A few weeks ago, I came across a short reading plan entitled “Practicing the Presense of God” (read it here). It is based on the book The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence, first published in 1693. No, that is not a typo – it was really first published in the 17th century. Brother Lawrence joined a monastery, where he worked in the kitchen. And in his daily life he learned to constantly live in the experience of God’s presence.
Isaiah 26:3 (AKJV): 3You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you: because he trusts in you.
I really enjoyed the reading plan, and I would absolutely recommend reading it. But I will admit that my daily life really didn’t change much at all. The thing with practising the presence of God is, well, you need to actually practise it… And the world shouts so loudly for attention all the time, making it really hard to ignore.
(Side note: When we don’t experience God’s presence, it does NOT mean that He has left – He is always with us. It is us who forget that He is right here…)
But more recently, something has shifted in my life. After writing the post “What do you read?” two weeks ago, this question really stuck in my mind:
Now every time I read social media (and I can tell you I do a lot more than I previously realised), I am reminded that I could be reading God’s Word instead. And then when I do read the Bible, I find that I don’t want to stop reading after a few verses. I want to keep reading to see what I will learn next!
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (WEBBE): 16Every Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness, 17that each person who belongs to God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Right now you are probably thinking “Good for her! But so what?” Well, I want to encourage you to find something that you do regularly that you could use as a reminder to spend a little time in God’s presence. Maybe pray to God on your morning run instead of worrying about the day ahead. Or thank God for every cup of coffee during the day, and then find three more things to thank Him for while you are at it.
Start by doing that one thing where you can fit God into your day most easily. Your relationship with God will grow, and that will spill over into the rest of your day!