“‘Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?’ declares the Lord. ‘Do not I fill heaven and earth?’ declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 23:24
“There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful, than that of a continual conversation with God; those only can comprehend it who practice and experience it.” Brother Lawrence
- It’s Monday and time to pray with your prayer partner! If you don’t have someone as a designated prayer partner, call a friend right now and pray with her for 10 minutes. Take turns praying for each other. Remember that you are moving heaven as you pray!
- It’s time to meet with your beloved Jesus! Grab your Bible, a pen, a journal, something hot to drink, and a beautiful-smelling candle. Take a deep breath. Calm your heart and mind. Focus your thoughts on the truth that Jesus loves you and longs for you to know how close He is with you; in fact, He is closer than your breath. Pray right now for God to speak to your heart through today’s Bible study about becoming more aware of His presence and increasing your faith in knowing He is with you. Be here with Jesus, right now at this moment.
- Read Psalm 131:1-3, Jeremiah 23:24, and 1 Corinthians 3:16. Write Psalm 131:2 in your journal.
How to Practice God’s Presence
Some time ago, while sitting in the choir loft of a beautiful church waiting for the choir director to start practice, I had a thousand thoughts swirling around in my head. I was too busy to sing and felt overwhelmed at the thought of all I had on my plate that week that still needed to be done. It always seems as if I never have enough time to finish what I need to do.
It was then that I felt the Lord impress upon me the thought, “Be here with me, Deb. Be here.” God wanted me to be with Him at that moment and to let everything else go. I simply prayed a quick prayer asking God to show me how to become more aware of His presence and to be with Him right at that moment. Instantly, I felt my body relax, and I began to look around at the scene in the choir loft. I noticed the director’s wonderful sense of humor, the other choir members’ sweet love for Jesus, and the beauty of the music we were singing. I observed the magnificent stained glass window and said to God, “Oh, what a beautiful window! I know when they were building this church, they prayed for wisdom, and look how You answered!! It’s gorgeous!”
Since then, I find myself pondering and praying about how to be aware of the presence of God. In Jeremiah 23:24, Scripture says that God is around us at all times, and according to 1 Corinthians 3:16, the Spirit of God dwells in all believers. So if you are a Christ follower, He lives in you!
But why don’t we always feel God? How can we become more aware of Him? Sometimes we feel alone, but God’s Word says that His Spirit lives in us. There can be many factors as to why we don’t feel God, but one way we can begin to learn to become aware of Him is to practice His presence. Just like everything else in life, when we practice something, we become better and better at it. But how do you practice being aware of God’s presence?
- Start by spending regular time with God. The “Morning Watch” is a wonderful term used to describe the first few moments of the day spent with God. Of course, you can talk to God any time, but there is something special about meeting with Him in prayer and Bible reading first thing in the morning. The more time you spend with God, the better you will know His Word, and the easier it will be to hear His voice. You will learn to hear Him when He is teaching you or encouraging you, and also when He is convicting you of sin or warning you that you are headed in the wrong direction. When you spend time with God, you will learn to hear His voice in such a way that makes it easier to be in closer fellowship with Him. If mornings are tough for you, ask God to wake you up 15 minutes earlier and help you to focus on Him right away. Trust me He will honor this request!
- Next, ask God to help you to cultivate a mental habit of noticing His presence. Ask Him several times a day to help you feel His peace and start to notice the beauty around you–like the smallness of your children’s fingers, the love in your husband’s eyes when he looks at you, the delicious smell of bread baking in the oven, or the sweet sound of worship music playing in the background. For a few minutes, be gratefully present in each moment with God, conversing with Him about each of the gifts you observe.
- Lastly, the Bible says that worship and a thankful heart ushers us into God’s presence. Psalm 22:3 says, “God inhabits the praise of His people.” God loves it when we notice His blessings. A thankful heart leads us to worship, which brings joy to our hearts and also an increased awareness of His love and nearness.
Remember, whether you feel happy or sad, or your circumstances are good or bad, God is always with you. There is never a moment when you are without God’s presence (Hebrews 13:5).
“Think often on God, by day, by night, in your business and even in your diversions. He is always near you and with you; leave him not alone.” ~ Brother Lawrence
Blessings and Love,
Questions to Ponder
- When have you felt God’s presence the most? Were you worshipping at church, rocking your baby to sleep, or enduring a difficult trial? If you can’t pinpoint a moment, ask God to remind you as a touchstone to encourage you when He seems distant.
Write “Practice God’s Presence” on your bathroom mirror with a dry erase marker to daily spur you on to practice the ideas in this study. Go through the steps outlined over and over until they are committed to your memory.
Record today’s verses on your phone’s recording device. Listen to them often to remind yourself of the truth that God is with you. Ask Him to help you to rest in His presence like the weaned child with its mother in Psalm 131:2.
I remember going into my daughter's room night after night and kneeling beside her bed and crying my heart out to God because I didn’t know how to be a Christian mom; I felt like I had no idea what I was doing. You know what? God is so faithful! He answered me and simply said, “Spend time with me, Deb.” And so I did. I began arising 15-30 minutes earlier each day so I could read my Bible and pray, and plan out my day with my family.
If there was one thing I would love to share with you is that God is personal and loves you as you are. You don’t have to be perfect to be loved by our amazing God! Come as you are! His loving presence can be practically known and experienced. He is not a God who is far away, He is near and easily found. He longs for you to come to Him!
Randy and I have been married for 28 years and we have two grown children, Christie, and Jack, and one answer to prayer son-in-law named Alex. And now I get to be a Gigi to my sweet little grandbaby, Aspen! Yay!