O Lord, breathe Thy Spirit on me

O Lord, breathe Thy Spirit on me,
  Teach me how to breathe Thee in;
Help me pour into Thy bosom
  All my life of self and sin.
  I am breathing out my sorrow,
  Breathing out my sin;
I am breathing, breathing, breathing,
    All Thy fulness in.
I am breathing out my own life,
  That I may be filled with Thine;
Letting go my strength and weakness,
  Breathing in Thy life divine.
Breathing out my sinful nature,
  Thou hast borne it all for me;
Breathing in Thy cleansing fulness,
  Finding all my life in Thee.
I am breathing out my sorrow,
  On Thy kind and gentle breast;
Breathing in Thy joy and comfort,
  Breathing in Thy peace and rest.
I am breathing out my sickness,
  Thou hast borne its burden too;
I am breathing in Thy healing,
  Ever promised, ever new.
I am breathing out my longings
  In Thy listening, loving ear;
I am breathing in Thy answers,
  Stilling every doubt and fear.
I am breathing every moment,
  Drawing all my life from Thee;
Breath by breath I live upon Thee,
  Lord, Thy Spirit breathe in me.
Vahagn Shahverdyan


It's a super hymn.

I cant sing that song without tears.

Israel Hwang


Rivers Barton

I am breathing out my own life that I might be filled with Thine!

Victoria Gachuz

Phoenix, Arizona, United States

This wonderful hymn I was singing to my husband at his bedside in the hospital for 7 months of suffering and it helped us very much to pass into His Life and be strengthened & to be joyful !!!


Zomba, Malawi

It's a very nice and powerful song!

Wallace Davidson

Clinton, Tennessee, United States

I love it!

Carlos Quessangue

Bissau, Sector Autónomo De Bissau, Guinea-Bissau

É um artigo que inspira tanto O leitor sobre a prática de orar a Deus. Muitíssimo obrigado e Deus abençoe O vosso ministério.

Donny Du

Rochester, MN, United States

To silence the soul and it’s endless requests is a relentless task. To ignore this soul and come along side my spirit infused / quickened/ unction/ with the Holy Spirit, this is breathing. Effectual prayer the soul has not, not until it has tasted and submitted joyfully to the new Holy One on the throne of mansoul, and when soul realizes the joy, the mind will follow suit and all three will be in union with God. Then, true breathing begins

Christopher Burk

Seattle, Washington, United States

I am breathing!

Pey-Jing Li Mehrinfar

San Marcos, TX, United States

O Lord, breathe Thy Spirit on me,

Teach me how to breathe Thee in;

Help me pour into Thy bosom

All my life of self and sin.

This is one of my little 9-yr-old niece’s favorite hymns. My prayer is that she would learn day by day to breathe the Spirit in. We love you, Lord Jesus! Thank you for Your children of Zion.

The Christian and Missionary Alliance was established in 1887 by Brother A. B. Simpson. It was an alliance of Christian missionaries that sent out its members to preach the gospel. Brother Simpson was knowledgeable concerning spiritual matters. He wrote hymns such as "I am crucified with Christ, / And the cross hath set me free" (Hymns, #482), "Jesus only, Jesus ever" (Hymns, #511), and "O Lord, breathe Thy Spirit on me, / Teach me how to breathe Thee in" (Hymns, #255). His hymns are deep, and they contain spiritual experiences and spiritual values. His co-workers also had some spiritual weight, one of whom was the missionary John Woodbury, who along with his younger sister established Shou Chen Chapel in Shanghai.

In our hymnal we selected about eight hundred hymns from over ten thousand collected hymns. Among these selected hymns were a number of hymns written by A. B. Simpson, the founder of the Christian and Missionary Alliance. One of his hymns (Hymns, #255) speaks of breathing in the Lord. The first stanza and chorus of this hymn say,

O Lord, breathe Thy Spirit on me,

Teach me how to breathe Thee in;

Help me pour into Thy bosom

All my life of self and sin.

I am breathing out my sorrow,

Breathing out my sin;

I am breathing, breathing, breathing,

All Thy fulness in.

