Prayer is Air!

deep_sea_diver__by_tolyanmy-d6bbj0v“Deep Sea Diver” by TolyanMy

Connecting With God

While I was working my way through college, my buddy Dean was hitchhiking his way up Pacific Coast Highway. A few years later, I had a shiny new bachelor’s degree and was selling encyclopedias for minimum wage. And Dean was making massive amounts of money. Wait–what?


Deep sea diving! I pictured him battling giant squids. The reality was slightly less exotic, but still pretty cool: he was salvaging lost cargo. “Why so much money?” I asked.

“Because it’s dangerous. You can’t wear scuba gear ‘cause it’s too deep and you’re down there too long. And if anything cuts off your air…”


“Exactly. That’s why you can’t do it alone. One guy goes down while the other one stays up top monitoring the air flow. You gotta have enough pressure or the ocean will crush you. And all the time you’re down there, you gotta keep checking your hose, making sure there’s no kinks–the guy up top can’t do it for you. You gotta have new air constantly. You can’t keep breathing the same air. You’re in an environment you weren’t made for.”

Dean eventually moved on. And so did I. I knocked around for a few years trying to find myself. Then one day I realized it wasn’t me I was looking for; it was the one who made me. God was out there somewhere, I decided. But he seemed so far away, so alien.

Then I remembered Dean’s words, “You’re in an environment you weren’t made for,” and I realized God wasn’t the alien, I was. We humans have become disconnected from our Source, our “air.” We’ve turned our world into an alien, hostile einvironment, and there’s only one thing that can revive us: Prayer.

Prayer is air!

First of all, “You can’t do it alone.” Just as deep sea divers can’t survive without someone “up top,” spiritual beings can’t survive without a connection to their Creator. Prayer isn’t some self-contained motivational technique, it’s a connection. There’s no such thing as a self-contained “scuba prayer.” Without the countering pressure of God’s Spirit,* the ocean, “the cares of this world” (Mark 4:19), will crush us.

Second, “You gotta keep checking your hose, making sure there’s no kinks.” There are so many things that can affect the flow of God’s word and presence in our lives. We must continually remind ourselves that nothing is as important as that life-giving flow.

Third, “You gotta have new air constantly. You can’t keep breathing the same air.” Like any other form of communication, prayer is only as healthy as it is fresh. If you’re going on old prayers, your oxygen is running out!

Finally, “You’re in an environment you weren’t made for.” We’re “aliens and strangers in this world” (1 Peter 2:11). Prayer is not the norm, the worship of everything but God is, especially self. “You shall be as God,” says the serpent in Genesis 3:5, and that has been the world’s dominant belief system ever since. The hose-kinking, life-sucking result of which is spiritual death (Ephesians 2:1).

Prayer is air. Yes, it’s hard to pray in an environment that is hostile to prayer, that views it as naïve and even dangerous. But pray anyway. Pray as if your life depended upon it.

Because it does.

Next: God, Are You There?

*Interestingly, Pneuma, the Greek word for Spirit, also means “breath” and is the source of the word pneumatics—pressurized air!

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in For Pastors and Teachers, Memoir, Quips and Quotes, Religion/Faith and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

66 Responses to Prayer is Air!

  1. Eliza Ayres says:

    Reblogged this on Blue Dragon Journal.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Amen Mitch! We must abide in Him daily! Great story and analogy! God bless!

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Heidi Viars says:

    When I am in dire need in a circumstance, and don’t have the time (or energy) to pray long prayers, I pray “breath-prayers”. The first part is breathing in, the question. The second part is breathing out, the answer.
    in “Where does my help come from?” … out “From the the Maker of Heaven and earth!” or
    in “Help me to love him/her now!” … out “You have loved me with an everlasting love!” or
    in “Who holds my future?” … out “You are the Alpha and Omega”
    Thank you, Mitch for this reminder.
    Five years ago, my son was in a coma on a ventilator in ICU. Since then we have come to know the value of breath … but even that is not as valuable as the presence of God (which we experience in prayer!)

