top of page

The Two Minute Breather

Hi there! Thanks for stopping to read this post.

You’ve stopped. Briefly. Has this guy got anything meaningful to say? Well, let’s see. Imagine, for a moment, that this post might possibly add something valuable to your life.

So, pause and breathe slowly.


For two minutes.

Three times a day.


How hard can that be?


First, I get this. Leaders have a lot on their plates. There is a lot to accomplish. There are tasks to complete, people to meet, goals to achieve. So let me be clear. I’m not suggesting that these tasks and goals aren’t valid, nor that your work doesn’t require hard work. It does.

There is, however, a price to be paid for constant movement, continual running and reaching for the next thing. It creates stress and tends towards exhaustion. And in fact, a person who never stops often achieves less than the one who rests at appropriate moments. Studies show that for students, they retain more information if they take a ten-minute break every hour.

And so today, I set you a challenge I have attempted myself. First, the challenge. Second, how I fared. Third, why it’s worth having a go.


Stop for two minutes three times a day. That’s just six minutes a day. This will benefit you whatever you do during those two minutes (that’s how God has created us), but I suggest one of these ways to enrich the time further:

  • Meditate on a Scripture

  • Worship

  • Short devotional prayer

Three times a day.


In truth, not well. Not well at all! I found it very hard.

It’s only six minutes a day and I often forgot. Days would pass and I would simply forget. Once I had put on an alarm to remind me, that helped. But then I found it hard to slow down and stop. It was like slamming on the brakes on the motorway. Everyone else was speeding by, and I was resistant to stopping. I thought I would somehow lose momentum. But this turned out not to be true.

Once I had got used to stopping for two minutes even once a day, I discovered the benefits. Which is why I’m recommending this practice.


First, the practice of stopping regularly through your day is a reminder of your need to slow down. It actually reduces the stress in your body. When you stop, you slow your breathing and take deep breaths. The focus moves from the external to the inner life with God.

Second, it acts like a regular wake-up call to the purpose of your life. Instead of distracting yourself with Facebook or Twitter, you are brought before the Lord to worship him, and since that is the ultimate goal of your life, it is good to be reminded of it.

Third, the practice confronts a number of lies about your work.

1 – If you stop, you’ll get behind. Just two minutes and you’re behind? I don’t think so. If you believe that stopping for two minutes will cause you to get behind, then there is something very wrong. Because that simply isn’t true. Not unless you’re a paramedic or a trauma surgeon. If you feel a constant drive to press on, it’s precisely by stopping that you gain perspective. Indeed, after stopping and worshiping, you will bring into the next portion of your day the joy of having spent time with your Lord, if only for a couple of short minutes.

2 - This isn’t a good time or “I’ll lose track of what I’m doing.” Well, a little clarity might help here. I’m not asking you to stop in the middle of a team meeting. I’m suggesting you find three times a day when you can simply stop. Anybody can find that. Anybody, that is, who makes it a priority.

And perhaps that is the crux.

You will only do this if you make it a priority. It’s like the excuses we make for not sending emails. I haven’t had time. Really? It takes about a minute, and you haven’t had a minute? Of course you have, but , most likely, the email simply wasn’t important enough to you.

If you prioritise this, you can do it. It’s not impossible.

3 - It doesn’t suit my personality. Maybe so. However, have you noticed that when Jesus taught people, he didn’t adjust his teaching to different personality types. If devotional practices bring benefits, then those benefits are available to everyone. It may be that highly-strung people will find this more difficult, but all the more reason to have a go. Jesus doesn’t say, “If you can’t concentrate, then don’t bother to pray.” He calls us all into his presence. In truth, you can do this. If you want to. Your God is well able to meet with you, whatever personality type you may have.

4 - I can’t slow down. Yes, you can. That is just a lie. The two-minute breather may be a challenge at first, but it is not impossible. I’ve added this last one, because it’s obviously an excuse. Anyone can slow down if they determine to do it.

Back to how I fared . . .

I will confess that I found this harder to do than I would admit to myself. It shouldn’t be hard, but it was. I made excuses or I forgot.

Allow me to quote from Brother Lawrence, the master at holding Jesus before him all day long.

I make it my business only to persevere in His holy presence, wherein I keep myself by a simple attention, and a general fond regard to God, which I may call an actual presence of God; or, to speak better, an habitual, silent, and secret conversation of the soul with God.

- The Practice of the Presence of God, Brother Lawrence.

Why do I quote from Brother Lawrence? Because the two-minute breather is simply a technique to draw us back to a constant awareness of God’s presence. For he is always with us. Every moment of every day. There is nothing magical in the breather itself. Stopping for two minutes every now and then won’t transform you into the perfect Christian.

But it may help you slow down. It may help to remind you regularly of your life’s purpose. If you struggle with it, it may even function as a warning signal. That you’re moving too fast, that you’re doing, doing, doing, without being grounded in your relationship with God.

So, what do you say? Are you willing to try?

I would love to hear how it goes. Do email me to let me know what you have learned through the practice. My email:

The Lord bless you as you serve him today.

Get alerted of any new blog posts

Sign-up for our email list and select "Interested in... Podcast and Blog Updates" 

bottom of page