After singing this hymn for the first time, one brother was offended at the thought of breathing the Lord. However, a few years later, after having had the experience of breathing Christ, he expressed his appreciation of this hymn.

Not everyone appreciates the worth of such hymns. Brother Nee translated another of A. B. Simpson's hymns into Chinese, one that I also like very much: "O Lord, breathe Thy Spirit on me" (Hymns, #255). We published it in 1963. One time a brother who had been a preacher among the Brethren for twenty-five years came to me enraged, protesting, "Brother Lee, what kind of hymn is this? Breathing, breathing, breathing. I did not say a word. Less than six years later, this brother said to me, "Brother Lee, the best hymn in our hymnal is that one on breathing!" Why did he have such a change in his taste? It all depends upon our appreciation; this, in turn, depends upon our realization. If you check the various denominational hymn books, you will have a hard time finding a hymn like either of these because there is no appreciation, no interest; they do not live such a life. This is an indication that, when it comes to the Lord Jesus being life to us, today's Christianity is far off the track. Thus, they have no taste for such hymns.

Day by day we need to breathe the Lord Jesus, and in our breathing, we also drink of Him. I refer again to the two lines in M. E. Barber's hymn: "Just to breathe the Name of Jesus, / Is to drink of Life indeed" (Hymns, #73). Miss Barber realized that to breathe the Lord is to drink Him. In the breath there is water, and in the water there is food.

The Lord has shown us that the best way to breathe Him is to call on His name (Lam. 3:55-56). We are the called people who have been called to be the calling ones. The Lord has called us so that we may call on Him (1 Cor. 1:2). On the one hand, we are the called people; on the other hand, we are the calling people. We are those who call on the Lord Jesus at every time and in every place. Many doctors and experts in health have discovered that an excellent exercise to help our human body is deep breathing. By breathing deeply, we breathe out all the unclean things and breathe in all the fresh elements. This principle applies also to our spiritual life. One of the most healthy things for our spiritual life is to breathe the Lord Jesus deeply by calling, "O Lord Jesus." Many of us may have been Christians for years without ever practicing the proper calling on the Lord. The word call in Greek means "to call upon, to invoke by name." We need to call on the name of the Lord, and this calling is the deep breathing of the Lord Jesus. It is regrettable that many Christians do not know how to breathe the Lord Jesus. A. B. Simpson wrote a wonderful hymn on the matter of breathing. The chorus reads, "I am breathing out my sorrow, / Breathing out my sin; / I am breathing, breathing, breathing, / All Thy fulness in" (Hymns, #255).

Hymns, #255 by A. B. Simpson is a hymn on breathing in the Lord. The chorus of this hymn says,

I am breathing out my sorrow,

Breathing out my sin;

I am breathing, breathing, breathing,

All Thy fulness in.

The first time I introduced this hymn was in 1963. There was a brother among us then who had a Brethren background. When he first heard this hymn, he did not like it because it was against his religious concept. But eventually this brother learned how to breathe in the Lord, and he appreciated this hymn. We can never give up breathing. Breathing is simple, but it is not simple to explain.

Today the Lord is the Spirit, and He is also the Word. On the one hand, the Spirit is the pneuma, the breath (John 20:22). On the other hand, the Word is also the breath. Second Timothy 3:16 says that all Scripture is God-breathed. So every part of the Scripture is a part of the divine breath. As the Spirit and the Word, the Lord is the breath. Strictly speaking, you can never get the Word into you as life merely by reading it. The only way for you to get the Word into you as life is by breathing. All Scripture is God-breathed. If you are going to get the Word as the breath into you, you have to breathe. Of course, we need to read the Bible, but mere reading does not work. We have to read the Word by breathing.

Hymns, #255, which was written by A. B. Simpson, who founded the Christian and Missionary Alliance in America, also speaks of breathing the Lord. Brother Simpson was raised up by the Lord in the mid-nineteenth century and served the Lord first in Canada and later in the United States. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the Pentecostal movement was quite prevailing in the United States, and Brother Simpson was also involved in it. However, when the Pentecostals went to the extreme of saying that speaking in tongues was a requirement for receiving the Holy Spirit, Brother Simpson did not approve.

