I Was Robbed!

Well, not really.

But anyone who has spent a week with me at a teen or family camp may remember that I often speak of “inhaling the Word of God, exhaling prayer.” I suppose I’ve been using that phrase for three decades or more.

Today this showed up in my inbox, under the headline “Do This Breathing Exercise for Healthy Christian Living.” You can read the brief article (and I recommend you do) https://www.crossway.org/articles/do-this-breathing-exercise-for-healthy-christian-living/.

Gasp! It includes this sentence: “I like to think of Scripture and prayer as inhaling and exhaling because that shows the two necessarily go together. “

Usually I just say, “Inhale,” pause a moment, and then say, “Exhale.”

Inhale the Word of God; exhale prayer.


In many circles there is much talk of plagiarism. The new president of a major denomination has been accused, as have several other “big name” Christians.

I don’t know the level of their guilt.

But ideas can’t be copyrighted.

After all, there is nothing new under the sun.

Obviously to cut and paste someone elses’ words/writings is stealing.

But I wasn’t robbed.

Though it could be that the author of the piece is a former camper of mine, who may not remember that he first heard the phrase under me. Or maybe the author came up with the idea by himself.

Either way, I’m not going to scream that he stole my idea.

I’ll simply rejoice that other people are learning about spiritual breathing.

Excuse me, it’s time for me to inhale.

Author: Jack Hager

Jesus invaded my life shortly after my arrest at age 26. I spent the first few years of my new life incarcerated. Went to Bible school after parole; have served with Kansas City Youth For Christ, Headwaters Christian Youth (Rhinelander, Wi), Family Life Ministries (Bath, NY), and now with Midland Ministries (Saint Joseph, Mo). Married with four children, work with youth, adults, inmates. Heavily involved in Bible quizzing for four decades. Narrow minded about Jesus and the gospel; fairly open minded about most other things. Speak in churches, camps (both teen and family), civic groups, public schools, Christian schools and colleges...amazed I get to do what I get to do....favorite verse Romans 15.13 "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing so that you, by the power of the Holy Spirit, may overflow with hope."

One thought on “I Was Robbed!”

  1. Jack, what an important insight. I’d be most happy to attribute that saying to you! It’s appropriate for sure. What’s beautiful is that it unites two vital aspects of every believer’s life. Eugene Peterson calls it “answering speech,” like a baby learns eventually to say, “Daddy” by hearing it repeatedly, so when the believer speaks, it is in answer, or response to our heavenly Father’s frequent input. Helpful all the way around! (See Answering God: The Psalms as Tools for Prayer by E. Peterson)

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