and deeply, close your eyes, and silently focus on the words “Jesus, Son of David,” then as you breathe out, “have mercy on me.”

The beauty of breath prayer lies in its versatility; it can be practiced anywhere, anytime. Whether you’re commuting, waiting in line, or simply taking a moment of pause, it provides a quick connection to God’s presence with you.

For the weeks leading up to Christmas, we’ve created a guide offering a rich and accessible way to engage in this practice, providing a scripture and a suggested prayer for each day. Please consider making it a part of your days this month as we practice together waiting for Jesus.

All Articles