We have at least ten hymns in our hymnal that were written by A. B. Simpson, such as, "I am crucified with Christ" (Hymns, #482), "Once it was the blessing, / Now it is the Lord" (Hymns, #513), and "Jesus only is our message" (Hymns, #511). Hymns, #255 speaks of breathing the Lord in stanza 7, saying, "I am breathing every moment, / Drawing all my life from Thee; / Breath by breath I live upon Thee, / Lord, Thy Spirit breathe in me." The experience of this hymn is very rich; the author was breathing continuously, drawing his life from the Lord. Although many of God's children have gone astray, there is a practical, simple, convenient, and proper way to breathe in and receive the Lord's life every moment.

If the sisters would continually call on the Lord as they are taking care of household duties, they would breathe out their temper and concerns and breathe in heavenly air. This heavenly air is the Lord Jesus. Brother Simpson was full of experience. He said, "I am breathing out my sin." When he called "O Lord!" sin was breathed out from within him. Then he would breathe in more of the Lord's riches so that breath by breath the Lord was manifested through him. This is truly a good hymn. I once introduced it to an American preacher who had been preaching for twenty-five years. When I introduced this hymn to him, he did not approve of it; he believed that it was quite strange. Several years later, however, he told me that this hymn was the best and most spiritual hymn, because it is not doctrinal. It was written by a person who was involved in the Pentecostal movement but who also was concerned that speaking in tongues was being overemphasized. Even though we emphasize the experience of the Spirit, we should not take the way of speaking in tongues or of foretelling but the way of breathing in the Lord by calling on His name. This is the proper way.

I was a Christian for over twenty years before I began to see that what matters is not doctrine but the living Christ. There is only one thing that we can do without ceasing, that is, to breathe. Spiritually, our calling on the Lord is our breathing (Lam. 3:55-56). I have learned over the years to enjoy Christ just by breathing Him. We should all learn to breathe Christ at all times and in every place. By this kind of constant breathing, we will enjoy Christ (Hymns, #255).

In Christianity there are a great number of hymns which represent the writers' spiritual experience. There are many hymns on living water, but there is probably only one that concerns spiritual breathing, and it was written by A. B. Simpson, founder of the Christian and Missionary Alliance. We have included this hymn in our hymnal (Hymns, #255). I once met a preacher who had been preaching in a Brethren assembly for more than twenty years. He did not approve of this particular hymn concerning breathing because he did not understand what he should breathe. I fellowshipped with him, saying, "In John 20:22 the Lord Jesus breathed into the disciples; this breathing was the Lord's breathing out. Then the Lord told the disciples, 'Receive the Holy Spirit.' How could the disciples receive the Holy Spirit? Surely they had to receive the Holy Spirit by breathing Him in. The Lord breathes out, but if we do not breathe Him in, He will not be able to enter into us. The Lord breathes out, and we breathe in; then the breath of life comes into us."

God dispenses Himself into our spiritual being through His Spirit, who is the very breath of God. The Spirit is the breath of God for our breathing. The more we breathe the Spirit, the more we are under the divine dispensing. The first two lines of a hymn by A.B. Simpson on the Spirit as the breath say, "O Lord, breathe Thy Spirit on me, / Teach me how to breathe Thee in" (Hymns, #255). The chorus says, "I am breathing out my sorrow, / Breathing out my sin; / I am breathing, breathing, breathing, / All Thy fulness in." Instead of being limited in our breathing, we need to exercise spiritual deep breathing. The more deeply we breathe the Spirit, the healthier we will be in our spiritual life.

A.B. Simpson, the founder of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, wrote a hymn concerning breathing the Lord (Hymns, #255), and the following verse and chorus show how much he enjoyed the Lord by breathing Him in:


A.B. Simpson was one of the most spiritual persons the United States has produced in the past one hundred years. He enjoyed breathing in the Lord's fullness and breathing out all the negative things within him. His mentioning of "fulness" in the chorus was a reference to John 1:16. The way to receive the Lord's fullness is by breathing Him. This renews, sanctifies, transforms, and conforms us. Eventually, this will glorify us.