    Liked by 5 people

  4. smzang says:

    Indeed it does!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Reblogged this on 4th Quarter Musings and commented:
    My friend Mitch has done it again with his gift of storytelling. How is your air supply? Are you willing to acknowledge that you weren’t made for this world? This is not our natural environment. The Bible says we are aliens and strangers in this world. We need the breath and indwelling of the Holy Spirit to have a proper worldview. Indeed we need to acknowledge the world for which we were made. Eph 2:19 tells us about our world, the one that holds our citizenship as believers. 1 Peter 2:11 begins to tell us how we should then live in this world, including some things we’re prone to complain and chafe over. God bless as you read Mitch’s story about the air we breathe.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. This is good Mitch. Such a great analogy for the breath of life! I’ve reblogged this to

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Oh man, my line gets lots of kinks …

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Mark Brady says:

    Hey Mitch, a good one! Thanks. My favorite posts, from you, are the ones where you take life, and draw from it to illustrate a spiritual principle. You’re anointed for such writing.

    Liked by 5 people

  9. revruss1220 says:

    Awesome analogy and a great reminder. Thanks for this needed word in my day today. (What does it say about my spiritual life that earlier today I chose a daily devotion on the topic of prayer and then opened this blog post on the SAME SUBJECT!)

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Oh, totally awesome, Mitch! I love this. Well said! Sometimes when I am really stressed out I call prayers “breath.” That’s it, just breathe in and out, “in Him I have my breath and being.” Thank you for breath, Lord. Then I can usually focus enough to start whining and shrieking hysterically, since I am on a hostile, alien planet and I do not even scuba dive! At best, I snorkel. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  11. What a great analogy 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  12. pastorpete51 says:

    Great post Mitch. Love the reminder to keep things fresh. For me too much social media has been choking my own hose and my prayer is to find God’s way between becoming a hermit and living for likes. God bless.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Very nice use of extended metaphor! I like it very much!!

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Excellent post and so very true!!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Bill Sweeney says:

    A perfect metaphor, Mitch! I haven’t been able to speak for over twenty years, but I can still pray and God hears me.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. numrhood says:

    1 peter 2:13 god can heal through christ he is my strength

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Tina says:

    Yep, new prayers. I get that.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Jon says:

    This was great Mitch. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. karanoel says:

    So good!

    Liked by 2 people

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  21. 'Kanmi says:

    This is so good. a timely reminder that our lives truly depends on God. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Thanks, Mitch, I may borrow this for a sermon illustration. I’ll be sure to give you credit

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Terese says:

    Thanks for this encouragement, Mitch! Prayer is definitely a necessity not a chore as many tend to view prayer. In my reading today I was reminded that we are to give thanks and pray for each other consistently.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. There is reality and then there is REALITY!!! Being an alien in Deepwater is truly REALITY. This has a sidebar of trust as well. Great post.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Brilliant thoughts! It reminded me of the quote by Spurgeon:

    ‘When asked, “What is more important: Prayer or Reading the Bible?” I ask, “What is more important: Breathing in or Breathing out?”

    Liked by 2 people

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  27. This went deep in me at a challenging time at home, a precious time of healing too. I’ve included your link to here, do check if you would. God bless the work of your hands

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Pingback: Prayer is Air! | Matthew Seufer Photography -Reaching Millions Worldwide with GIFTS of HOPE,COMFORT, and INSPIRATION in 2020.

  29. eddieb says:

    This really spoke to me – I love the analogy. Just so true. Thanks for sharing this

    Liked by 2 people

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  31. themeonnblog says:

    This is awesome. So beautifully written!

    Liked by 2 people

  32. Idara-abasi says:

    love your wisdom and revelations. Stay blessed

    Liked by 2 people

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  39. Reblogged this on emotionalpeace and commented:
    Excellent post on prayer


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