Practicing Presence with God

51wD56vwVtL“That practice which is alike the most holy, the most general, and the most needful in the spiritual life is the practice of the Presence of GOD. It is the schooling of the soul to find its joy in His Divine Companionship, holding with Him at all times and at every moment humble and loving converse, without set rule or stated method, in all time of our temptation and tribulation, in all time of our dryness of soul and disrelish of GOD, yes, and even when we fall into unfaithfulness and actual sin.” [1]

This year, I’m making a different kind of resolution. I’m making a resolution to be present. My journey of intentionality and focus begins with an old practice commonly referred to as practicing the presence of God. One of the characteristics is omnipresence, or being present in all places. God is always present. The problem is that we are not always aware. This is why my first focus is to practice God’s presence.

The book The Practice of the Presence of God is a collection of writings and recollections by 17th century Carmelite Monk called Brother Lawrence. His conversations and letters focus primarily on how he choose to and practiced being present to God at all times. Even in his dish washing duties he managed to find joy in the presence of God.

In my endeavors to practice being present in this new year I am beginning with being present to God because I believe that this is most important. I can be present to what I am doing and who I am with but if I’m not present to God I’m going to where God is leading me.

The big question is how do we practice this, how do we learn to be present to God at all times?

I’m starting in one way. I’m choosing to read the Bible more often. I want to be more present to God by being more open to what he says to me through the Bible. In the past I have been terribly inconsistent with my Bible reading and I have tried to give myself some grace. Now, however, I’m trying to be more intentional about Bible reading so that I can be available for God to speak.

I don’t expect to master this by the end of this year. By the end of this month I’ll probably be catching up on my bible reading, but the more I practice the more I can be open to God’s presence. The more I’m present to God, the more I can be present to everyone and everything else.

Will you join me in practicing being present to God each day by making yourself available to hear his word? I’m reading through this plan: Sure it’s the now the 10th of the new year, the second Saturday, but any day is a good day to commit to reading your bible.

So please, join me in this plan, or find your own plan. When you find a plan don’t be afraid to share it. Let people know you’re doing it and ask them to join you. Practicing the presence of God is even better in community.

[1] Brother Lawrence (1967-02-01). The Practice of the Presence of God (Kindle Locations 560-564). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

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