He’s always there, but are we aware?
Why has anyone today heard of Brother Lawrence, a man who died over 400 years ago? It’s because he actively pursued an awareness of the presence of God. He looked for God’s presence not just when he was in church, but when he was working in the kitchen, running errands, repairing shoes, or talking to people.
As a result, he was genuinely filled with joy and peace. He was sought after for spiritual guidance from those in his community and church leaders all over France.
Ordinary people become extraordinary when they focus on the presence of an extraordinary God.
“The most holy and important practice in the spiritual life is the presence of God—that is, to take great pleasure in every moment because God is with you.” – Brother Lawrence
God is always with us. It is our awareness of his presence that is lacking. When we open our eyes in the morning, God is present. When we close our eyes to sleep at night, God is present. And during everything that happened in the hours in between, God was right there, waiting for us to notice his presence.
How do we increase our awareness of God’s presence? Here are three suggestions:
- Schedule quiet time. Take five minutes each day to sit still, be quiet, and rest in God’s presence. Psalm 46:10 instructs us to, “be quiet and know that I am God.” Busy lives and constant distractions move our focus away from God. Five minutes of silenced phones, no activity, and resting in God’s presence can change our lives.
- Speak one-breath prayers. We are told in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to, “pray without ceasing.” A one-breath prayer is a short sentence we repeat throughout the day. It may be, “I love you, Lord,” “Jesus, give me your peace,” or whatever is in our hearts. Just speaking his name throughout the day keeps our minds on God and increases our awareness of his presence.
- Soak in the Scripture. Hebrews 4:12 tells us that the word of God is, “alive and powerful.” When we read the Bible, we are encountering the living, breathing, active presence of God. A Bible verse makes an inspiring wallpaper on our phones or magnet on our refrigerator. We can listen to the Bible while we do chores or errands. God’s word moves us into his presence. Let’s immerse ourselves in it!
We are seldom aware of the air we breathe, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. The same is true of the presence of God. God is always with us, always there to strengthen and guide us. It’s up to us to pursue a higher awareness of his presence.
Father God, I know you are always with me. Whether I’m happy or sad, whether times are good or bad, your presence remains. Help me focus more on your presence. Let me lift my eyes to you, where my help comes from. Give me the peace and joy of living with the awareness of your presence. In Jesus’s name, amen.