God gives Himself to us by breathing Himself out, and we receive Him by breathing Him in. Physically, the secret to a long life is proper breathing, eating, and drinking. The One who gives Himself to us is the breath, the food, and the water, and we receive Him by breathing, eating, and drinking. This is the way John shows us to receive the given One, who is the processed Triune God in His trinity, the aggregate of the all-embracing blessing of the full gospel of God. This is the highest understanding of the Gospel of John.

In 1963 I introduced this hymn to some of the saints in the United States. One day, after we had sung this hymn, a dear saint came to me and said, "I can't understand this hymn. Breathing, breathing, breathing—breathing what?" He was somewhat bothered. A few years later, after we had published our hymnal, this same saint said to me, "Brother, my favorite hymn in the hymnal is that hymn on breathing the Lord."

How do we breathe the Lord? We breathe the Lord by opening ourselves to the Lord and calling upon His name. We need to call out to Him and even cry to Him, for, as Jeremiah has told us, calling on the Lord is to cry out to Him. He did this out of the low dungeon. Whenever we are low, that is, down in a "dungeon," we have to call on the Lord by crying out to Him that we may be released from confinement and receive more of the Lord into us.

Isaiah also tells us that our calling on the Lord is our crying to Him. "Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name...Sing unto the Lord...Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee" (Isa. 12:2-6). In these verses Isaiah tells us to praise, sing, cry out, and shout. All of these match the calling mentioned in verse 4. In verse 2 he says that God is our salvation and our strength. God is everything to us. We simply need to draw water out of the wells of God's salvation. How can we with joy draw water out of the wells of salvation? The way is to call on His name, to praise the Lord, to sing a hymn, and to cry out and shout. In verse 4 we find that praising and calling are put together, and in verse 6 we find that crying and shouting are put together. This proves that to call on the Lord is to cry and shout to Him. Many Christians have never shouted. If you have never shouted before the Lord, I doubt that you could have enjoyed the Lord in a rich way. Try shouting before Him. If you have never shouted about what the Lord is to you, I encourage you to try it. The more you shout, "O Lord Jesus, You are so good to me," the more you will be released from your self and be filled with the Lord. You will be in the third heaven. Thus, Isaiah, even in Old Testament times, told people to praise the Lord, call upon His name, cry out and shout.

Recently we found a good hymn on prayer (Hymns, #255). This hymn says that when we come to God, we breathe out ourselves and everything we have, and we breathe in God and everything He has. By this breathing in and out, we are delivered from ourselves and are put into God. This kind of breathing discharges what is within us and brings in everything of God. When we breathe out, our sins are exhaled, and when we breathe in, God's holiness is inhaled. By breathing out, we rid ourselves of weakness. By breathing in, we take in God's power. We may be full of sorrow and grief, but as soon as we come to God and breathe out, the sorrow and grief are gone. After breathing out, we must breathe in. When we breathe in, God's joy and comfort enter into us. This is the meaning of prayer. Prayer is to breathe in God, just as we breathe in air. Whenever we pray, we breathe in God. Prayer is our spiritual breathing before God and in God. Even though we often do not know what to say when we wait on God, there is a sighing within us. This sighing can be compared to breathing. Our experience shows that when we sigh a little, the weight on our shoulder disappears. We are fully released and rested, and we overflow with a sense of sweetness. We may often find ourselves sinking into darkness and confusion within, not knowing which path we should take, what we should do, or even how we should pray. But while we wait on the Lord, we utter a sigh from deep in our being. It is interesting that after sighing for a while, the darkness and confusion vanish, and we become clear and uncluttered, knowing the way to proceed. This wonderful experience is the meaning of prayer. Real prayer is nothing but waiting on God and breathing in God. When we breathe, we exhale everything that we are and inhale everything that God is.

Hymn #255 by A. B. Simpson is a wonderful hymn on breathing. The chorus of this hymn says:

I am breathing out my sorrow,

Breathing out my sin;

I am breathing, breathing, breathing,

All Thy fulness in.

We need to breathe Christ in as our breath. We can receive Christ into our inward parts by breathing Him in.

Piano Hymns