There’s only one person I ever call at 6:00 a.m. every Tuesday. It’s Suzanne. I don’t remember the date it started, but we’ve been doing this for almost ten years. It’s become a part of my week’s spiritual rhythm…like going to church on Sunday morning. It just doesn’t cross my mind not to do it unless an act of God prohibits it. Although I have been known to oversleep a few times!
We share our life’s story for the past week, hold each other accountable, and cry out to God for each other and our families. It’s one of the most beautiful moments of my week. There’s this one thing that Suzanne and I keep circling back to just about every week. How do we practice the presence of God throughout our day? How do we keep our mind stayed on Him and not on our flesh?
If we had this perfected, I guess we wouldn’t need Jesus or Tuesday mornings.
So we’ve decided that our struggle to do this is a beautiful one. Because at least we’re struggling. I mean, we could be lacking awareness to the need. Or we could be aware, but without a care. Instead, we’re aware and struggling. And I think God loves that. He knows we won’t do it perfectly, that is why He gave us Jesus. So a struggle it is, and a struggle it will always be on this side of glory.
But how can we make it easier? How can we cooperate with Jesus? How can we practice His presence more and more?
I recently went away for twenty-four hours and stayed in a little hermitage by myself in order to simply be with God. It was wonderful. How I wish there was a way to experience the peace and presence that I had there every moment of my life! Here is a picture that I took from the inside of my one-room cabin.
Most of us can’t run off to a cabin each day. We must face the day ahead! I do believe, though, that we CAN experience peace and the abundant spiritual life as we turn to Him throughout our days. This turning becomes a bit more streamlined and easier as we practice it throughout our Christian walk.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27).
For the next six weeks, I’ll be focusing in on a book by brother Lawrence called The Practice of the Presence of God. Perhaps you’ve heard of it?
“Brother Lawrence was a man of humble beginnings who discovered the greatest secret of living in the kingdom of God here on earth. It is the art of “practicing the presence of God in one single act that does not end.” He often stated that it is God who paints Himself in the depths of our soul. We must merely open our hearts to receive Him and His loving presence. For nearly 300 years this unparalleled classic has given both blessing and instruction to those who can be content with nothing less than knowing God in all His majesty and feeling His loving presence throughout each simple day.” (Amazon book description)
If you would like your own copy of The Practice of the Presence of God, by brother Lawrence, please click on the link below. I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
I will be focusing in on the practices that brother Lawrence wrote were necessary to develop the spiritual life.
Here’s a quick list to peak your interest!
- Finding constant pleasure in His divine company
- Conversing with God in little ways while we do our work
- Doing everything with great care
- Stopping for a few minutes – as often as possible – to praise God
- Adoring God in faith
- Carefully examining ourselves
What are some ways you practice His presence? Will you join for the next six weeks as I explore this book a bit and focus in on ways that we can once again turn to Jesus, His grace, and His kingdom? I’d love to know if brother Lawrence’s thoughts from about 400 years ago are consistent with our thoughts on this topic now! I believe his thoughts were based on God’s word so they should be consistent. Let’s find out together!
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