Presence of God Way 2

We’ve come to the second of Brother Lawrence’s six ways necessary to develop the spiritual life in The Practice of the Presence of God.  In case you missed my last two posts, they are linked below:

Introductory post

The First Way

I’ve been talking a bit about my weekly phone call with Suzanne each week and how it’s inspires me in the practicing of the presence of God.  Something I enjoy about my friend, Suzanne, is that once in a while she texts me a personal note. She encourages me in an area I’m struggling with or updates me on some aspect of her life that has been a prayer request.

I don’t know about you, but I love notes from friends!  I think in our rushed days, we are getting less prone to send and receive personal notes and phone calls with a purpose to simply encourage.  Texting makes it easier, but so often, texts are related to taking care of business.

The delight I have knowing I’m a part of a friend’s thoughts in the midst of a busy day beyond our once-a-week phone call, makes me wonder at the delight the Lord must have when I talk with Him as I live out my day…beyond my regularly scheduled quiet time with Him.  Just as it’s nice to not just receive a text about the technicalities of daily life, work, and planning, I’m sure it pleases the Lord when we just come to Him with our thoughts as we work.  Not with wrote memorization of some prayer or words, but with our hearts, emotions, and thoughts being handed over and yielded to Him.

This is the second way we can practice the presence of God…even if we’re busy.

Way 2: “We must try to converse with God in little ways while we do our work; not in memorized prayer, not trying to recite previously formed thoughts.  Rather, we should purely and simply reveal our hearts as the words come to us.”

This is even easier than texting a friend!  No need to punch out a note with one or two fingers.  Just converse with a genuine heart as you go.

“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer” (Romans 12:12).

The thought of conversing with God in little ways seems desirable to me.  The word “constant” comes to mind, though.  I long to have that as constant as possible and I just haven’t figured out how to develop that habit of consistently, constantly, conversing with God just yet.

I think of the apostle Paul. I would think he would’ve pushed Himself to the max in regards to ministry, filling his time and taking his energy.  Yet over and over I read his thoughts on constant prayer.  Either he was constantly in prayer or calling people up to constant prayer! He seems to have never tired of it or forgotten about it. At least fifteen times I read of instances of that in his letters.  Here’s just a handful:

“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer” (Romans 12:12).

“I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day” (2 Timothy 1:3).

“...giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20).

“…praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:8).

“…do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6).
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving” (Colossians 4:2).

Perhaps you don’t feel close to God.  I’m sure Jonah would’ve felt that way too.  Tucked away in His anger, fear, and rebellion, seemingly hidden from God. Yet what did He do even there?

“Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish…” (Jonah 2:1).

“When my life was fainting away, I remembered the Lord, and my prayer came to you, into your holy temple” (Jonah 2:7).
 Even when we’re in our darkest hour, we can remember the Lord and our prayers will come to Him.
“I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.”  (Psalm 16:8).
 Even Jesus did it:
“In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence” (Hebrews 5:7).
And He does it still:

“Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25).

Jesus lives to make intercession for us who draw near to God through Him.  Does this verse inspire you to share your heart with Him more?

May we present, throughout our days, our full selves, our thoughts, hearts, joy, sadness, grief, despair, depression, requests, passions, and praise. This is our sacrifice to the one who can understand us, hear us, save us, heal us, and help us!

 “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise” (James 5:13).
“For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer.” (1 Peter 3:12).
And listen to the story Jesus told in order that we would always pray and not lose heart:
 “And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:1-9)

Friends, don’t lose heart!  He is not a judge who is far off and refuses you and your words.  He is a God who hears and longs to be honored and realized not just in the morning or at night but all day long.  May the Lord find your faith on earth in the midst of your days…

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 for the next month on the practices that brother Lawrence wrote were necessary to develop the spiritual life.

Here’s a quick list to peak your interest!

  1. Finding constant pleasure in His divine company
  2. Conversing with God in little ways while we do our work
  3. Doing everything with great care
  4. Stopping for a few minutes – as often as possible – to praise God
  5. Adoring God in faith
  6. Carefully examining ourselves

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Linking up this week with these encouraging blogs:

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